If you are studying, or thinking about studying, a human resource management course, you’re in luck, as there are many career options available in this field. Ask yourself what is most important to you: Is it job satisfaction, financial compensation, growth, or a healthy combination?

Here are a few options to choose from to help you start thinking about your ideal HR management career path:


Human Resource Manager

If you have great interpersonal skills and prefer face-to-face interaction with people, then this option might interest you. Human resource managers facilitate and manage HR activities such as the “hiring process, benefits programs, training, labor disputes.” [Source] A good HR manager adds value to the working lives of employees and enjoys helping people.


HR Consultant

If you’re interested in starting your own business as a specialist in the field, then this might be the option for you. Perhaps you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to work for a boss. It is possible to create your own practice in the industry and to work independently. This option is perfect for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

HR consultants charge companies an hourly rate to provide specialised knowledge and implement strategies and solutions specific to the company’s context. Some of the areas of specialisation include “benefits, employee incentives and rewards programs, company culture after mergers and acquisitions, employee motivation, retirement plans, recruiting.” [Source]


Training and Development Manager

The work of a training and development manager involves teaching and mentoring others. If you love to see people progress and flourish in their lives and careers, you might find this career path in HR management to be rewarding. It involves coaching and helping people to improve their professional skill sets through facilitating workshops and heading up conferences to provide information.


HR Information Systems/Technology Specialist

Given the rapid rate of growth in technology, there is lots of opportunity in this part of the HR industry. This is the perfect path for someone who has a passion for technology as well as the relevant expertise that comes with having worked as a software developer, systems administrator, IT architect, or similar position in the IT industry. [Source] The compensation opportunities are promising, as this career path combines two very important and relevant skill sets (human resource management and technological expertise).


Employee Relations Manager

An employee relations manager needs to be both sensitive and firm in her personality. This job entails managing disciplinary and grievance procedures, engaging in labour disputes, giving advice, drawing up reports and keeping records. The employee relations manager will also be involved in wage negotiations and will provide legal advice to management.


If you can handle difficult situations with grace, fairness and tact, then this might be the career path for you. An employee relations manager ensures healthy working relationships. In South Africa, this job may also include engaging with relevant trade unions, as well as overseeing transformation initiatives and the implementation of EE plans.


If you found this blog post helpful and you find yourself in the HR industry as a student or a working professional, you might enjoy another blog post called 9 Useful Resources for HR Managers.