Human Resource Management» open the printable degree» search for more Areas of Study
Responsibilities within the Human Resources field are diverse and include work force planning, recruitment and selection, performance management, training and development, industrial relations, occupational health and safety, organisational change and management. Depending on the size of the organisation, a Human Resource professional may specialise in a particular field or work in a generalist capacity.
Human Resources employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries within small, medium and large organisations. Human Resource professionals work within most medium to large organisations or in consulting firms offering human resource services to other businesses.
For more information about Human Resources, visit the Newcastle Business School site.
Why postgraduate study?
There is a variety of reasons that students undertake postgraduate study in Human Resource Management, including:
- Career change – adding a new area of specialisation to an existing qualification or employment background
- Career mobility – promotion opportunities within existing or new employment situations
- Professional development – “top up” qualifications and knowledge for experienced practitioners
The sample job titles listed include a range of opportunities for graduates at degree, honours and postgraduate study levels.
- Business Analyst/Consultant
- Change Management Consultant
- General Manager
- Graduate Recruitment Consultant
- Human Resources Manager
The following diagram links career opportunities with prior professional experience and level of qualifications. When interpreting this information remember that "level of professional experience" is not simply the length of time spent employedwithin a particular industry; rather it is a combination of both quantity and of quality- factors such as the size and complexity of an organisation, individual role within it, the type of work performed and the things achieved. When considering career opportunities available to you, you should consider how formal qualifications and your current level of experience combined prepare you for a role.
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained during the Master of Human Resource Management.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Human Resources employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries within small, medium and large organisations. Below is an example of some major organisations which formally target graduates with qualifications in Human Resources.
- Accenture Australia Ltd (International)
- Bain & Company (International)
- Boston Consulting Group (International)
- Coles (Australia)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Hays (Australia)
- Hudson (Australia)
- Mars Australia (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Graduate attributes for Human Resource Management are the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge sought by employers in this field. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
- Personal and Professional Integrity: Engaging with consistent actions, principles, and values, graduates will be able to manage change and meet new professional challenges in an independent and sustainable manner.
- Applied Knowledge and Skill Base: Through the acquisition of an in-depth specialised knowledge and skill base informed by theory, techniques, tools and models, graduates will be capable of practical application in global professional environments.
- Social and Global Perspectives: Consistent with their role as members of local, national and international communities, graduates will develop proactive value sets which direct personal and professional practice.
- Communication and Interaction: Experiencing developmental complexity in communication and interaction will enable graduates to demonstrate skills which develop relationships, work across differences, and manage conflict.
- Leadership and Teamwork: Actively participating in collaborative work processes and projects, graduates will be able to demonstrate high order skills in leadership and team work.
- Inquiry and Innovation: Engaging in inquiry, research, critical thinking and problem solving graduates will demonstrate the ability to develop effective and innovative solutions to both current and future problems.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note: the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.