Research into feasibility of entering Human Resource

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The purpose of this research project is to assess how feasible it is for me to enter the field of human resources.

Step 2:

I am currently attending Penn Foster College to earn a degree in Human Resources Management. I have three years experience working in the field of human resources. I possess concrete skills in executing operational, personnel and productivity policies. I am an expert at recruiting, hiring, training and retaining team members. I am skilled in the area of financial responsibility and management: budget creation, inventory control. I am well educated in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

Step 3:

What types of jobs can I get with my Associate's Degree in Human Resource Management?

What kind of education, work experience, or qualifications do I need to secure a good job in this field?

What type of companies could best utilize my experience?

Am I going to need to consider relocating to another area of the country?

What is the typical salary range for a job in this field?

Is this a field I can advance in or receive further opportunities for training and education?

Is this a job that I can make a career out of and commit to doing every day?

Step 4:

I used the Occupational Outlook Handbook found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site: www.bls.gov. I searched under human resources and found information for various different types of managers and specialists in the field. I now realize what broad scopes of choices are presented to me for my career. Because my work experience in this field is limited, I chose to focus on entry level positions. That is where I would most likely need to start

I found another source by performing a search at Penn Foster's online library. I entered the Reading Room and then clicked on the link for Business Week. I searched Business Week and found an article about using interpersonal skills when faced with laying off or terminating an employee. The information can be cited as follows:

Smith, Susan Storm. "In a Time of Layoffs, Keep Human Resources Humane." Bloomberg Businessweek Online. 18 March 2009. 25 January 2011. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/mar2009/db20090318_658272.htm

Step 5:

What types of jobs can I get with my Associate's Degree in Human Resource Management?

According to the BLS web page, human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists are employed in almost every industry. About 13 percent of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists are employed in administrative and support services, 11 percent in professional, scientific, and technical services, 10 percent in healthcare and social assistance, and 9 percent in finance and insurance firms. About 12,900 managers and specialists are self-employed by working as consultants (Bureau). The jobs listed include: training and development specialists; employment, recruitment, and placement specialists; compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists; compensation and benefit managers; training and development managers; other human resources, training, and labor relations specialists; all other human resources managers.

What kind of education, work experience, or qualifications do I need to secure a good job in this field?

The BLS website points out that the educational backgrounds of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists vary depending upon the duties and level of responsibility required for the job. For filling entry-level jobs, which is where I would begin, many employers want college graduates who have majored in human resources, human resources administration, or industrial and labor relations. If you chose a job as a specialist, then a course relative to that specialty is useful. One thing is agreed upon as needed for any level of job in this field and that is interpersonal skills. To develop these skills, a combination of courses in the social sciences, business administration, and behavioral sciences is useful. According to Susan Storm Smith in her Bloomberg Businessweek Online article, when terminating an employee, "We have learned that it is not so much who gives the news as how it is communicated. That may include offering something such as a packet to help former employees in job searches, providing support through community services, and perhaps most of all, a simple but heartfelt "thank you" for a job well done." Human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists must be experts at speaking and writing.

What is the typical salary range for a job in this field?

As noted on the BLS website, the annual salary rates for human resources workers vary according to occupation, level of experience, training, location, and the size of the firm. The figures represented all were taken from a May 2008 survey. The median annual wages for compensation and benefits managers were $86,500. The middle 50 percent earned between $64,930 and $113,480. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $147,050. The median annual wages for training and development managers were $87,700. The middle 50 percent earned between $64,770 and $115,570. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $149,050. The median annual wages for all other human resources managers were $96,130. The middle 50 percent earned between $73,480 and $126,050. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $56,770, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $163,220. The median annual wages for employment, recruitment, and placement specialists were $45,470. The middle 50 percent earned between $35,020 and $63,110. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,760. The median annual wages for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were $53,860. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,050 and $67,730. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,080, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $84,310. The median annual wages for training and development specialists were $51,450. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,550 and $67,450. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,160 (Bureau). The statistics in a July 2009 salary survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that bachelor's degree candidates majoring in human resources received starting offers averaging $45,170 a year.

Step 6: Feasibility Report

Introduction

I am in my last semester to obtain my Associate's Degree in Human Resource Management. I currently am employed in the Accounting Office of a car dealership. I deal mainly with accounting and customer service. I intend to broaden my responsibilities by taking over some of the Human Resources functions at my job. I am considering this because I have some experience in Human Resources already and I think it is a satisfying career. To determine whether this career choice is right for me, I researched the field of Human Resources further and followed specific criteria as outlined in this report.

Proposed Action

The action that I am proposing is a career change from part-time accounting to a full-time, entry level Human Resource Manager.

Criteria

This report analyzes the proposed change in career based on: types of employers, education and experience needed to secure the job, and salary ranges.

Sources

For this report, I utilized two sources: the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site (www.bls.gov), where I used the Occupational Outlook Handbook, and Susan Storm Smith's article entitled "In a Time of Layoffs, Keep Human Resources Humane," from Bloomberg Businessweek Online, using the school library's link.

Conclusions

Based on the information I found using the BLS Web site (U.S. Department of Labor), I have arrived at the following conclusions. In regards to the types of employers, human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists are employed in almost every industry. The field is broad and with many opportunities to specialize in things such as compensation or training. My experience thus far has been with compensation so that would most likely be my choice to specialize in. The demand for human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists is dependent upon economic conditions and the business cycle as well as staffing needs of the companies in which they work. The responsibilities of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists can vary widely, dependent upon their employer's needs (Bureau).

Regarding the education, work experience, or qualifications needed for human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists, it varies depending upon the duties and level of responsibility required for the job. For filling entry-level jobs, which is where I would begin, employers want college graduates who have majored in human resources, human resources administration, or industrial and labor relations. The duties given to entry-level employees will vary, depending on whether the new employees have a degree in human resource management, have completed an internship, or have some other type of human resources-related experience. An entry-level employee will commonly learn by performing administrative tasks such as entering data into computer systems, compiling employee handbooks, researching information for a supervisor, or answering phone calls and handling routine questions. Entry-level workers often enter on-the-job training programs in which they learn how to classify jobs, interview applicants, or administer employee benefits. They then can be assigned to specific locations in the human resources department to gain experience. Later, advancement may occur to supervisory positions, in which they will oversee a major element of the human resources program such as compensation or training (Bureau). The one thing that is agreed upon as needed for any level of job in this field is interpersonal skills. The human resources field demands a range of personal qualities and skills. To develop these skills, a combination of courses in the social sciences, business administration, and behavioral sciences is useful (Bureau). According to Susan Storm Smith in her Bloomberg Businessweek Online article, when terminating an employee, "We have learned that it is not so much who gives the news as how it is communicated. That may include offering something such as a packet to help former employees in job searches, providing support through community services, and perhaps most of all, a simple but heartfelt "thank you" for a job well done." Human resources employees must be able to cope with differing points of view, handle pressure, and demonstrate discretion, integrity, fair-mindedness, and a persuasive, genial personality. They must also show the character and responsibility of dealing with sensitive employee information. The growing diversity of the workforce requires that human resources managers and specialists work with or supervise people of various ages, cultural backgrounds, levels of education, and experience. Ability to speak a foreign language is a plus on a resume. Human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists must be experts at speaking and writing (Bureau).

Finally, salary was an important consideration in my study. The annual salary rates for human resources workers vary according to occupation, level of experience, training, location, and the size of the firm. The figures represented on the BLS Web site all were taken from a May 2008 survey. The median annual wages for compensation and benefits managers were $86,500. The middle 50 percent earned between $64,930 and $113,480. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $147,050. The median annual wages for training and development managers were $87,700. The middle 50 percent earned between $64,770 and $115,570. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $149,050. The median annual wages for all other human resources managers were $96,130. The middle 50 percent earned between $73,480 and $126,050. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $56,770, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $163,220. The median annual wages for employment, recruitment, and placement specialists were $45,470. The middle 50 percent earned between $35,020 and $63,110. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,760. The median annual wages for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were $53,860. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,050 and $67,730. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,080, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $84,310. The median annual wages for training and development specialists were $51,450. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,550 and $67,450. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,160. The statistics in a July 2009 salary survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that bachelor's degree candidates majoring in human resources received starting offers averaging $45,170 a year (Bureau).

Final Recommendations

Based on my education and experience, I feel that I am qualified to work in the field of Human Resources. I believe it will be beneficial to me to continue my employment with my current employer and seek advancement into a Human Resources position. One of the major qualifications for Human Resources is interpersonal skills. My customer service experience has already groomed me to deal with other and accept their behaviors. The salary ranges that I found are not really relevant to me in that I already am in a position with the company and my salary will most likely be based upon that.

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