The role of the human resources (HR) department has evolved tremendously over the years. What was once perceived as a personnel-management, policy-slinging machine is now considered a strategic business partner for most executive teams. Upper management leans largely on human resources to grow their business from both a personnel and financial perspective, making careers in human resources some of the highest in demand.
In recent years, another pivotal business goal has emerged and helped contribute to this “shift” in the value of HR, making it an even more critical function in today’s workforce — culture. In 2014, culture was deemed the “most popular word of the year” by Merriam Webster’s dictionary. It has rapidly become one of the business world’s hottest topics.
According to new research from Deloitte, culture, engagement, and employee retention are now the top talent challenges facing business leaders.1 Human resources is at the heart of helping businesses solve for these challenges. After all, people are the heart of a company’s culture, and for as long as HR has been in existence, its first priority has been managing people.
For MBA candidates interested in a career in human resources, an HR MBA Concentration can help position them not as just “an HR person,” but as a business expert who specializes in HR.2 This important distinction can help HR professionals serve as true business partners who understand the inner workings of a business, from finance and marketing to people management.
Should you decide to pursue a human resources MBA, you’ll gain the skills and insight needed to lead a diverse and multifaceted workplace. You’ll be prepared to help shape critical processes – such as performance management programs – to help drive productivity and improve employee development. You’ll learn what it takes to help recruit, train, and retain top talent. Human resource professionals may partner closely with cross-functional teams including marketing, communications, PR, finance and sales to accomplish goals, whether, it’s taking your recruiting to new levels, increasing productivity or improving internal communications.
While corporate HR is a popular career path, a human resources MBA can position you for exciting opportunities that extend far beyond leading an HR department. High-level careers in human resources can include independent consulting, specialized recruiting, training, speaking at events and conferences, authoring thought leadership articles and more.
Human resources is a specialized field that plays an important role in helping businesses rethink how they manage their most important assets. With more and more companies putting culture at the forefront, the value of HR continues to increase. An MBA in human resources can put you in a unique position to help drive strategic change.