A human resources course can open up some exciting career opportunities, but it all depends on how you approach your studies! In this blog post, we recommend six ways to ensure that you gain maximum value from your HR course.
1. Be sure about the course you want to study
Studying is a big commitment, in terms of both time and money, so you have to be sure that the course you’ve chosen is right for you. Before committing to a course, take a look at the course overview and the type of qualification you’ll receive once you’ve completed it. Determine whether the course aligns with your HR career development plans – you don’t want to be in a position where the qualification you’ve worked so hard to achieve doesn’t actually prepare you for the job you have in mind.
2. Ask questions
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions before and during your course. Reputable colleges will be happy to answer any questions you have, about everything from the careers the course will prepare you for, to the workload and study requirements. Even if you’re studying through distance learning, you don’t have to take on your course alone – tutors are available to assist you with questions about course material, assignments and exams.
3. Join a study group
Once you’ve started your HR course, you should consider connecting with other students to form a study group. This will give you the chance to discuss your coursework with like-minded students, and to get that extra bit of motivation that can be hard to find when you study alone. If you’re studying via distance learning, ask your college how you can get in touch with fellow students.
4. Keep track of HR industry influencers
Your studying doesn’t only have to involve the textbooks you’ve been given for your course. You can also do your own independent research on HR industry trends, legislation, and best practice. You could also follow well-known HR companies and other influencers on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. While the material in your textbooks may be all you need to know in order to pass your course, getting a wider view of the industry will work in your favour when you’re looking for a job.
5. Attend HR-related events
Attend any HR-related talks or workshops taking place in your area. These forums offer tremendous opportunities for learning and, even more valuably, they give you a platform to network with people already working in the industry. By studying your course, you’re already getting the “what you know” part out of the way, but you should be working on the “who you know” part too!
6. Practise your skills
While you study, you can practically apply the skills you learn by seeking a part-time job, internship or volunteering opportunity in the HR field. If you’re already employed at a company (but not in an HR position), then spending time with the people in your HR department is a good way to gain a more practical understanding of the industry. If you want to pursue this option, then distance learning is a perfect choice for you, as you aren’t restricted by having to attend lectures during the day.
Your college course is there to lay the foundations for a career in HR, but to really make the most of it, you need to be willing to do that little bit extra!
Haven’t yet decided on an HR course? Click here to see our list of national qualifications, short learning programmes, and online courses.