Human Resource professionals are a vital part of any organisation although they only make up a small percentage of the UK’s workforce. Every type of business needs HR staff or department, so there are plenty of opportunities across all sectors, employing people, disciplinaries, covering maternity leave, and generally making sure that employees are happy!
Human Resources is a fantastic profession, offering opportunities to work in every sector with a diverse variety of people. If you’re interested in a role in the HR industry, there a number of paths that are available to you; one could be the perfect route to a fulfilling career. Sales, construction, technology, marketing, and financial organisations all need a HR function, but all possess their own unique challenges.
It’s not just the large companies that have in-house Human Resources department either. Many medium and smaller enterprises need their expertise in order to function and so either have a small division themselves or outsource these skills – so it’s safe to say that this role that is high in demand. After all, every company needs someone to look after its staff and ensure that people are treated fairly and legally.
At their core, Human Resource employees are tasked with the responsibility of creating a positive work environment – if you enjoy making others comfortable and encouraged, then you may be perfect for this role. At its core HR functions include the hiring and development of employees, mediating disputes and communicating with staff across all levels.
When looking for apprenticeships or a degree, it is important to look for courses that are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which will give you the professional certification to work within the HR industry. Degree and master’s degree level apprenticeships for Human Resources are currently in development.
What options can I take for a career in human resources?
There are some skills related to the personal qualities and commercial awareness in a HR role – these include budget management, coaching and teamwork. Therefore, most kinds of work experience or part-time jobs in office or administrative roles can go far in impressing employers. If you wish to progress quickly in the Human Resources industry, working in a HR department will give you an advantage over other candidates.
Try and reach out to local businesses, they may offer you a chance to get some hands-on experience in a department, and help you build network connections that may come in handy in your future. Another option is by approaching your local city council. They are required to have a HR department and must account for a certain amount of work experience to be allocated to people; they may have the perfect opportunity for you!
Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!
In a HR apprenticeship you’ll obtain a qualification which will be tailored to the needs of your role, while working and earning a wage. You’ll be able to put the theoretical knowledge you have gathered to the test in the workplace and engage with other professionals in challenging situations, learning from their experience and making valuable connections. Undergoing an apprenticeship in the Human Resources industry is an excellent way to gain practical work experience and get ahead. Here are some apprenticeship opportunities within the HR industry to check out if you’re interested a career in this sector.
- Level 3 – HR Support
- Level 4 – Improvement Practitioner
- Level 5 – Improvement Specialist
- Level 5 – HR Consultant/Partner
- Level 6 – Improvement Leader
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At university you’ll be able to gain all the theoretical knowledge behind the Human Resources industry which you’ll then be able to apply to your career once you graduate. When looking for a degree, it is good to look for courses that contain a year in industry (or a placement year), to gain some valuable work experience which will help you develop the skills and connections in order to kick start your career. Human Resource as a subject is often integrated with a degree in Business, this allows you to specialise in this path if it something you’re particularly interested in.
- Business and Human Resource Management BA (Hons)
- Human Resource Management BSc (Hons)
- Business Management with Human Resource Management BSc (Hons)
- Business Management (People Management) BSc (Hons)
- Football Coaching and Player Recruitment BA (Hons)
- Management (Human Resources) BSc (Hons)
- Business Administration with Human Resource Management BA (Hons)
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A graduate job will give you the opportunity to apply all the knowledge you’ve learnt during your degree to your job, and professionally develop in the workplace. Many large employers also run graduate schemes and programmes to attract the most promising recruits to their organisation and aid them in the development of their skills. You have the option to work in almost any industry, and you could even specialise in a particular area of HR. Many schemes allow you to rotate in different roles around the department, including recruitment, so you get to have a taste how a company works on a larger scale.
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If you feel that none of these are the right path for you, there may be a few other options to enter the Human Resources industry. In some companies, you may be able to start as a business administrator in a HR department, and then work your way up through training and promotion – the HR industry is notorious for its options for career progression after all. However, to advance some employers may expect you to undergo further training and gain accredited qualifications. So, it’s advisable that you enter an apprenticeship or obtain a degree subject if you’d like to make it big in the Human Resources industry, especially if you do so after being sponsored by an employer.
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