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The Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations major provides students with a critical understanding of contemporary and historical management practices, as well as employee relations and theories of organisational behaviour. It will equip students with the skills to positively influence an organisation’s productivity, employee relations, advocacy, diversity and training, with a focus on linking people-related activities to business strategy.
Students undertaking this major enjoy a high rate of employment in a wide range of areas, including the various levels of businesses, unions, non-profit organisations and government.
A placement elective is available to Bachelor of Social Science students, which involves completing a social science research project with a relevant organisation.
For more information about Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, visit the Newcastle Business School site.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Postgraduate and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options for graduates with a major in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations include:
Honours: Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
Post-graduate coursework programs can add further specialisations in areas including business, safety, quality assurance and teaching. To explore such options please visit the Post Graduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/program/postgraduate/
The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates majoring in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, while some may require further study.
- Change Management Consultant
- Graduate Recruitment Consultant
- Human Capital Advisor
- Human Resources Manager
- Human Resources Officer
- Industrial Relations Officer
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 Resource Management and Industrial Relations graduates find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this major, including those that have graduate programs.
Check employers' websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- Accenture Australia Ltd (International)
- Anglo Coal (International)
- ANZ (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Council of Trade Unions (Australia)
- BlueScope Steel (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Community Services (Australia)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (Australia)
- Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (International)
- Department of Health and Ageing (Australia)
- Department of Transport and Regional Services (Australia)
- EnergyAustralia (Australia)
- Hays Recruitment (International)
- Hudson (Australia)
- Macquarie Bank (Australia)
- Macquarie Generation (Australia)
- Mars Australia (Australia)
- Mercer Human Resources Consulting (Australia)
- NAB (Australia)
- NSW Industrial Relations (Australia)
- NSW Roads & Traffic Authority (Australia)
- OneSteel (International)
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (Australia)
- Rail Corporation New South Wales (Australia)
- Sydney South West Area Health Service (Australia)
- Sydney Water (Australia)
- Thiess (Australia)
- Unilever (International)
- Westpac (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.
- Academy of Human Resource Development (International)
- Australian Council of Trade Unions (Australia)
- Australian Human Resources Institute (Australia)
- Australian Human Resources (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Management (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Training and Development (Australia)
- Industrial Relations Society of Australia (Australia)
- The International Association for Human Resources Information Management (International)
- Occupational Health and Safety Australia (Australia)
- Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (Australia)
- Society for Human Resource Management (Australia)
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
Aboriginal Professional Practice
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice graduates majoring in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to:
- Hold a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and political life in Australia.
- Have capacity and skills to identify, challenge and develop policy, work and social practice which are culturally and ethically inclusive of diverse cultures.
- Developed a competitive ability to gain employment and work effectively, autonomously, responsively in a collaborative work environment in and across a broad area of vocational professional careers.
- Developed a genuine understanding and advocacy of social justice in the workforce and community.
- Clear demonstration of the capacity to work productively and in a culturally appropriate professional manner, in partnership with Indigenous communities at all levels.
- Hold and practice the academic theory and skills to effectively expand and communicate their understanding of themselves as rational beings and their relationship with the broader community in the area of Aboriginal Studies and social justice.
- Capacity and skills to contribute to the emerging contemporary scholarly discourse and practice in Aboriginal affairs.
Bachelor of Social Science
Bachelor of Social Science graduates majoring in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:
- Advanced social research skills:
- In-depth knowledge and skills in the design and conduct of social research.
- The capacity to collect, organise, critically assess, and present information in written and oral forms.
- Specialist Social Science knowledge:
- Comprehensive knowledge of one or more specialist areas in the Social Sciences.
- Critical though and informed decision-making:
- The ability to structure and present logical arguments, critically analyse material and opinions, and make informed decisions.
- Effective management and teamwork skills:
- The ability to work autonomously and collaboratively, including effective leadership skills, teamwork, organisational and program management capabilities.
- High-level communication, interpersonal and presentation skills:
- Advanced level of written, oral, and interpersonal skills, including the effective use of information and communication technologies.
- Ethical and socio-cultural sensitivity:
- An understanding of ethical issues, standards, and public responsibility in relation to professional practice, including an appreciation of cultural diversity and sensitivity towards vulnerable and Indigenous groups.