Human Resources - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on Human Resources.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • Ability to understand principles of planning, organizing, controlling and evaluating the operations of human resources within an organizational setting
  • Awareness of the key components of and interdependencies among human resource policy and decision making including financial, operational, employee relations, unionization, employment branding and organizational cultural impacts
  • Understanding of current and emerging labour market trends and issues, legislative policy and employment standards components at a local, national and global level
  • Knowledge of strategic human resource planning, including aspects of employee attraction, retention, evaluation, training and development
  • The ability to describe and interpret human resource and labour relations policy, changes and decisions to a variety of internal and external audiences
  • Skills to research and assess information and data related to occupational classifications, job descriptions, salary scales and competency appraisal measures and systems
  • Ability to administer staffing, total compensation, training and career development, employee assistance, employment equity and diversity training programs
  • Skills to assess and recommend the appropriate allocation and distribution of resources, finances, materials and personnel based on an analysis of resources and calculation of probability
  • Knowledge of the budgeting process and the ability to understand and interpret financial information in relation to human resource strategies
  • Skills to conduct quantitative/qualitative

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to effectively analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Human Resource - Generalist

Generalists in human resources often plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the operations of human resources and personnel departments, and develop and implement policies, programs and procedures regarding human resource planning, recruitment, collective bargaining, training and development, occupational classification, and pay and benefit administration. They represent management and participate actively on various joint committees to maintain ongoing relations between management and employees. Human resource managers are employed throughout the private and public sectors.

Career Development
Compensation & Benefits
Employee Relations
Employment Equity
Human Resource Administration
Human Resource Management
Industrial Relations
Leadership Development
Occupational Health & Safety
Organizational Development
Staff Relations
Succession Planning
Talent Management
Training & Development

Human Resource - Specialist

Specialists in human resources develop, implement and evaluate human resources and labour relations policies, programs and procedures and advise managers and employers on personnel matters. Specialists in human resources are employed throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.

Career Developer
Compensation Analyst
Diversity Manager
Employee Communications
Employee Relations Associate
Human Resource Consultant
Human Resource Policy Analyst
Job Analyst
Labour Relations Associate
Recruitment Manager
Training Manager
Union Representative
Wage Analyst


Human Resources Professionals Association -
International Association of Business Communicators -
North American HR Management Association -
Certified Human Resources Professional -
Society for Human Resource Management -
American Society for Training and Development -

Professional Designation and Laurier Course Equivalency List*

  • Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP)

*check for a complete listing of course equivalency requirements

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.

This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

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