The primary metrics used to measure human resources job opportunities in a particular region are the number of major private sector employers and the overall health of the state’s economy.
Looking at these metrics, Minnesota offers ideal conditions for a very strong job market for human resource managers and specialists:
- Minnesota ranks second among all states in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies per capita
- Minnesota ranks 10th among all states in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies overall
- Minnesota boasts the 16th best economy in the nation with an unemployment rate that has typically remained below the national average
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reveals strong job growth projections for human resources professionals in the state through 2022:
- Human Resources Specialists: 10,521 jobs in 2012 with 10,904 jobs expected by 2022
- Compensation Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists: 2,281 jobs in 2012 with 2,377 jobs expected by 2022
- Training and Development Specialists: 5,019 jobs in 2012 with 5,402 jobs expected by 2022
The projections shown here represent the total number of HR professionals the state’s employers expect to need by 2022. The actual number of job openings will be higher than the difference between the 2012 and 2022 totals when factoring in professionals that will need to be replaced as they enter retirement.
Thanks to the 7.6 percent projected job growth rate for training and development specialists between 2012 and 2022, the Department of Employment Economic Development named this occupational classification on its list of “Occupations in Demand.”
What Minnesota’s Top Employers are Looking for in HR Management Professionals
Jobs in human resources may run the gamut from administrative, entry-level positions to director and senior-level positions in non-profit, for-profit, academic, and government agencies and companies.
Job descriptions for recent job postings (2015) reveal some of the responsibilities of these professionals and what it takes to land an HR job with some of Minnesota’s top employers (shown for illustrative purposes only):
Senior Human Resources Generalist, Brownsworth: Plymouth
This position involves coordinating all recruitment activities so as to ensure the most efficient sourcing processes are utilized. The job also involves researching, recommending, and implementing new methods for recruitment and employee retention.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field, along with at least 3 to 5 years of experience as a human resources generalist.
HR Generalist, Insight Imaging: St. Louis Park
This position requires partnering with and supporting operations in assigned markets related to recruiting, employee relations, training, and compensation.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field, PHR or SPHR certification, and at least 3 years of experience in HR.
HR Business Partner, Green Tree: Saint Paul
This HR job requires consulting and supporting a designated business unit and partnering with managers and employees to provide professional counsel regarding the interpretation and application of policies related to staff employment concerns.
Ideal candidates will possess an advanced university or post-graduate degree at least 5 years of HR generalist experience in all HR disciplines, including talent acquisition, employee engagement, learning and development, and labor relations.
Human Resources Coordinator, Digital River: Minnetonka
This position requires assisting recruiters in scheduling interviews and creating interview agendas, facilitating communication and the collection of new hire paperwork, managing the employee referral program, and providing backup support for delivering and facilitating on-boarding for new hires.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and at least 2 years of experience in human resources and/or recruiting.
Human Resources Consultant, Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota: St. Paul
This position involves analyzing HR and business-related problems, recommending solutions to frontline managers, and resolving issues related to HR policies, procedures, and union contracts.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and at least 3 years of HR generalist experience or experience in employee relations. An SPHR or PHR certification is preferred.
Degree and Certification Requirements for a Career in Human Resource Management
Most of Minnesota’s top employers of human resources specialists and managers require a bachelor’s degree in business or human resource management at minimum, though a master’s or specialized MBA is often preferred:
Bachelor’s Degrees for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
A bachelor’s degree in human resources may be structured as a:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Science (BS)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
These programs prepare students to supervise a human resources personnel department in which they would oversee business, financial, and legal issues related to company employees. Coursework in these programs emphasizes the management of human capital and the mastery of knowledge and skills associated with:
- Human resource planning and analysis
- Equal Opportunity compliance
- Human resource development
- Employee and labor/management relations
Master’s Degrees for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
A master’s degree in human resources is designed to allow students to obtain the skillset needed to become a business leader, so this is most often the degree-level of choice for those pursuing management positions in human resources.
Many times, graduates of these programs are prepared for exciting careers as directors and vice presidents of human resources departments, senior HR specialists or generalists, or business leaders with a strategic human resource management focus.
Master’s degree programs in human resources may be structured as a:
- Master of Arts (MA)
- Master of Science (BS)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
An MBA with a Human Resource Management concentration involves studying HR-specific and other business-related topics. These programs are designed to improve a graduate student’s general management perspective and competency. HR coursework in this type of program includes:
- Human Resources Management Strategies
- Ethical Decisions in Business
- Leadership Development
- Organizational Communication and Information Management
- Best Practices in HR
Although admission requirements into master’s programs in human resources vary, many require the completion of specific undergraduate coursework and a minimum undergraduate GPA. Still, and undergraduate degree in many fields meet most of the requirements for enrollment.
Many programs culminate in an internship or capstone experience.
Professional Certification for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
Professional certification in human resources is optional, yet it helps exhibit leadership skills and a high level of expertise and competence. The two most widely recognized professional designations in human resources include:
- 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
Minnesota’s Top Employers of Human Resources Management Professionals
Whether they are called analysts, specialists, coordinators, or advisors, human resources professionals in Minnesota are likely most plentiful in companies that employ the most workers.
According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the industries in Minnesota that are hiring and expanding are the ones driving demand for more human resources professionals to oversee the employer-employee relationship:
- Bioscience: Minnesota is just one of seven states that have added more than 5,000 bioscience jobs between 2001 and 2010.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing remains the number two employer in Minnesota. Payroll in this industry increased 12 percent between 2009 and 2012 alone. Minnesota also ranks first in the nation for electromedical equipment jobs, with 13,338 jobs, and sixth for total high–tech employment, with 46,057 jobs.
- Wind Power: Minnesota, which is often termed the “geographical center of wind,” ranks third in the nation for electricity generated from wind. Xcel Energy in Minnesota buys more wind power than any other utility in the nation.
The top employers in Minnesota, by industry, include:
- Education and Health: 439,285 employees
- Professional and Business Services: 314,838
- Manufacturing: 292,043
- Retail Trade: 277,646
- Leisure and Hospitality: 235,572
- Wholesale Trade: 126,553
A sampling of some of the top employers in the state includes:
- State of Minnesota: 40,208 employees
- United States Federal Government: 34,000
- Mayo Foundation, Rochester: 32,893
- Target Corporation, Minneapolis: 30,500
- Allina Health System, Minneapolis: 23,302
- Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota, Two Harbors: 20,000
- University of Minnesota, Minneapolis: 19,157
- 3M Company, St. Paul: 15,000
Resources for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
- Twin Cities Human Resource Association
- Human Resource Professionals of Minnesota
- Society for Human Resource Management, Minnesota State Council
- Healthcare Human Resources Association of Minnesota
- Minnesota Counties Human Resources Management Association
- Southern Minnesota Area Human Resource Association