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4 Tactics for Building Your HR Career - South University

by South University
May 15, 2017
Image of a motor vehicle start button with the words Future Start written on it.

In today's knowledge-driven global economy, having top-tier talent can be critical to success. As a result, senior management teams are making room for smart, strategic HR leaders who can guide them in developing and implementing strategies to efficiently attract, retain, and manage their employees.

Still, moving from a role in HR administration to strategic HR management can be tricky. As you work to enhance your HR career, here are four steps—suggested by faculty from our Human Resources Management program—to help you to establish yourself as a respected HR leader.

1. Join HR Organizations

With 289,000 members in more than 165 countries, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest professional HR society. SHRM provides members with a vast and useful assortment of resources, including sample employee handbooks, HR forms, policies, employee engagement surveys, how-to guides, job descriptions, interview questions, and more. SHRM also offers in-person and virtual events that support professional growth and offer a chance to network with influential HR leaders in your region and beyond. Whether at an event or online, connecting with other SHRM members can lead to exciting career opportunities.

For students, SHRM offers discounted membership and event rates, as well as student-focused events and scholarships.

2. Commit to Lifelong Learning

Earning a master’s degree in human resources management can equip you with new skills, and, according to the BLS, help you with your job prospects . After completing your graduate studies, HR certification is another way for you to gain and demonstrate expertise. The most well-known HR certifications include SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, PHR, and SPHR.

Following and engaging with industry news, research, and analysis shared by HR organizations can also help you earn industry respect and credibility. Legal changes, in particular, often require organizational changes, so understanding potential laws and regulations as well as their impact on the business can make you a valuable asset in your company. You can also find many courses and trainings available to help you sharpen your skills and stay up-to-date in key HR areas like training and development, payroll, health and safety, recruitment, or succession planning. Beyond that, it’s also smart to build additional generalized skills (from practicing public speaking to learning another language) that could benefit your career.

3. Align Yourself to Organizational Needs

If you’re looking to advance in your organization or have your eye on moving to a specific company, identify any skills you need to develop and demonstrate to help them solve their HR challenges and achieve their goals. Beyond that, consider whether your current activities demonstrate your alignment to their mission. Even if your past performance shows that you’re smart and talented, companies want employees who share their values and passion. Find ways to get more involved with their industry or support their mission in the community. Doing so will show initiative and that you’re well matched with the company.

4. Learn to Utilize the Power of Technology

As it has nearly everywhere, technology has revolutionized the HR field. HR professionals need to understand how to evaluate, use, and manage intranet systems, internal university e-learning software, employee benefit self service options, online recruiting tools, and more. HR metric and information systems can even allow you to easily track and share the critical value you and your department provides. When used properly, HR technology becomes a tool that helps you more efficiently and effectively identify and solve problems—and sometimes find and stop potential issues before they ever occur.

If you work in HR, learn more today about how South University’s Master of Science in Human Resources Management can help prepare you for a spot at the senior strategic leadership team of your organization.

South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

by South University
May 15, 2017
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Faculty Explore How the New HRM Program Aligns with HR’s Evolving Future

by South University
March 31, 2017

Launching this summer, South University's new Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MS in HRM) can prepare HR professionals to make their move into management.

To design the curriculum for this new HRM master's degree, a team of faculty thought leaders and professional practitioners was assembled. Together, they created a program that Cheryl Noll, Dean of the College of Business, believes addresses not only the needs of HR today, but also those of the future.

"We started by scanning the environment, looking at the industry and where it's moving. We talked with professionals in the field, taking their feedback and their input." says Noll. "We have the basics of what should be in an HR program, but we've also gone above and beyond with courses in HR metrics and measurement, internal consulting, and international HR. Those are there because that’s the future of HR."

According to Noll and Program Director and Faculty Joseph Heinzman of South University, Tampa, here are four noteworthy ways the HRM program can support you in your HR career.

1. Preparing for a Spot on Senior Strategic Teams

A primary focus for South University's MS in HRM program is strategic HR, a competency essential to transitioning from HR administration into leadership. In several courses, HRM master's students can learn and practice how to engage with senior management—from the CEO to the CFO—in order to elevate the role of the HR department.

So what is the importance of strategic HR? By providing insight and guidance on HR trends, best practices, and laws, HR management can be influential in forging a company's strategic direction. "The program promotes a consultative approach to management," Noll explains. "It isn't strictly top down communication anymore once you become an HR manager."

Additionally, by working closely with business leaders, HR can proactively identify and execute plans to acquire and retain the resources needed to achieve strategic organizational goals.

2. Exploring HR Metrics and Information Systems

HR metrics and information systems are another area of emphasis in the HRM program. "In HR, it's becoming more and more important that you can develop and share a dashboard of metrics for management to track and address issues around human capital planning and requirements," says Heinzman.

This can be especially valuable for companies who monitor and manage their workforce worldwide. "There's a lot of work going into making sure you have the right people with the right skills at the right place around the globe," Heinzman notes.

3. Discovering Techniques to Engage Today's Employees

The ability to engage the modern workforce, including diverse employees of all ages, is also critical for HR managers. Even for experienced professionals, recent changes in workplace preferences can present challenges. "The new workforce doesn't want an autocratic leader. They want bilateral communication; they want someone who is collaborative, participative, and who will listen to their input," explains Heinzman.

As an HR professional, you can add value by understanding how to attract, engage, and retain these employees, and by training managers on effective leadership methods for their workforce.

Beyond teaching you employee engagement strategies, our HRM program also prepares you for promoting and leading diversity initiatives in increasingly diverse and global workplaces.

4. Aligning with Industry-Standard Competencies

South University’s HRM curriculum is built around competencies that the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) describes as necessary for HR professionals, with the SHRM program directory acknowledging our program's alignment. With a SRHM-CP practice test included within our curriculum, as a program graduate, you may be eligible and prepared to sit for the SHRM-CP certification exam.

Often themselves involved with local SHRM chapters, our HRM instructors use case studies as a key tool for teaching the HR competencies. Through these case studies, you can explore real business situations and be challenged to identify and solve problems using what you’ve learned in the classroom.

Take the First Step Toward Earning Your HRM Master’s Degree

South University's Master of Science in Human Resource Management courses start this summer in Austin and Tampa. Request information online or call us today at 1.888.444.3404 to learn more.

South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

by South University
March 31, 2017
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South University Launches Human Resource Management Master’s Program

by South University
March 17, 2017

Looking to prepare for your next career move? South University is excited to introduce our newest program in the College of Business—a Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MS in HRM), now accepting applications for classes starting in June.

In this master’s degree HRM program, you can study the roles of HR professionals, as well as the concepts, strategies, and structures that impact organizations and their stakeholders. Designed to equip you for roles in HR management across a variety of organizations, the curriculum explores functional areas of HRM (from staffing to performance management), employment and labor laws, business practices, ethical principles, HR metrics and measurement, and change management.

Who Should Earn an MS in HRM

A career in Human Resources Management is ideal for those who are driven by both their heart and head. If you enjoy business strategy and analytical thinking as well as have a passion for mentoring and helping people grow, human resources could be a natural fit. Continuing your education with an MS in HRM program could prepare you to focus in on professional staff development and leadership and take your career to the next level.

What Human Resource Managers Do

Human resources managers hold many responsibilities, serving as an essential link between an organization’s management and employees. For starters, HR managers define, direct, and evaluate company staffing, training, development, retention, and performance management processes and policies. They also play a key role in determining compensation and benefit packages that align with organizational and industry factors. In doing so, they can help companies attract, develop, and retain top talent to maintain a competitive advantage.

HR managers also commonly consult with top executives on strategy planning, relying on ethical principles, general business expertise, and employment and labor laws to guide decision-making around new initiatives. The insight and leadership of HR managers can be especially valuable during times of significant organizational change, such as a company merger or the introduction of a new branch.

Industry Needs for Human Resource Professionals

With demand driven by the rise of new companies and the expansion of existing organizations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% employment growth rate for HR managers, faster than the average for all occupations. As the complexity of laws around occupational safety and health, equal employment opportunity, healthcare, wages, and retirement plans continues to evolve, organizations will also turn to the expertise of HR management. Currently, technical services, manufacturing, government, and healthcare are among the industries employing the most HR managers, and, in 2015, the median annual wage for HR managers was $104,440.

While the BLS anticipates strong competition for many HR management positions, those with a master’s degree in human resources management can expect the best job prospects.

Rounding out South University’s College of Business

South University’s College of Business offers a rich selection of online and campus undergraduate and graduate degree business programs. Built around the College’s core values of ethical practice, student success, and quality education, these programs have been strategically designed to prepare students for the management of people, processes, and systems across diverse public and private companies. The new MS in HRM program aligns naturally with these core values and opens up even more career opportunities for students in the College of Business to pursue upon graduation.

The MS in HRM degree program is available at our Austin and Tampa campus locations. Request more information online today or call us at 1.888.444.3404.

by South University
March 17, 2017
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5 Healthcare Degrees and Career Paths Outside Nursing

by South University
January 24, 2017

A career in healthcare isn’t only for nurses or doctors. With the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics (BLS) expecting the creation of 2.3 million healthcare jobs between 2014 and 2024, you have many options for pursuing a career in healthcare. If you’re drawn to helping others and bettering your community but practicing medicine isn’t for you, below are five healthcare degrees that can prepare you for other rewarding healthcare jobs.

1. Public Health Degree

With a public health degree you can prepare for a career where you work to improve health across local, national, and global communities and to make a large-scale impact on the world.

Public health career options are diverse, with opportunities to conduct disease research, influence legislative and social policy, solve health-related problems, and develop and lead programs that promote healthy lifestyles and teach disease prevention. Job growth and salaries in the field likewise vary, according to the BLS. For example, job growth for epidemiologists (who research diseases) is projected at 6%, about as fast as the average for all occupations, whereas health educators and community health workers can expect higher job growth at 13%. In 2015, epidemiologists saw a median annual wage of $69,450, with health educators at $51,960 and community health workers at $36,300.

While a Bachelor of Science in Public Health can help you to get started in this field, some public health occupations require a Master of Public Health degree.

2. Healthcare Management Degree

Healthcare managers plan, direct, and coordinate healthcare services, with leadership and administrative duties that are critical to the health of institutions and individuals. To prepare you for this responsibility, healthcare management degree programs teach both industry-specific knowledge and foundational management competencies involving critical thinking, analysis, and decision-making.

According to the BLS, medical and health services management is a growing and financially rewarding field, with an above average job growth of 17% and a 2015 median annual wage of $94,500. While a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management can equip you for many positions, the BLS notes that some employers prefer individuals who also have master’s degrees.

3. Psychology Degree

Fascinated by what makes people tick? Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is the first step toward a career in psychology, or the scientific study of what drives human behavior. A bachelor’s psychology degree can prepare for you for entry-level positions in psychology—like counselor aide, therapeutic assistant, career advisor, or caseworker—or for continuing on to graduate school. Other jobs, such as psychologist or clinical counselor, require advance studies beyond an undergraduate psychology degree.

While a psychology degree can lead to many careers, the BLS predicts a 19% job growth for psychologists and reported a 2015 median annual salary of $72,580 for this position.

4. Physical Therapist Assistant Degree

A physical therapist assistant career allows you to work one-on-one with patients under a physical therapist’s supervision. In this role, you would support and train patients with therapy exercises and activities, treat patients using special equipment and procedures, and report on patient progress as you help guide them back to health.

Beyond enjoying a fulfilling career, physical therapist assistants can expect to be in demand, with the BLS projecting an impressive 41% employment growth. In terms of median annual salary, physical therapists assistants brought in $55,170 in 2015. To pursue this career, you’ll need to complete an Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree program and fulfill state licensing requirements.

5. Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree

While physical therapy assistants typically focus on patients recovering from injuries, occupational therapy assistants specialize in helping patients build and recover skills required for daily life. Work under the guidance of an occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistants may:

  • Help children with developmental disabilities become more independent
  • Assist older adults with physical and cognitive changes
  • Teach patients how to use special equipment
  • Perform patient evaluations and support ongoing patient care

The BLS also anticipates promising growth for occupational therapy assistant careers with a 43% rise in employment. In 2015, occupational therapy assistants also reported a median salary of $57,870. If you’re interested in this rapidly growing career path, earning an Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree should be your first step, followed by pursuing any state licensing requirements.

Explore Your Options for Healthcare Programs at South University

With an academic tradition of excellence that’s lasted over 100 years, South University has helped to prepare thousands of students for success in the healthcare field. Here, you’ll discover over 25 campus-based and online programs that can equip you for a career in healthcare. To learn about the healthcare degrees offered in South University’s College of Health Professions, College of Nursing and Public Health, and even our College of Business (with graduate and undergraduate healthcare management degree programs), call us at 1.888.444.3404 or request information today.

by South University
January 24, 2017
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