Human Resource Management / Development

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What can I do with this major?




Human Resources

  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Employee Relations
  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
  • Labor Relations
  • Selection and Placement
  • Recruiting
  • Retention
  • Occupational Safety
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Diversity Issues
  • Policy Development

Financial institutions

Hotel, restaurant, and retail chains

Manufacturing firms

Hospitals and healthcare organizations

Educational institutions

Employment and staffing agencies 

Professional employment organizations (PEOs)

Other medium and large size organizations

Nonprofit organizations

Labor unions

Federal government agencies including: Department of Labor, Employment Security Commission, Bureau of Labor

Local and state government agencies

Develop strong computer skills, especially with spreadsheets and databases.

Obtain internships in human resources. Develop presentation skills and conflict resolution abilities through coursework and activities. Cultivate strong analytical skills. Be willing to start in an entry-level human resources or benefits assistant position. Learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and compliance. Earn a graduate degree (MBA, masters, or law) to reach the highest levels of human resource management. Learn government application procedures. Complete a federal government internship program.

Training and Development

  • Industrial Training
  • Technology Training
  • Management Development
  • Performance Improvement
  • Organizational Change

Corporate universities

Consulting firms

Manufacturing companies

Retail and customer service industries

Restaurant and hotel chains

Business and industry training facilities

Educational institutions

Obtain related experience through internships and part-time or summer jobs.

Develop the ability to comprehend operational systems and to process new information quickly. Acquire current knowledge of issues in technology, industry, and business education through professional association journals. Develop solid knowledge of the content area being addressed in training. Be prepared to start working in another area of human resources before moving into a training position. Learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and compliance. Learn about International Organization for Standardization (ISO) criteria.


  • Development
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Programming
  • Administration

Community agencies

Healthcare organizations

Private foundations

Obtain a law degree.

Join a debate team and participate in mock trial.

Take courses in employment law, conflict management, and labor relations.

Gain experience with mediation.


  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Labor Relations
  • Employment Law

Law firms

Large corporations 

Government agencies

Public interest legal agencies

Consider a minor in public relations, marketing, business, or advertising.

Gain competency in a variety of computer programs, especially computer graphics. 

Gain experience in customer service and communication skills. 

Learn about geography and international travel regulations.

Strive for excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills. 

Learn to think creatively in order to develop unique marketing campaigns and selling techniques.

Attend conferences and trade shows.

Join student clubs and professional associations in your field of study and volunteer for their publicity committees.

Start in reservations or telephone sales. Learn the product line and how to deal with travel agents and customers. 

Be willing to relocate to a major city like Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, or New York for more opportunities.

Learn state, federal, and local government job application process.

industrial/Organizational Psychology

  • Organizational Development
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Personnel Selection
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Job Analysis
  • Individual Development
  • Labor Relations
  • Ergonomics
  • Teaching
  • Research

Consulting firms

Educational services

Colleges and universities

Private and public companies

Government agencies

Military research organizations

Test preparation companies

Double major or minor in psychology as an undergraduate. Earn a doctoral degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Demonstrate strong interest in studying the behavior of people at work. Obtain internships in areas of organizational development. Conduct independent research study in areas of interest. Develop aptitude in statistical analysis and computers.

Strategies for placement in Human resources Management

  • Be prepared to start in entry level positions within organizations and work up to positions of greater responsibility. Develop an area of expertise along the way.
  • Graduate education including MBA, MS, or JD qualifies one for higher salaries and positions with greater responsibility.
  • Obtain internships in an area of interest such as human resources, training, or organizational development.
  • Participate in related co-curricular activities and obtain leadership positions to broaden skills.
  • Successful human resource professionals are business-minded and well-rounded. Cultivate "hard skills" such as technology and statistics along with "soft skills" such as mediating and advising.
  • Develop excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Demonstrate a strong desire to work with people of various backgrounds and educational levels.
  • Learn desktop publishing and other software packages.
  • Become familiar with current business literature and news.
  • Join professional associations in field of interest, such as American Society for Training and Development, Society for Human Resource Management, American Management Association, Employment Management Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and others.
  • Become a member of the student organization, Association of Human Resource Development Students (AHRDS). Network with human resource managers through AHRDS meetings.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.


Society for Human Resource Management
American Management Association 
American Society for Training and Development 
International Association for Human Resource Information Management 
Human Resource Management Career Center 
Staffing Today 
Workforce Management 
Business.Com - Human Resources Management Resources and Links