Recently, we wrote about what you can do with a Master’s in Human Resource Management, and here, we’ll explain how you can use your degree to get a job as an HR director.

This is a fantastic job that allows you to use your skills in communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking to help organizations manage their workforce and comply with government regulations.

This post will explore why you should consider getting into this line of work, what you’ll need to do to prepare for a job in this field, what you’ll be asked to do on the job, and how you can increase your chances of landing this competitive position.

After you’ve read about how to become an HR director, fill out our information request form to receive additional details on our online Master’s Degree in HR Management, which will help put you on the path towards achieving your career aspirations! 

If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.

Is Human Resources Really a Good Career Field?

Yes, human resources is an excellent field and a supremely rewarding career path. 

This field is not only interesting and engaging, but also comes with many opportunities for advancement. For example, you could begin as an HR assistant, which would entail assisting the human resources department with general tasks such as scheduling interviews or filing paperwork.

You could then advance to a more senior-level coordinator, specialist, or manager position, which requires more refined skills and abilities, and eventually work your way up to the HR director role given enough experience and the proper academic credentials. 

There are three main reasons to consider pursuing a job as an HR director, including:

  • Demand for qualified HR managers increasing, with BLS projecting that employment for this role will rise 9% between 2020 and 2030.
  • HR directors get to play an essential role in modern organizations, being responsible for overseeing all aspects of human resources within an organization, making them extremely high-valued assets in nearly every industry.
  • This is a well-paid position, with BLS reporting that human resource managers earn an average of $121,220 per year as of May 2020, and the role of HR director is an even more senior-level position that tends to come with even higher pay.

If you’re interested in a career where you get to have a major impact on organizations working with people, then this could be the perfect fit for you.

What Do HR Directors Actually Do?

An HR director is typically in charge of overseeing all aspects of human resources within a company to ensure that the human resources department runs smoothly and efficiently.

This could include tasks like recruiting new employees, conducting interviews, overseeing employee benefits, developing and implementing human resource policies, training new employees, and dealing with any employee relations issues that arise.

To prepare for a senior-level role in human resources, you can expect to be responsible for tasks like:

  • Recruiting and staffing: This may include developing job descriptions and posting positions, screening resumes, conducting interviews, and extending job offers, or at least overseeing this work done by other HR employees.
  • Training and development: You may be responsible for creating or overseeing employee training programs.
  • Employee relations: This could include tasks like handling complaints, mediating disputes, and investigating allegations of misconduct.
  • Compensation and benefits: You may be responsible for determining pay rates, overseeing benefits programs, and ensuring compliance with labor laws.
  • Risk management: HR leaders are typically responsible for developing and implementing risk management policies and procedures.
  • Policy development: You may be responsible for developing and implementing HR policies and procedures.
  • Compliance with labor laws: You may need to monitor your organization’s compliance with key labor laws to ensure it isn’t violating any regulations.
  • Legal issues: You should be prepared to handle some legal matters related to personnel, including playing a key role in employee lawsuits or government investigations into possible labor law violations.

If you have the desire to help people grow and develop in their careers, or you want to help an organization manage its human assets, then you should definitely consider a career in HR.

What Skills & Abilities Are Needed to Become a Successful HR Director?

To advance your career in human resources and eventually get a job as an HR director, you'll need to develop a series of important hard and soft skills. 

Hard skills are specific abilities that can be learned and mastered at work, and which apply specifically to HR processes, whereas soft skills are typically more like personality traits and social skills that develop over time through experience and practice.

In terms of hard skills, you'll need to develop:

  • Professional Management & Leadership Skills - HR directors are often responsible for leading, mentoring, and developing a team of employees. Since you’ll be at least partially responsible for your employee’s well-being and productivity, you’re going to need to be able to identify potential talent, cultivate it, and then manage and motivate employees to perform their best.
  • Excellent Communication Skills - HR directors will spend a lot of time communicating with employees, their managers, department heads, and other HR staff. They need to be able to clearly convey ideas in writing and verbally so that everyone understands the message being conveyed.
  • Perform Rigorous Data Analyses - You’ll need to be capable of analyzing data to make informed decisions about the future direction of an organization's human resources policies and procedures. You should expect to be responsible for evaluating programs and procedures to measure their success, set future goals, and develop strategies to improve organizational results.

On the soft skills front, you should look into developing: 

  • Your Ability to Work With Others - HR professionals don’t work in a silo, but instead need to be able to coordinate efforts with all other teams and departments at the organization, so you’ll need to be capable of collaborating closely with other professionals to achieve shared objectives.
  • Your Emotional Intelligence (“EQ”) - As the HR department lead, you’ll want to be able to understand and manage your own emotions, but also be able to provide effective leadership and assistance to other employees who may find themselves in difficult or stressful situations where they need your assistance. It’s important that you’ll be able to interact with people professionally under high-stress situations, as HR work can sometimes involve intense situations.
  • Your Ability to Manage a Diverse Team - You’ll absolutely need to be able to manage and work with a variety of different types of people, personalities, interests, ages, etc., and you’ll need to be capable of handling issues involving discrimination in the workplace and ensuring that the organization is following all procedures and regulations around applicable laws. To be successful in HR, you should be prepared to handle difficult conversations and situations with sensitivity and respect.

Developing the hard and soft skills outlined above is just the beginning of your preparation for HR work, as you’ll also need to build the academic credentials required to convince an organization you’re prepared to take on the complex duties of running an HR department as well.

Do I Really Need a Degree to Become an HR Director?

HR directors can come from a variety of educational backgrounds, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HR managers typically have a bachelor's degree in a field like human resource management. 

Depending on the size of the organization you’re seeking employment at, the seniority of the HR role you’re attempting to land, and other variables, you may find it much easier to land the job you’re aiming for after you’ve completed a Master’s Degree in HR. 

It's not impossible to get a job as an HR director without a Master’s in Human Resources, but it’s likely that completing this degree will make it easier to earn the trust and respect of potential hiring managers looking for qualified candidates to take on this challenging role.

If you’re serious about pursuing a senior-level, leadership role in HR, then you should look into completing CSU Global’s online Master's Degree in Human Resource Management, which will provide you with everything you need to succeed as an HR leader.

How Will CSU Global’s Master’s in HR Management Help Prepare Me for a Career in HR Leadership?

Our online Master’s in Human Resource Management program will provide you with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and practical experience that you need to become an HR leader by studying complex processes like:

  • The comprehensive theories, programs, and best practices associated with modern human resources strategy.
  • Developing innovative and inspiring strategies to help maximize an organization’s human assets and employees.
  • Fostering and utilizing strategic relationships with other managers and executives to help advance the organization’s objectives.

Throughout your studies in this program, you’ll also have the opportunity to perfect and refine your skills for important HR responsibilities, like:

  • Designing management strategies to improve organizational effectiveness.
  • Creating a strong organizational culture that helps maximize employee engagement and satisfaction.
  • Evaluate HR-related legal, ethical, and corporate social responsibilities as they pertain to your organization’s objectives.
  • Utilizing human resources metrics and systems to advance growth and develop the organization’s personnel.
  • Applying HR best practices, theories, and models to achieve optimal performance.

Your work building these foundational skills will prepare you to successfully tackle the challenges that come with leading an HR team.

What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Success?

Obtaining your degree in HR management is arguably the most important way to prepare yourself for a career in the field, but you can also take other steps to help improve your odds of success.

One of those opportunities is completing relevant certification programs that let you further refine skills in important niche areas, and which provide you with academic credentials that can help you gain a competitive advantage vs. other candidates.

According to Payscale, some of the best HR certifications include:

  • SHRM’s Certified Professional certificate (SHRM-CP)
  • SHRM’s Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)
  • HRCI’s Professional in Human Resources certificate (PHR)
  • HRCI’s Senior Professional in Human Resources certificate (SPHR)
  • HRCI’s Associate Professional in Human Resources certificate (aPHR)

Completing these certifications could help you advance your career and achieve roles in management and leadership, including the coveted position of HR director.

To be clear, you may be able to become an incredibly successful HR professional without a master’s degree or certification of any sort, but if you’re looking to maximize your potential chances of landing the top jobs in the field, then you will want to at least consider these potentially valuable educational opportunities.

Should I Get My Degree in HR Management Online? 

Yes, no matter which higher education path you choose to pursue, we certainly suggest getting your degree and credentials online rather than in person.

Studying online offers many benefits compared to in-person learning, but the most important advantage is that it provides much more flexibility and freedom, as you can learn anytime, and from anywhere that you’ve got a solid internet connection.

Should you choose to study online with us at CSU Global, you’ll also get to take advantage of several excellent benefits provided by our 100% online programs, including:

  • No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations.
  • Monthly class starts.
  • Accelerated courses.

Our students report that these advantages make it easier for them to complete their degrees while continuing to accomplish their other responsibilities.

If you’re a busy person with existing family and work responsibilities that you can’t simply abandon to pursue higher education, then you should consider getting your degree online with us.

Why Should I Choose CSU Global?

Our 100% online Master’s Degree in HR Management was designed to provide you with all of the information and abilities you need to launch or advance your career in human resources, working your way towards becoming an HR director.

This program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the program’s curriculum is aligned with the SHRM HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates.

Furthermore, you can count on this degree providing real value when it comes time to apply for jobs in HR, as it currently holds the #2 ranking for Best Online Master’s in Human Resources by Online Course Report.

Our alumni's experience in the job market proves that this program delivers excellent results in the real world, as their top three reported job titles are HR Director, Corporate Recruiter, and Employee Relations Manager.

CSU Global is also widely regarded as an industry leader in higher education, having earned several important rankings, including:

  • A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges

Finally, we offer competitive tuition rates and a Tuition Guarantee to ensure that your affordable tuition rate won’t increase as long as you remain enrolled with us, which protects you from the tuition rate hikes that are common at other schools.

To get additional details about our fully-accredited online Master’s Degree in HR Management, please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.

Ready to get started today? Apply now!