A human resource management (HRM) degree can be applied to almost any organisation in any sector. It's a versatile qualification for dealing with hiring, training, development and general people skills

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

You can improve your chances of working in human resources (HR) by gaining work experience dealing with people in organisations.

Take on positions of responsibility in order to develop your interpersonal skills. You should also look for opportunities to manage other people in a paid or voluntary work environment. For example, dealing with organisational policies and procedures, training and coaching, observing disciplinary and grievance procedures or supervising other people will provide an excellent insight into HR processes.

Any office or administration role will also be useful and will allow you to see how an organisation works with its employees.

You can get experience through taking an industrial placement year as part of your course, a summer internship, vacation work or part-time employment.

You can also develop relevant skills at university by taking on positions of responsibility with student groups or societies, in areas such as training or coaching, managing a budget, and teamworking.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

HRM graduates can access opportunities in many industries, as all major organisations will have an HR department.

You can work in:

  • small, medium-sized and large private companies in a range of sectors
  • the public sector, such as the Civil Service and local authorities, and the NHS
  • voluntary organisations, such as charities, which may employ both paid staff and volunteers.

Opportunities are available in areas such as human resources, recruitment, learning and development, and general management. Typical employers include:

  • banking and finance firms
  • charities and not-for-profit organisations
  • engineering companies
  • hospitals
  • IT and technology firms
  • leisure and tourism companies
  • local and central government
  • media companies
  • production and manufacturing firms
  • retail companies
  • schools, colleges and universities
  • specialist consultancies.

Find information on employers in recruitment and HR, business, consulting and management, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

An HRM degree gives you many transferable skills including:

  • written communication skills developed through writing essays
  • oral communication skills gained through seminars and presentations
  • interpersonal skills, including the ability to form good working relationships with people at all levels
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to analyse and evaluate information quickly and accurately
  • organisational and time management skills by prioritising tasks to ensure academic, social and work commitments are completed on time
  • influencing and negotiation skills, developed through interactions with peers and staff
  • commercial awareness skills in relation to organisations interacting with and managing people
  • problem-solving skills
  • general IT skills.

Further study

To help progress in an HRM career, you can study for HR qualifications accredited by the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD). If you complete an Advanced Diploma and have relevant work experience, you will be eligible to apply for chartered membership of the CIPD.

Some graduates choose to undertake further research by completing a Masters or PhD. Research areas include human resource management and employment law, organisational behaviour, sociology of work and law. It's also possible to take an MBA.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in human resource management.

What do human resource management graduates do?

Nearly two fifths (37%) of human resource management graduates are employed as HR, training and other vocational associate guidance professionals 15 months after graduation. 8% are working in admin, 4% are working as functional managers and directors, 2% as sales, marketing and related associate professionals and 1% are working as managers and proprietors in other services.

Further study3.5
Working and studying9.6
Graduate destinations for Human resource management
Type of workPercentage
Business, HR and finance42.8
Clerical, secretarial and administrative22
Retail, catering and customer service10.1
Types of work entered into in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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