I remember sitting for the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) exam years ago. I attended a training course one evening a week after work and thoroughly studied the workbooks. Even though I had obtained an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources and then worked in HR for eight years, there were so many details I’d have to remember to pass the exam. The facts about all of the laws that govern HR functions fills books, and that was just one small part of the exam. I remember wishing that I could be transported back to the classroom to have access the resources that I had during my MBA. My professors, books, and classmates would have been such a great help to prepare for the next step in my human resource management journey!
Why Study HR?
Whether you are embarking on a human resource management career or are ready for your next step, the opportunity to learn HR competencies in community with a like-minded cohort, discussing the details of employment law and other HR topics will sharpen your and the other students’ understanding. An HR certificate or degree with an HR concentration can help you prepare for professional HR exams, but more than that they will develop your knowledge and practice of human resource functions.
A quick search of human resource jobs will demonstrate the importance of degrees and HR certification – there are thousands of jobs posted that include PHR or SHRM-CP (the two major certifications). If your goals are outside of the HR department, a certificate in HR is still incredibly helpful in moving into higher level managerial positions. Managers who understand talent management, compensation, employee relations, and employment law have a distinct advantage over managers who only understand their specific organizational function.
What do Human Resources Professionals Need to Know?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), no matter how large or small, private or public, or the profit or non-profit status of the organization, there are a number of required human resource competencies.
The first is obvious: human resources technical expertise and practice, which is the ability to apply HR management concepts and laws to business practice. At Southern Wesleyan University, our HR concentration teaches these models, but just as SHRM recognizes there is more to HR than the application of rules and regulations, we do not focus merely on technical principles. SHRM also emphasizes relationship management, consultation (giving guidance to both employees and leaders), organizational leadership, communication, global and cultural effectiveness, ethical practice, critical evaluation (interpreting information such as data and literature), and business acumen.
What SWU can do for You
With an MBA or Master of Science in Management and Leadership (MSML) with a concentration in Human Resource Management, students at Southern Wesleyan University learn the role of HR, including employment practices (recruitment, interviewing, orientation, and staffing), employee relations and labor relations, employee development (career management, performance management, training, and development), and compensation management. In addition to these human resource management courses, students learn accounting and finance, organizational behavior, economics, leadership and ethics, business policy, and strategic planning. Students also have the option of pursuing a four-course graduate certificate in Human Resource Management.
All of these courses add to not just the student’s technical understanding of business functions, but the concepts that are learned in the online classroom are applied to the workplace just as the student’s business experience are brought into the classroom. The program learning outcomes for the Benson School of Business are critical and analytical thinking, communication and collaboration, ethical awareness, servant leadership, and problem solving and decision making. These program learning outcomes are woven into the fabric of every course in these master’s degrees to equip and empower students to become servant leaders who influence their organizations through not just the competencies outlined by SHRM, but ensuring that students realize their purpose as they lead out of Christian values in a changing global marketplace.
For more information on SWU's Human Resources programs and other business degree options, visit the Benson School of Business webpage.