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How can you get started in Human Resources if you do not have a degree in Business?

If you have a bachelor's degree in a field other than business, how can you enter into the business field? What are good jobs to start at in order to make this transition? #business #human-resources #hr #graduated


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Aijaz’s Answer

Human resource managers act as liaisons between employees and corporate leadership. Within an organization like a company or a charity, HR managers are responsible for maintaining positive relationships between the employer and employees and ensuring that workers are happy and satisfied. The path to becoming a human resources manager is long but can be rewarding.


Getting the Proper Education
Take relevant courses in high school
Pursue internships or summer work during college


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Nicole’s Answer

You don't have to have a degree in Business to work in HR, in fact many HR professionals don't has a business or HR-related degree. The best way to get into the HR field and get your foot in the door is to accept an entry level role within a company and work your way up from there (not necessary with the same company). While I was still getting my bachelor's degree, I accepted an entry-level HR Assistant position with a company. After getting some experience in HR there, I was able to move up and apply for other more challenging position such as an HR Coordinator, HR Specialist, HR Generalist and eventually and HR Business Partner (which is what I am today).

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Jennifer’s Answer

My degree was in sociology and equity studies. I would recommend you look into level roles such as internships. There are lots of different paths within HR and this is a good way to see what you want to specialize in or if you want to be a generalist. 

Personally, for me, I went back to pursue a post-graduate degree in HR at Humber College. I was able to learn about all the different parts of HR such as benefits, compensation, recruiting, etc. There was also one semester to do a co-op position which helped me get my feet wet.

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Amanda’s Answer

I studied Environmental Studies in school and got my foot into a Tech company's Human Resources team through an entry-level coordinator role. That's a great way to get in!

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Lesly’s Answer

Hi Nicole,

Human Resources professionals have various educational backgrounds. At PwC, I have met HR professionals with degrees such as accounting, psychology, and even computer science. If you're interested in pursuing a career in HR , I would recommend searching for internship or entry level positions in the field to get your "feet wet" and build up your experience. To share a little about my own career path, I began at PwC as an administrative assistant. This gave me the opportunity to get to know the business, build strong relationships, and build my brand as a strong and positive contributor. By laying that foundation, I was able to find a HR job within the firm and progress in the field.

Best of luck in your career path!

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Harnet’s Answer

As many have responded, a degree in most subjects will be relevant for a role in human resources. What's required is the ability to think critically, which is what you learn in most degree programs.
There are many different paths in HR...if you enjoy relationship building and working directly with leaders in a business to solve problems, you might want to think about a career as an HR Business Partner. If you prefer to specialize in an area you can consider becoming a recruiter, working in compensation and benefits, talent management, Learning and Development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and HR Information Systems.
To echo much of the advice provided, you could start with considering internships or volunteer HR opportunities.

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Serena’s Answer

Hi I've worked in HR for 6 years and was fortunate to start in a role as soon as I started college majoring in HR. However, if you aren't as fortunate to get a HR job right away try internships, volunteering for HR roles (volunteermatch.org), and try transitioning into a leadership role. Managers handle more HR related tasks then you might imagine such as employee relations, recruiting, training, and etc.

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Karen’s Answer

Human Resources is a field that draws on a diversity of experience and educational background. Speaking from experience, I was a psychology major and I started in a role in which I supported an HR department from an administrative standpoint. This allowed me to learn the business and the HR world and I progressed through the organization. You may have to start in an entry level to gain the experience required but it can be time well spent. In my case it was as I have had the opportunity to progress into various challenging roles throughout my career.

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Laura’s Answer

Hi Nicole, having a degree in business is by no means required. My degree is in sociology and human resources, but didn't get a specific business degree. I feel that if you want to excel far in HR (leadership) business acumen and knowledge is required, but it certainly isn't to get your foot in the door. I suggest getting your soft skills in a great position: I'm a firm believer in having proven customer service skills in HR, and that can include working at a restaurant, in a store, etc... because at the core of what we do in HR, working with people is the ticket.

Secondly, get involved in your local HR chapter (HRPA in Ontario), and volunteer, work with a mentor, etc... build your network. Many times, we get our foot in the door somewhere based on our connections. Explore some post grad courses possibly and internship roles.

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Angela’s Answer

I have a degree in Zoology and have been in HR for over 10 years now. I first got into the field by accepting a role as a "headhunter" (external recruiter) for engineers. I then moved over to corporate recruiting, and later transitioned to Compensation. I focused on the skills and aptitude I had to get where I am.

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