Some human resources programs prepare graduates to pursue certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), with some popular credentials being the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications. Graduates may qualify to work as human resources specialists or human resources managers. Students may take courses that cover topics such as employment law, employee development, business ethics and workplace investigations. A practicum course that combines all of the skills gained through human resources coursework may be included.
Except for certificate programs and highly specialized master's programs in human resources management, most undergraduate and graduate programs include core business coursework. Such coursework usually encompasses the areas of accounting, marketing, business law, economics, finance and international business. Meanwhile, HR courses will study the following topics:
- Management principles
- Sexual harassment
- Employee theft
- Employee morale
List of Courses
Managing Organizations Course
Students taking this course gain an overview of management principles and techniques. They analyze the way many companies make decisions and develop leadership skills. Students also learn how to implement organizational techniques employed to keep businesses running smoothly and efficiently. Typically, this course also deals with budgeting, to make sure the company isn't operating in the red. Concepts related to the downsizing process are also explored.
Human Resources Management Practicum Course
Through this combined lecture and practical course, students learn the ways in which human resource managers hire and train individuals. Typically, it includes methods for motivating individuals. Students practice interviewing and determining which employees to hire. In the practicum portion of the course, professors set up lifelike situations for students to practice reactions to real-world scenarios common to human resource managers.
In this intermediate-level course, students examine laws influencing civil rights and personnel laws. Students learn how to solve issues that arise in human resources, such as new employee selection, discrimination, gender or racial equality and sexual harassment. This type of course examines case studies where these issues came into place and discusses the appropriate ethical decisions that were made.
Hiring and Keeping Employees Course
Students taking this course learn advanced techniques for finding employees, interviewing them and choosing the best individual for the position. Typically, students plan ways to continually have employees on hand in case an individual quits or doesn't work out. This course also covers how to recruit individuals in advance of needing positions to be filled. They learn ways to make potential employees interested in a job, and they also examine techniques for keeping them at the company, including offering worthwhile benefits.
Compensation and Benefits Course
What should a new employee make? How does a human resource manager make sure they're offering a competitive wage? These and other questions pertaining to benefits and compensation are answered in this intermediate human resource class. Students are given the opportunity to weigh the advantages of offering end-of-year bonuses, health insurance and retirement savings to employees.
Conducting Workplace Investigations
When someone files a complaint against another employee, it's often the responsibility of the human resource manager to get to the bottom of it. Some cases might even go to court, particularly those of sexual harassment or employee theft. This course provides students with the information they need to effectively communicate with employees to find out what happened. They explore techniques for learning what happened and decide the punishment, if one applies.