If you enjoy interacting with people from diverse backgrounds, can handle confidential information with care, and like to help resolve conflicts, Pierce College’s program in Human Resource Management may be just the career path for you.
Pierce College offers both an Associate Degree in Business with a focus in Human Resources (HR), and a one-year Certificate in Human Resources.
“Students who earn their HR certificate or degree can qualify for entry level HR management positions,” said Rick Hogan, Pierce College business instructor who coordinates the Human Resources Management Program. “They can be HR generalists, or can specialize in areas such as training or compensation and benefits. They also may have an opportunity to work as consultants.”
Professionals in the HR field are involved in employee recruiting and hiring, training and development, compensation and benefits, and employee and labor relations. Employees in HR may document and record employee information and maintain confidential records. Communications skills are essential to many of the functions of an HR professional, particularly in the process of recruiting, interviewing and hiring.
“HR used to be called personnel management, and involved just hiring and processing employees,” Hogan said. “HR management now has an important strategic role, including planning HR needs for the future. Advancement opportunities are open, and trained HR professionals can move up quickly.” Students who complete the associate degree program are encouraged to go on to complete their bachelor’s degree, he said.
Human Resource representatives answer questions regarding examinations, eligibility, salaries, benefits and other pertinent information. They arrange for advertising or posting of job vacancies and notify eligible workers of position availability. HR representatives provide advice and guidance to managers, and assist all employees with job-related personnel issues.
Students in the Pierce program have an opportunity to join the Society for Human Resource Management, a national organization with more than 150,000 members that publishes a monthly journal and has “a Web site full of resources,” Hogan said. The organization offers valuable assistance with professional certification, competency testing and continuing education.
Pierce College is believed to be the only community college in the area to offer specialized training in HR management. Pierce College Puyallup is at 1601 39th Ave. S.E., and Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is at 9401 Farwest Drive S.W., Lakewood.
For more information on the Human Resource program, call Rick Hogan at (253) 840-8360 or visit our Web site at http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/programs/programlist/bus.php3.