HR professionals – should you pursue a master’s in HRM?
Human resource (HR) professionals play pivotal roles in organisations across industries.
Canadian search firm HumanEdge notes that HR roles have changed to become more strategic and aligned with the business objectives.
“The role has changed to implement talent strategies and support business results. HR professionals now encompass many roles but the top three are the role of marketers, designers and supply and demand experts,” it said.
The job outlook for HR professionals looks promising. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that employment of HR managers is projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.
“As new companies form and organisations expand their operations, they will need human resources managers to oversee and administer their programs and to ensure that firms adhere to changing and complex employment laws. Strong competition can be expected for most positions,” it said.
As such, HR professionals – be it generalists or even specialists – who want to deepen their knowledge and build their skill set to enhance their competitiveness in the job market may find that a graduate degree in the field may be a good option to help take your career to the next level.
One of the graduate degrees worth looking into is the Master in Human Resource Management (HRM).
What is a master in HRM?
A master in HRM will typically equip professionals with the knowledge and skills that are required by today’s HR professionals. HRM programmes will vary across universities, as some will be more general while others may have an international focus.
For instance, the University of Birmingham’s MSc in HRM is “internationally oriented “, and offers a global focus on a range of issues surrounding HRM theory, policy and practice. Meanwhile, RMIT’s programme equips students with critical awareness of the legal, ethical, social, economic and environmental challenges and implications of HR strategy, operations, processes and decision making.
What will you study?
What you study will vary between institutions, but they typically consist of theory, practice and professional accreditation.
You may study HR-related courses such as employment relations, HR management and strategy and managing people in international contexts, in addition to business modules. Some universities may also feature practitioners and industry guest speakers, in addition to case studies and a dissertation during the programme.
Depending on your university, you may also have workshops and seminars, apart from lectures, to attend, which can help students expand their professional network.
Where can you work?
HR professionals are needed across a wide range of industries and can find work across a wide range of organisations, including startups to multinational corporations, in both the private and public sector.
Some universities may also offer assistance in helping students apply for jobs, develop a job seeking strategy to prepare for interviews.
Some of the roles that you can likely branch into include HR advisor, manager or director, or even roles in employment relations to employer organisations advisor.
At the end of the day, a master in HRM will equip you with both the theoretical and practical skills needed to succeed as a modern HR practitioner. Your advanced knowledge and skill set will be useful in advancing your career in the field.