Bachelors and Masters Programs for a Human Resources Management Career in South Carolina

According to current employment statistics from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the state reached a new employment record in February of 2019 with more than two million workers across all industries statewide. The greatest increases were reported in manufacturing and transportation. As those industries and others continue to contribute to a growing workforce, a premium is placed on the human resources specialists and managers that work to recruit, train and manage new and existing employees.

Better yet, DEW projects that state employment levels will increase by nearly 12 percent by 2026, a sizable bump that is more than double the national rate.

Industries like manufacturing and healthcare are among Iowa’s top employers, with these industry giants driving much of the demand for HR professionals in the state:

  • Medical University of South Carolina – 12,000 employees
  • Greenville Memorial Hospital – 7,500 employees
  • BMW Manufacturing – 7,000 employees
  • Palmetto Health Richland – 6,000 employees
  • McLeod Health – 5,000 employees
  • Spartanburg Regional Healthcare – 5,000 employees
  • Baldor Electric Company – 4,600 employees
  • Piggly Wiggly Foods – 4,001 employees
  • An Med Health Women’s and Children’s – 4,000 employees
  • Ben Arnold Beverage Co. – 4,000 employees

Each of these contributes to additional growth in HR positions, since it takes human resources professionals to write job descriptions, read resumes, evaluate candidates, and perform all the many ancillary duties required in hiring, training, and retaining talented staff.

DEW projects HR-specific employment to grow at the following rates between 2016 and 2026:

HR Management Roles

  • Compensation and Benefits Managers3 percent increase for an average of 10 openings per year
  • Human Resources Managers: 14 percent increase for an average of 170 openings per year
  • Training and Development Managers: 13 percent increase for an average of 80 openings per year

Non-managerial HR Roles

  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists4 percent increase for an average of 80 openings per year
  • Human Resources Specialists7 percent increase for an average of 730 openings per year
  • Training and Development Specialists5 percent increase for an average of 520 openings per year
  • Labor Relations Specialists: Expect an average of 70 openings per year
  • Human Resources Assistants: 2 percent increase for an average of 190 openings per year

Exploring Human Resources Careers with South Carolina’s Top Employers

South Carolina’s recent job growth makes HR positions more valuable than ever as the state’s biggest companies bring in highly qualified HR specialists and managers to screen, train, and manage a growing workforce.

Those jobs have a wide range of responsibilities, so almost anyone can find a good match(shown for illustrative purposes only):

HR Generalist – NPA Worldwide – Charleston

  • Contribute to HR strategy by developing programs and projects
  • Administer payroll, improve, develop and retain best talent
  • Ensure consistent application of policies with team leaders and managers
  • Take corrective actions when necessary
  • Develop plans to create positive change in employee integration and engage in personal development.
  • Improve work environment ensuring safety and productivity of employee base
  • Assess team performance and make recommendations to proactively elevate team performance while facilitating training programs

Director of Human Resources– Grand Bohemian Hotel, Charleston

  • Responsible for wages and salary reports
  • Determine competitive compensation plans
  • Advise department managers of all employment compensation, employment, and benefits
  • Oversee analysis of records, maintenance, and communication required by law
  • Partner with the VP of HR to align HR resource framework and strategies
  • Develop staffing collaborative strategies with hiring manager
  • Serve as legal trainer for compliance issues for all staff
  • Manage unemployment claims and attend unemployment hearings
  • Conduct unemployment investigations and complaints

Human Resource Specialist- Greenville Technical College, Greenville

  • Generate and distribute job notices for all temporary staff opening and faculty positions
  • Manage temporary employment applications
  • Pre-screens employment applications and assist hiring authorities
  • Coordinate applicant tracking and on-boarding
  • Manage college background check, submission, retrieval, and review.
  • Follow all regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Schedule and coordinate orientation sessions – full-time employees, HR staff, acquaint new employees with the college and state technical college system
  • Schedule and facilitate new temp employees for orientation
  • Assist walk-in applicants with the online application system
  • Coordinate BPOs for temp staffing services and verify invoices
  • Monitor and update regulatory posters on all of our campuses for compliance
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Earning the Right Degree for a Career in Human Resources

A solid HR candidate will generally need a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions and a master’s for director and senior management positions. Employers will also often look for candidates who have added professional certification to their list of credentials.

Traditional college and university programs, as well as online programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level can be found throughout South Carolina.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resource Management

Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management – Completing the Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management will generally prepare a student for their first job in HR.

Bachelor of Science Business Human Resource Management – This degree confers the expertise needed to work as HR staff in most corporate environments.

At most schools the degree is a total of 120 semester units broken down as follows:

  • 52 general education units
  • 45 major course units
  • 26 elective units

There are prerequisite requirements to be adhered to as each course often builds on other courses. Students can typically complete the program in approximately four years when attending school full-time.

These programs typically include general education classes as well as core courses in the following general areas:

  • Leadership and Management
  • General Education
  • Human Resources
  • Accounting
  • Quantitative Analysis for Business
  • Economics and Finance
  • Project Management

Master’s Degrees in Human Resource Management

Many HR managers choose to maximize their earning power and career trajectory by seeking an M.A., M.B.A., M. S., M.H.R.M., or M.P.A.

Below are several examples of appropriate master’s programs that will prepare a student to work in specific industries:

Human Resources Master’s Programs for Education – For graduate students interested in filling HR positions in schools, community agencies, rehabilitation facilities, or higher education, an M.S. in Counseling and Human Resource Development will prepare them for this specialized field.

Coursework will often include:

  • Ethics
  • Counseling
  • Administration and management of school counseling programs
  • Case management planning and principals
  • Leadership and administration in student affairs
  • Human Resources Master’s Program (graduate certificate)

Master of Human Resources Management (M.H.R.M.) – A generalized human resources program that teaches core skills central to SHRM certification guidelines. Typical coursework would include:

  • Applications of employment law
  • Development of policies and procedures for HR planning, recruiting and selection
  • Techniques for training and developing employees and organizations
  • Creating competitive compensation supporting organizational goals
  • Examine employee benefits
  • How to create a comprehensive HR plan

Master of Business Administration in Human Resource Management (M.B.A.) – This human resources degree confers the higher level skills needed by those HR professionals in management and directorial positions. Typical coursework would include:

  • Communication
  • Management of People
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Program Design
  • Strategy
  • Operations Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Organizational Change
  • Power and Influence
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Legal Environment of Business

Professional Certification in Human Resource Management

Seeking additional HR certification outside of a degree can give an HR candidate an edge over the competition. Among the best-recognized certification agencies are:

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

  • SHRM-CP (certified professional)
  • SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)

HR Certification Institute (HRCI)

  • Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)
  • Associate Professional in Human Resources – International (aPHRi)
  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
  • Professional in Human Resources – International (PHRi)
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi)
  • Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)

International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR)

  • Certified Professional (IPMA-CP)
  • Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP)

Professional Associations and HR Staffing Firms in South Carolina

From professional associations to potential employers, these organizations provide additional resources for South Carolina’s aspiring and existing HR professionals:

Government Agencies and Professional Organizations

HR Staffing Firms


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Examples of HR positions were taken from a survey of job listings in the state at the time of this writing and are shown for illustrative purposes only. These examples do not represent job offers or positions that are currently available.

Job growth projections sourced from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – Employment conditions in your area may vary.

All salary and job growth data accessed in October 2019.

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