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How to Become a Human Resources Manager: Degree & Qualifications

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Most professionals have contact with human resources, but not everyone may actually know what their human resources manager does.

The importance of a good human resources manager is illustrated in entrepreneurship podcasts and media outlets like The Tim Ferriss Show. This life-advice program says that building and maintaining the right team is the most difficult part of the business process. By extension, this makes the role of human resources one of the most critical in a company. 

This article will cover:

  • What a human resource manager does
  • What you’ll need to study to start working as a human resources manager
  • Getting your human resources degree at STU

What Does a Human Resources Manager Do?

The personal style this job calls for is enterprising and social.  

Like accounting, human resources is one of those functions that all companies must possess no matter what the company does. It is a growing field that deals with the needs and problems of employees. The most important functions of the human resources manager are hiring, firing, payroll, and dispute management. 

Although the idea might be the same for different-sized companies, the way an HR manager’s role plays out changes depending on the size of the company.

Photo by fizkes via Shutterstock

Large Organizations

Human resources professionals aren’t only employed in the private sector. Larger enterprises include all levels of government as well as NGOs and nonprofits. 

Large organizations have more specialized roles for their HR professionals. A human resources manager in this context tends to employ assistants and software that enables him/her to be more efficient with their time. 

Creating and maintaining a company culture at a large company can be a challenge. The main difference here is that a human resources professional at a large organization will usually find themselves with a specific role. This is different from small companies, which usually require the HR manager to wear different hats to resolve different problems.

Small – Medium Organizations

Start-ups and smaller operations require human resources managers to tackle diverse issues. HR managers involved in a smaller operation have much more freedom to implement their ideas. 

This flexibility can be difficult, but it allows human resources managers the flexibility to develop creative strategies to improve team performance. Some of the more creative strategies implemented by human resources are motivation and team-building practices, office design, and mentorship programs.

What You’ll Need to Study to Start Working as a Human Resources Manager

For present or future students that have an interest in undergraduate studies, the best degrees are in psychology or business. These are both versatile career tracks that leave room for career and industry flexibility. 

They both rely on emotional intelligence. Employers value students with high emotional intelligence and basic data literacy. The right humanistic degree will empower you to speak with authority about why people behave as they do. The right financial or business degree will allow you to quantify it for your team and others.

Emotional intelligence is sometimes referred to as “street smarts.” 

Psychology and business administration are the most common undergraduate degrees for those pursuing a career in human resources. Many new professionals can achieve a starting position with a general communication degree or even unrelated degrees. However, for professionals with a desire to build or advance a career in this dynamic field, St. Thomas University offers a special Master’s program in Human Resources Management

STU’s MBA in Human Resources Management will not only serve you in the workplace, but also in your everyday life. 

Human Resource Management MBA Overview & Interesting Courses

This degree can give you an edge in the job market. Hiring managers don’t often come across people with a title like this one. This broad-based MBA degree builds on personal leadership skills, deep understanding of business ethics, and best management practice. This curriculum has its grounding not only in theory, but also in tangible practice. 

8 Courses Included in the Program

  • Managerial Accounting 
  • Policy, Planning and Strategy Systems
  • International Business 
  • Strategic Marketing Management 
  • Financial Management 
  • Data Analytics for Business 
  • Organizational Behavior 
  • Management Ethics 


Human resources is due for a fundamental change. Learn the skills you need to be a valuable and agile employee in the era of digital-majority workforces. This is a field that demands innovators and positivity. Are you ready to get started in this interesting and versatile field?

Find out more about degree programs and student life at St. Thomas University. Students at STU don’t just become professionals, they become “Leaders for Life.” Evolve into a leader at your workplace with STU’s unique Human Resource Management track. Build your team. Empower your office.

Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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