People are at the heart of any organisation - creating a positive workplace where complex issues are ironed out and staff are happy, is key to ensuring work flows.
And with tricky issues such as equal pay, gender discrimination, flexible working and well-being at work to tackle, a good human resources manager can be worth their weight in gold.
Business leaders are increasingly seeing the value of an effective HR manager who really understands the multitude of employment issues that can arise, as well as helping to retain and attract the best people to drive their business forward.
Human Resources roles regularly crop up high in lists of best graduate career prospects, with the top professionals able to command high salaries and in demand from businesses around the world.
It’s good news for anyone who has already gained a foothold in the profession, for undergraduates seeking to specialise in HR or experienced professionals looking to move into a new area with a multitude of prospects.
Getting ahead in HR
The correct qualifications and professional accreditation are crucial if you want to make strides in a career in human resources.
Whether you studied the subject as part of an undergraduate business degree or are a professional wishing to move into the field of HR, a Masters in Human Resources Management can be the perfect launchpad for a career in the rapidly evolving world of HR.
When choosing a course, it’s vital to opt for a businesss school with a strong focus on human resources, a solid background in research and staff that have links to the sector.
The Department of Human Resource Management at Strathclyde Business School (SBS), has a broad focus on human resources, organisational behaviours and industrial relations.
The department is home to the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) and undertakes research in a wide range of international and UK public, private and voluntary sector organisations.
Meanwhile department members have links to a variety of business, government and civil society organisations, including the UK and Scottish governments, the Equality and Human Rights commission, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the unions UNITE and Uni-Graphical.
On the right course
The MSc Human Resource Management course at SBS helps develop an advanced level of knowledge related to HR, and can be studied full-time or part-time.
Full-time is suitable if you’re preparing for a career in HR. Students study organisations and the management of work, with classes in leading, managing and developing people, contemporary employment relations, and people resourcing.
The part-time route is suitable for HR professionals or line managers.
Another option is the MSc International Human Resource Management, which develops an understanding of how and why human resource policies and practices differ across the world.
Real life experience
The Department of HRM has strong links with industry, so students benefit from learning from real-life scenarios in the HR field.
Professor Tom Baum, head of the HRM department, said: “All our programmes are taught through a mixture of seminars, taught modules, guest speakers and a business skills development programme.
“An important part of our HRM and IHRM programmes sees students produce a management research report based on analysing a human resources issue in an organisation.
“This provides real-life experience working on HR issues in an organisation - an essential skill for all future managers, whether specialising in HR or not.”
Part-time students who are combining studies with a role in HR may well focus their report on their place of work.
Students emerge with a Masters, plus the knowledge requirements for Professional Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The Scottish Centre for Employment Research – or SCER – carries out important research into fair work and job quality, employability and employment regulation, and workplace innovation.
“This research is put into practice through policy implementation in the public, private and voluntary sectors in areas such as employment regulation and equality, and fair work and job quality,” added Professor Baum.
Take your career further
The Department also offers MSc Human Resources and International Management, which is suitable for anyone looking to pursue senior management roles with a strong ‘people management’ element in a global organisation.
Classes include Managing Human Resources in multinationals, Comparative Employment Relations, and Labour and Diversity in a Global Context.
Students can also opt for a Managing in Europe element, which is taught at Toulouse Business School in France.
Previous graduates have already enjoyed international success, adds Professor Baum.
“Graduates of our Masters programmes have gone on to work for global multinationals, government bodies and global NGOs such as Unicef,” he said.
“Recent graduates have gained jobs in a range of leading organisations including Standard Life, IBM, Shell and Accenture.”
Find out how to take your next steps in a rewarding career in human resources here.