By 2013, North Dakota had been outpacing the nation in terms of economic growth for three consecutive years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The big move came in 2011 when North Dakota’s GDP skyrocketed with a 13.4 percent increase over the previous year, leaving the second strongest state— with only a 4.8 percent growth—in the dust.
With this growth in business comes a growth in the need for human resources professionals. Accordingly, the North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network reports that between 2012 and 2022, the number of human resource manager jobs is expected to increase by 13.9 percent, and the number of human resource specialist jobs is expected to grow by 10.9 percent.
Along with this, in 2015, North Dakota enjoyed the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at 3.1 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Burgeoning businesses spells opportunity for HR professionals, since all businesses need HR professionals to plan, direct, and coordinate the organization’s administrative functions.
The North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network names the top 10 largest statewide employers, who contribute significantly to the strengthening of the state’s workforce and drive much of the demand for HR professionals:
- Sanford Health Hospital
- Altru Health System
- University of North Dakota
- North Dakota State University
- Trinity Health
- North Dakota Department of Human Services
- Alexius Medial Center
- Bismarck Public Schools
- Noridian Mutual Insurance Company
- Fargo Public Schools
HR professionals employed in businesses such as these are responsible for many administrative functions, which can include recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new staff, serving as a link between management and employees, as well as overseeing legal issues regarding employment, labor, payroll, benefits, healthcare, and management practices.
Exploring Careers in Human Resources
North Dakota’s high projected job growth indicates the need for major employers and key industries to hire top-notch human resources professionals, who can recruit, vet, hire, train, and manage their growing employee population.
North Dakota Human Resources Careers in Government
Government jobs for human resource professionals in North Dakota include, but are not limited to, jobs within the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget, the North Dakota Department of Human Services, the North Dakota Association of Counties, and the National Guard.
Job descriptions from state and local HR job vacancies are listed here to illustrate what employers are looking for (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015, shown for illustrative purposes only):
- Human Resources Officer I for the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget in Bismarck: This position requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources with two years of professional HR experience or a master’s degree with one year of HR experience. Candidates with HR certification are preferred. The professional in this position will perform all classification and compensation activities, provide all recruitment and screening services, and provide HR management consultation.
- Training and Development Administrator for the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget in Bismarck: This position requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources, HR certification, and a minimum of four years HR experience. The professional in this position will work to administer the State’s HR training by developing training programs, conducting workshops, developing needs assessments, etc.
- Human Resources Specialist (National Guard) in Minot: This position, which is entry-level, trains HR specialists to organize, maintain, and review personnel records, coordinate requests, and manage payroll and timekeeping.
Human Resources Careers in North Dakota’s Oil Industry
For illustrative purposes, HR job vacancies within the oil industry are listed here (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015):
- Human Resources Liaison – MBI Energy Services in Ross: This position, which requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources, focuses on acting as an HR liaison in MBI’s northern divisions (Ross, Lignite, and Minot), in order to handle all HR interviews, training, projects, and employee reviews in this region.
- Human Resources, District Manager – Executive Services Inc. in Williston: This position, which requires a bachelor’s degree and five years of HR experience, focuses on hiring workers for the growing oil company.
- Human Resources Manager in – Executive Services Inc. in Williston and Dickinson: This position, which requires a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience, focuses on managing various aspects of human resources for another North Dakota growing oil company.
- Human Recourse Manager/Director – Rocky Mountain Marketplace in Williston: This position, which requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field requires providing guidance on operational leadership to management, investigating criminal backgrounds, scoping out safety related issues, reviewing all employment laws, and overseeing daily HR functions.
- Human Resources Field Supervisor in Williston: This position, which prefers candidates with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and requires at least five years of HR experience, focuses on hiring and staffing.
Human Resources Careers in the Rest of North Dakota’s Private Sector
HR careers within the private sector, aside from the oil industry, can include such job titles as HR Director and Payroll and Benefits Administrator. Job vacancies within the private sector are listed here to illustrate the type of requirements and skills employers are looking for (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015, and shown for illustrative purposes only):
- Human Resources Director for DHI in Grand Forks: This position requires a BA or BS degree in human resources, five years of HR experience, and preference is given to candidates with PHR or SPHR certification. The Director would administer and track employee compensation, ensure organizational compliance with all federal and state regulations (FLSA, EEOC, ADA, FMLA, OSHA, etc.), provide recruitment and retention programs, and support management.
- Payroll and Benefits Administrator for Integrity Windows & Doors in Fargo: This position, which requires a four-year degree with previous HR experience, focuses entirely on managing cash flow, overseeing employee pay and benefits, and implementing benefits programs and processes.
- Plant Human Resources Manager for CNH Industrial in Fargo: This position requires a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, fifteen years of human resource experience, or a master’s degree with five years of experience. The professional in this role will serve as a business partner to executive management, maintain familiarity with all local, state, federal, and EEO laws; design and conduct training, develop continuous improvement plans, and manage staffing processes.
Getting the Right Degree for a Career in Human Resources
Most employers in North Dakota prefer that applicants for general HR and HR management positions obtain either a significant amount of professional experience or a master’s degree in human resources. However, human resource professionals can often begin their careers by obtaining a bachelor’s degree..
Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources
Students may obtain a bachelor’s degree in human resources in North Dakota through campus-based, online, or blended human resources programs. These programs generally offer a set of core courses that will prepare a student to become a human resources generalist or lower-to-mid-level manager.
Examples of core courses found in BS, BA and BBA programs in Human Resources include:
- Managing a Diverse Workforce
- Organizational Development
- International Leadership and Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Information Systems
- Workforce Performance
- Modern Human Resource Management
- Organizational Behavior Analysis
- Business Law I
Along with the core courses, some programs will then offer specific courses to prepare students for a more specialized role in areas such as:
- Change management
- Employment law
- Compensation and benefits administration
- Talent Management, training, and development
- Business law
- Human resources management
With a bachelor’s degree in human resources, job candidates may qualify for a variety of jobs throughout North Dakota, since many human resources jobs in the state require bachelor’s degrees. Examples of human resources jobs that required a minimum of a bachelor’s degree include (from a survey of open positions taken in May 2015, shown here for illustrative purposes only):
- Payroll and Benefits Administrator for Integrity Windows & Doors in Fargo
- Human Resource Generalist for Trinity Hospitals in Minot
- Human Resources Director for DHI in Grand Forks
Advancing to a Master’s Degree in Human Resources
Obtaining a master’s degree is a seamless way to advance a human resources career. Master’s degrees that are beneficial to human resources professionals include, but are not limited to:
- Master of Arts (MA) in Human Resources
- Master of Science (MS) in Human Resources
- MA or MS in Human Resources Management
- Master of Management (MAM) with Human Resources concentration
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) with Human Resources concentration
These degrees will not only provide students with in-depth knowledge of human resources, but they will give students another chance to develop a specialization or a specific competency. For example, a master’s that specializes in human resource management may offer specialized courses in:
- Corporate Communications
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Total Rewards
- Law, Ethics, and Politics in Human Relations
- Talent Development and Workforce Planning
- Leading Change
- HR Information Systems
- HR in Global Contexts
- Negotiation and Advocacy in the Workplace
- Managing Difficult Conversations at Work
A master’s in business administration in human resources, however, is more likely to include these core courses:
- Managerial Accounting
- Managerial Economics
- Financial Management
- Multinational Corporate Environment
- Information Technology
- Strategic Management
- Marketing Strategies
- Responsible Corporate Leadership
- Quantitative Analysis for Decision Making
- Operations Management
With a master’s degree in human resources, HR professionals may qualify for advanced jobs in North Dakota. Examples of HR jobs that required or preferred applicants who hold a master’s degree include (from a survey of open positions taken in May 2015, shown here for illustrative purposes only):
- Human Resource Generalist for North Dakota State University in Fargo
- Plant Human Resources Manager for CNH Industrial in Fargo
Human Resources Certifications
Becoming certified is an invaluable way for HR professionals to demonstrate their competence, experience, and credibility to employers, employees, and clients. HR certifications include those from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
HR Certification Institute
HRCI offers various certifications, including:
- 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)
Society for Human Resource Management
SHRM offers two different certifications, including:
Obtaining a certification is also a great way to bring distinction by setting certified professionals apart as competitive players in today’s economy.
North Dakota’s HR Resources and Employers
North Dakota human resources associations, job services, and staffing firms include:
North Dakota Associations
- Northeastern Dakota Area Human Resources Association
- Central Dakota Human Resource Association
- Fargo Moorhead Human Resource Association
North Dakota Jobs
North Dakota Human Resources Staffing Firms