"HR" is business shorthand for "human resources," and as a human resources consultant, you'll work to develop and implement human resource strategies to meet your company's unique needs. At lower levels, an HR consultant is responsible for job recruitment. If you become a senior HR consultant, you'll be actively participating in administering your employer's human resources department.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Master's degree (recommended)
- Human resources professional certification
- Internship (recommended)
- Bachelor's degree in business administration
Go to business school and complete a 4-year bachelor's degree. If you want good career advancement opportunities, simply completing a community college course in human resources will prove insufficient.
Increase your chances of professional success and career growth by enrolling in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at a recognized business college. While an MBA isn't necessarily required to become an HR consultant, some companies ask for them and many won't promote you without one.
Remember that some employers will sponsor your professional improvement by subsidizing or covering the cost of your graduate business training, if you want to attain an MBA once you become a junior-level HR consultant.
Get professional certification in the key HR-related fields. These generally include Labor Relations, Compensation and Benefits training as well as general HR courses. They are available through a large number of training colleges and professional organizations. Just make sure your course is accredited.
Intern or work in the lower reaches of HR departments during your time spent as an undergraduate student. By the time you reach the graduate level, you should have had some gainful, paid employment experience in human resources under your belt. If not, take the time to get some.
Start off as a junior HR consultant and learn the fine points of human resources administration procedures. In time, you'll work your way up.
Apply for senior human resources consultant positions once you have gained at least 5 years in a junior role and at least 2 years in a supervisory position with an established company. By this point in your career, you should be taking on an executive role within HR departments.
Tips and warnings
- Join the Human Resources Consultants Association (see Resources below). This association is an excellent source of jobs, further education opportunities and support networks for HR professionals.
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