What are businesses without people? Explore the master’s in HR

Organizations are at the heart of everything we do in life, and Human Resources helps us better understand their relationship with society. Students, graduates, and professors from Australia’s UWA Business School share more about their Management & Organizations programs, and why people lie at the heart of HR.

In short

Understanding the role of organizations in society

Human Resources is a standard part of any business, but do we really understand its importance? 

Dr. Caleb Goods is a lecturer at UWA Business School’s Management and Organizations department. He says that to better understand the importance of Human Resources, you must first understand the role that organizations play in our day-to-day lives.

“Management and organizations are the essence of life, in a sense. The hospital you were born in, the educational institutions that you attend, the sporting teams you belong to or participate in. By understanding what Management and Organizations is about, and how to make them better, you can make a contribution to society and understand all the different organizations you’ll interact with,” he explains. (00:20)

India Todd, a graduate of the Master of Human Resources and Employment Relations program at UWA Business School, believes that the secret of Human Resources lies in its name.

“Human resources is important because there’s a human element in everything we do,” she says. “Without people, businesses just aren’t businesses.” (00:05)

So at its heart, Human Resources is all about people. Rick Sullivan – an undergraduate management student at UWA – adds that the role of an HR professional is to allow other people to enjoy and thrive in their job. Perhaps that’s the true value of HR.

“I don’t think work needs to be a mediocre thing. It should be something that you’re passionate about and enjoy,” he argues. “Human Resource Managers help deliver that sort of experience.” (00:12

The benefits of a master’s in HR

Although holding a master’s in HR isn’t a prerequisite to breaking into the industry, it can certainly be beneficial. Caleb says that UWA’s course structures are flexible enough to help students break into a wide range of industries connected to HR.

“The Management and Organizations course structure is quite diverse,” he says. “It allows students to do a whole range of different topics that will match their career goals.” (00:46)

Grace Zhou is another graduate of UWA’s master’s in HR. According to Grace, she says two factors, in particular, were key to the value of the program.

“The resources were fantastic,” she says. “We have access to a lot of very valuable online and paper-based resources. And also the professors and the lecturers are very knowledgeable. I’ve gained so much just from attending the classes.” (01:09)

How to break into HR

While a master’s in HR will give you plenty of knowledge about the industry, that’s only one element of a program. It’s every bit as important to find a course that provides you with the networking opportunities and job advice that will allow you to launch your career in HR. India says that to do this, you’ve got to throw yourself into all the activities and events on offer at university.

“Involve yourself in all of the extracurricular activities that are offered by the faculty,” India urges. “There are a lot of great networking events for you to go to build your skills and form connections that could even mean a job further down the track.” (01:46)

For Grace, the program has been highly beneficial. Since graduating from UWA she has gone on to launch a successful career in HR. She cites the master’s in HR as an important reason for that.

“As an HR professional already working in the industry, studying the Master of HR and Employment Relations really helped me get through my career, advancing and then getting more development. For me, it added a lot of value,” she says. (00:53

The theoretical knowledge you gain from a master’s program is always important for your future career. But arguably just as important are the professional connections you can forge at university. By combining the skills and knowledge gained from a master’s with an expanded professional network, you’ll be ready to launch a successful career – no matter the industry.

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