The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Labor Relations program prepares students to become leaders in labor management. Often considered interdisciplinary, this program teaches students the use of analytical skills to assess workplace issues and interpersonal skills to ameliorate them. The program delves into theories of human resources management, labor training, collective bargaining and conflict resolution. After completing their degree, students may go onto earn optional certification or a master's degree in labor relations.
Enrollment in a labor relations bachelor's degree program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Students may specialize their degree in globalization, legal studies, or unionization, among other options. The program takes four years to complete and involves an internship or field experience.
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Bachelor of Science in Labor Relations
Bachelor's degree programs educate students to understand employee rights, train personnel and represent employees. Students may explore labor ethics, current labor problems and grievance procedures. In addition to general education courses, students may study topics in:
- Labor history
- Labor law
- Labor and American politics
- Industrial and organizational psychology
- Globalization and labor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Labor relations specialists can be found in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing companies, technical services, insurance firms and healthcare assistance organizations. Based upon the skills acquired, graduates may find employment as:
- Union leaders
- Human resources specialists
- Management consultants
- Training specialists
- Benefits managers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 5% increase in the employment of human resources (HR) specialists from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). A 9% increase is expected for human resources managers during the same period of time. According to 2015 BLS reports, HR specialists received an annual median salary of $58,350 while managers earned a median of $104,440 per year.
Certification and Continuing Education
Some bachelor's degree holders may choose to further their education in labor relations through a master's degree program in labor relations. A graduate degree program builds on the foundations established in the undergraduate curriculum and assists students in furthering their understanding of labor management and law. Additionally, certification opportunities are available through several organizations, such as the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the American Society for Training and Development.
Students wishing to start a career in human resources may want to pursue a BS degree in labor relations. This degree will teach students how to assess and resolve workplace issues and can prepare them for certification and/or a master's degree program in labor relations.