Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management» open the printable major» search for more Areas of Study
The Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management major provides students with a critical understanding of contemporary and historical management practices, as well as employee relations and theories of organisational behavior. There is also a focus on industrial relations and various personnel/human resource activities in an organisation.
Students undertaking this major will find employment in a wide range of areas, including government departments, private organisations, and recruitment and consultation agencies.
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 Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, 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 following the Bachelor of Social Science (Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management) 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/
Depending upon the amount and level of study undertaken, the following list provides some example jobs for the Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management major. In some instances, further study or experience may be required.
- Access and Equity Advisor
- Campaign Manager
- Change Management Consultant
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Graduate Recruitment Consultant
- Human Capital Advisor
- Human Resources Manager
- Human Resources Officer
- Industrial Relations Officer
- Job Analyst
- Learning and Development Consultant
- Management Consultant
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.
Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management graduates are employed across a variety of industries, in large and small organisations. Below is a sample of employers who recruit graduates, including those organisations that have graduate programs. Check employers’ websites for a section called Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs or similar titles. Some of these employers may 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
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Social Science are the skills, abilities and knowledge that are highly sought after by a broad range of employers. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
Upon completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have:
- Advanced social research skills: In-depth knowledge and skills in the design and conduct of social research, including the capacity to collect, organize, 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 thought 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. An appreciation of cultural diversity and sensitivity towards vulnerable and Indigenous groups.
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.