The human resources field in Georgia is largely defined by the presence of 16 Fortune 500 companies and 26 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered within the state. The size and success of these companies has made them major players in job creation, which translates to a consistent need for human resources professionals. Among Georgia’s biggest employers that drive demand for HR managers and specialists are the many large companies headquartered in the state, the likes of which include Coca-Cola Corporation, Aflac, Home Depot, UPS and Delta Airlines.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are currently 3,860 active human resources managers in Georgia. Additionally, the state is home to 14,650 human resources specialists and 4,340 human resources assistants.
A particular hotbed for human resources work within Georgia is the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area. The area is home to 2,960 human resources managers, giving it the seventh highest employment level among metropolitan areas in the country. The mean annual salary for the human resources managers in this area is $112,970, more than $3,000 above the state’s total mean annual salary for the same occupation.
Earning the Right Degree for a Career in Human Resources and HR Management
The future of human resources work in Georgia looks promising for those who complete bachelor’s or master’s degrees programs. According to a state report projecting workforce trends until 2020, human resources, training, and labor relations specialists are among the 12 fasting growing occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or higher. A degree from an accredited university and voluntary certification can prove invaluable for those pursuing a career in human resources.
Bachelors Degrees in Human Resources
Many aspiring human resources workers obtain bachelor’s degrees to develop a broad knowledge of the field. A bachelor’s degree in human resources, which may be in the form of a Bachelor of Science (BS), a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), is a common requirement among employers.
Just a few of the human resources areas covered in these bachelor’s programs include:
- Business Law and Ethics
- Workforce Recruitment and Retention
- Leadership and Management
- Global Business
Recent HR job postings in the state help demonstrate the value of a bachelor’s degree in human resources or HR management (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015, shown for illustrative purposes only):
Talent Acquisition Advisor, American Red Cross – Education requirements include a BS/BA in business management, human resource management or a related field, or equivalent work experience.
Human Resources Representative, Kinder Morgan – Education requirements include a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration or related field.
Master’s Degrees in Human Resources
The following master’s degrees related to human resources are among the most sought after by top human resources employers:
- Master of Arts in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations
- Master of Arts (MA) in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources
- Master of Science (MS) in Human Resources Management
- Master of Human Resources (MHR)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Human Resources
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Typical coursework in an MBA in Human Resource Management includes courses in:
- Marketing strategies
- Corporate communications
- Business Research
- Organizational Strategy
- Operations management
- Managerial accounting
- Financial management
- Information technology
Recent job postings show the importance of a master’s degree when pursuing human resources management and executive positions (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015, shown for illustrative purposes only):
Human Resources Manager, Berry Plastics – A bachelor’s degree in business/human resources or equivalent experience is required, but a master’s degree is preferred.
Human Resources Business Partner, Voith – Business or functionally related bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or MBA in a human resources discipline is preferable.
The Senior Human Resources Professional, RiverMend Health – A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s or MBA is preferred
Regional HR Director – North America, ERM – A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject is required. A Master’s degree or M.B.A. is desirable.
Director of Human Resources, Atkore International Inc. – A relevant bachelor’s degree is required, while a master’s degree/JD is strongly preferred
Professional Certification in Human Resources
There are several national organizations that offer professional certification. While certification from these organizations is not usually required, candidates who have completed these programs will often stand out among the pool of job applicants.
- Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- SHRM-CP (certified professional)
- SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)
- HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
- Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP)
- Human Resource Business Professional (HRBP)
- California Certification for PHR and SPHR certified professionals
Several recent job postings list voluntary certification as a preferred qualification for job candidates (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015, shown for illustrative purposes only):
Human Resources Manager, Emory Conference Center Hotel – In addition to the requirements of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) is preferred.
Quality Resources Coordinator, Gwinnett Medical Center – A bachelor’s degree in nursing, public health, healthcare administration, or related clinical field, is required, while a master’s degree is preferred. The following qualifications are additionally preferred: Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM), Certified Project Manager, Lean/Six Sigma or other relevant certification.
Exploring Georgia’s Human Resources Careers
The depth of many human resources education programs gives graduates a variety of skills applicable to current jobs in the field. The following job descriptions demonstrate several types of careers available in the state’s human resources field, as well as just a few of those career’s daily responsibilities (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015, shown for illustrative purposes only).
Market H&W Director, Walmart – Job duties include implementing service standards for the market; developing strategies to recruit an effective workforce, as well as maintaining that workforce; and developing community outreach programs that match the company’s goals and public image.
Human Resource Representative, Behr Process Corporation – Job duties include providing daily assistance to business partners. Working directly with those partners, the representative will teach employee productivity and retention skills, among other workplace improvement skills.
Human Resources Manager, Unisys – Job duties include a variety of workplace management techniques, such as payroll management and unemployment processing. The human resources manager will also advise company management on employment laws and company policies, among other regulations.
Director of Human Resource Operations, Georgia Gwinnett College – The director will lead the human resources staff in the development and implementation of a variety of workplace procedures. Other specific job duties include conducting exit interviews, providing salary data for management review, and providing one-on-one guidance to employees who experience workplace problems.
Georgia’s Human Resources Employers
Some of Georgia’s other top employers of HR managers, specialists and generalists are state government agencies and dedicated staffing firms:
Human Resources Staffing Companies
- The Durham Companies, Inc. Human Resources Staffing
- North Georgia Staffing
- Atlanta Human Resources Recruiters – Lucas Group
- Sullivan Staffing
- Staffing Resources
- Advantage Resourcing