What can you do with your human resource management degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a HR management degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employees and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills

Undertaking a degree in human resource management will deepen your understanding around recruiting, motivating, enhancing and supporting people within the context of the workplace. You will also develop the following abilities:

  • effective communication, project management, leadership and interpersonal skills through team working and collaborative learning opportunities.
  • effective listening, negotiating and influencing skills through interactions with fellow students and university staff members
  • an awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of people and cultures, and relating these to a commercial awareness and management issues
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to create, evaluate and assess options and apply ideas to a range of situations
  • organisational and time management skills, making sure that all your commitments, including social ones, are completed on time.

Career options

Studying human resource management at the University of Plymouth will open a wide range of career choices for you. The knowledge and skills you will have acquired for dealing with hiring, training, motivating and supporting people in the workplace, are needed to some degree by almost every organisation in every sector. Roles that directly fulfil these important organisational requirements include Human Resources Officer, Office Manager or Training and Development Officer.

You may however wish to explore other pathways that will make use of a more specific knowledge and skills set you have developed. Dispute resolution for example, particularly in an employment context but not limited to this, could see you fulfil Arbitrator or Mediator roles within several sectors. If supporting and motivating others is a driver for you, then working for a Trade Union, or becoming a Life Coach or a Careers Adviser could be an option. Conversely, your knowledge around people management could be used to fulfil the role of a Recruitment Consultant, Talent Agent or Management Consultant, to support organisations in sourcing appropriate talent and getting the best out of their workforce.

Since specific career paths may be less obvious it is important to use your research skills to explore the range of opportunities and to consider your personal interests, motivations, values and strengths. Also, don’t forget that some employers will accept applications from graduates with a degree in any subject.


Researching your career options

Given the diversity of career options open to Human Resource Management graduates, it is important to research and explore these fully so that you can make informed decisions about your future.


Employment opportunities

Below are just some of the roles human resource management graduates can end up in, either within the public, private or third sector.

  • Human Resource Officer
  • Arbitrator
  • Office Manager
  • Training and Development Officer
  • Business Development Adviser
  • Mediator
  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Sales Executive
  • Careers Adviser
  • Trade Union Research Officer


Employers

The following is just a small handful of a vast number of employers with roles open to human resource management graduates.

Further study

Some of the careers chosen by HR management graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options related to HR management:

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your situation.

Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme;

Find a Masters

Find a PhD

Prospects

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access the 24/7 online resources.

There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.

Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more.

Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service, however they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn's alumni tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest:

  • search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • select ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.

For more information about the alumni tool select the LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, select the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.

Other advice and guidance

Gain work experience

Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.  

You will want to acquire experiences that develop your interpersonal skills. The University of Plymouth Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities that could see you support/guide/teach/coach people in the local community. You should embrace any opportunities to take on positions of responsibility, particularly where you can supervise or manage people. Working part time around your studies could be a way to achieve this. You will want to expose yourself to organisational policies and procedures, training and development, or observing disciplinary and grievance procedures. You could apply for a placement year or approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or of one year’s duration.


Clubs and societies

Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion.  

You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to your degree or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.


Tutor and academic support

Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.

Our HR management graduates