HR Specialties And Career Paths

When it comes to human resources there are a lot of ways one can specialize. Human capital will continue to be important as the economy and landscape of the future changes. If you are a graduate or undergraduate student contemplating a career in HR consider what you might like as a specialty as well so you can ensure job satisfaction and professional growth.

Each specialty has its advantages and disadvantages. Below is a list of some of the top specialties and career tracks in human resources.


Human Resources Manager

If you’re looking for job satisfaction and you want to get into human resources because you like to interact with people, human resources manager might be the job for you. HR managers are responsible for administrative tasks, onboarding new employees and making sure they understand their benefits. HR managers also help with morale by planning activities for the office and make sure they go off without a hitch. This job is a real opportunity to help people so HR managers generally have an altruistic spirit and get a lot of satisfaction from their important role.


Training And Development Manager

In big corporations a manager is needed to facilitate and accelerate training and development for new hires and existing employees. If you enjoy teaching and meeting new people this position can be very rewarding. They often help put together the training programs for new employees and organize workshops or conferences. This position is highly rewarding and results in high job satisfaction.


International Human Resources

Human resources offers an international path for those that love traveling or have an ability to interact well with diverse cultures. International HR can include managing differing labor laws, recruiting from abroad or creating employee programs across the world. If you’re interested in a specialty that mixes in a little adventure with a high ceiling for pay International HR may be for you.


IT Specialist

It seems like everyday a new industry is being disrupted, including human resources. As changes are made, the role of information technology will become larger and larger. A popular sub-specialty like recruiting tech talent can be lucrative for the right person with demand for these workers at a peak. If you come from a tech background maybe you can help build internal HR systems. If you are a technical person this might be the right path for you.


Human Resources Consultant

The world is changing at a rapid pace, this is especially true for the employment environment. As human resource departments get more complicated, outside HR consultants can come in handy. They can look at the big picture, asses the landscape from an unbiased lens and make recommendations. Often this specialty has many sub-specialties like mergers and acquisitions, incentives and executive recruiting. One has to have a lot of experience but this job can offer both flexibility and money.


HR Executive

This may be the end goal for a lot of these specialties because of its high pay. But it usually requires over 10 years of experience. Often referred to as VP of HR, Chief HRO or something akin to People Officer in the tech world, this position is responsible for creating a high level HR strategy for a company including everything from benefits to budgets. This job pays very well but can include swings of great successes and high stress.


HR Business Owner

Many companies prefer outsourcing their HR to specialists. This has resulted in a number of placement firms, consulting and headhunting firms. This is, in fact, becoming more popular. Like any entrepreneurial venture it comes with huge risk and huge potential upside. If you wish to become a business owner in HR you have to understand the HR landscape, be great at networking and have built up a reputation. Enjoy the ride!


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