As of 2014, Texas was one of the top five states in the nation in terms of human resource professional employment, with some 6,640 HR managers and more than 48,000 HR specialists working in the public and private sectors, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Texas Workforce Commission indicates that the number of jobs in the field is only expected to grow between 2012 and 2022:
- Human Resource Managers –26 percent, with more than 300 annual job openings
- Human Resource Specialists – 16.3 percent, with more than 1,200 annual job openings
- Human Resource Assistants – 8.8 percent, with more than 300 annual job openings
Because human resource professionals work directly with new and developing employees, Texas’s overall economic strength and growing workforce is responsible for the growing demand for skilled human resources professionals. The unemployment rate in Texas has plunged to a low of 4.3 percent as of 2015, which means great opportunities for aspiring human resources professionals as top industries fully staff their operations during this period of economic growth and recovery.
In fact, Business Insider revealed in 2014 just how outstanding the economy is in Texas —the state’s businesses make up more than 9 percent of the entire national GDP, and, if Texas were its own country, it would have the 13th highest GDP in the world.
Some leading businesses in Texas, which play a vital role in the growing workforce and the increased demand for human resource professionals in the state, include:
- Dell Inc.
- E.B. Grocery Company
- Michaels Stores, Inc.
- Gulf States Toyota, Inc.
- Exxon Mobil Corporation
- Phillips 66
- Valero Energy
- AT&T Inc.
As these top employers continue to expand their operations in Texas, they also expand the human resources departments they rely on to recruit, screen and train new-hires – all while managing compensation, labor relations, professional development, and benefits company-wide.
What Employers Look for When Hiring and Promoting Human Resource Professionals
Reviewing job descriptions and accompanying requirements for HR jobs in the public and private sectors shows the type of requirements top employers in Texas are looking for (from a survey of job vacancies in May 2015, shown for illustrative purposes only):
Human Resource Jobs in Texas with the Federal Government
At the Federal level, HR jobs in Texas can be found in the state’s various military intallations:
Human Resources Assistant for the Department of the Army in Camp Mabry – GS-07 positions, like this, require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in human resources (or a related field) with academic distinction, or a bachelor’s degree and one year of graduate school.
Human Resources Specialist for the Department of the Air Force in Ellington AFB – GS-09 positions such as this require applicants to hold a master’s degree in human resources, human resource management, or a related field.
Human Resource Careers in State and Local Government
At the state and local level, human resource professionals may look for job openings in major cities, such as:
Human Resource Administrator in Classification and Compensation for the City of San Antonio – Applicants for positions such as this will need to hold a bachelor’s degree in human resources, personnel management, public administration, business administration, or a related field, with at least six years of human resource experience.
Senior Human Resources Analyst (Senior Recruiter) for the City of Allen – Applicants for this position should hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration, organizational development, human resource management, human resources, or another related field, and they should have at least three years of relevant human resource experience.
Assistant Director of Human Resources for the City of Austin – Applicants for this position should hold a master’s degree in human resources, public administration, business administration, or a related field, with at least five years of management experience.
Qualifications for Human Resource Careers in the Private Sector
Examples of jobs with some of Texas’s top employers include, but are not limited to:
Regional Human Resource Administrator for AMJK in Dallas – The professional in this role should hold a bachelor’s degree in human resource management (or a related field) with four years of experience in human resource roles.
Human Resources Generalist for Huawei in Plano – The applicant for this position should hold a bachelor’s degree in human resources (or a related discipline); however, the company will give preference to applicants holding a master’s degree in human resources. Five years (or more) of professional experience in employee relations or international corporation experience is preferred.
Human Resources Generalist for Caliber Home Loans in Irving – The applicant for this position should hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resources (or a related field), with preference given to those holding master’s and PHR or SPHR certification.
Earning the Right Degree for a Career in Human Resource
Most employers in Texas require human resource professionals in generalist, specialist and lower-to-mid-level management positions to hold a bachelor’s degree.
However, jobs in positions of influence within an organization such as those for upper-level managers and company executives go to candidates with graduate degrees and HR certification.
Human resource professionals may enter the field with a degree in a variety of majors, including human resources, human resource management, organizational development, industrial and labor relations, or business administration.
Undergraduate and graduate degrees are often offered through flexibly online programs that cater to work-life and family scheduling needs.
Obtaining a Bachelor’s in Human Resources
Degree options directly related to human resources include, but are not limited to:
- BA or BS in Human Resources
- BA or BS in Human Resource Management
- BA or BS in Business in Human Resources
- BA or BS in Management in Human Resources
All of these degrees will include core human resource curriculum, including courses on topics such as:
- Essential roles and responsibilities for human resource departments
- Federal, state, and local employment laws
- Compliance and liability
- Recruiting the best employees
- Compensation and benefits systems
- Orientation, training, and professional development
Degrees that focus specifically on HRM (human resource management) will lean toward a focus on personnel management techniques that effectively contribute to meeting business objectives.
Undergraduate HRM programs include courses on topics such as:
- Performance management
- Employee motivation
- Human resources administration
- Corporate communication
- Strategic employee utilization
Increasingly, human resource professionals are benefitting from developing business skills. Degrees that focus on human resources in the context of business operations will include courses on valuable skill-sets, such as:
- Managerial finance
- Business management
- Organizational management
- Change leadership
Human resource professionals who hold bachelor’s degrees are generally prepared for the following roles:
- HR Administrator
- HR Coordinator
- HR Generalist
Advancing to a Master’s in Human Resources
Advancing to a master’s degree significantly distinguishes human resource professionals, qualifying them for leadership positions within an organization:
- MA or MS in Human Resources
- MBA in Human Resources Management
- MAM in Human Resources
Whether obtaining a master’s in human resources or MBA with a concentration in human resource management, core coursework will cover such concepts as:
- Recruitment and selection
- Compensation and benefits
- Employee and labor relations
- Human resource legal issues
Additionally, a Master of Arts in Management (MAM) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in HRM will focus on more specific management concepts, such as:
- International management
- Social issues in management
- Managing the learning organization
- Talent development and management
- Foundations of negotiation
- Global economic environment
- Finance and value creation
- Data analysis for business decisions
- Business integration skills
- Leading innovation in the global organization
- Organizations, governance, and the law
Master’s degrees prepare human resource professionals for such advanced positions as:
- Assistant Director of HR
- HR Quality Assurance Manager
Professional Human Resource Certification
Certification demonstrates a human resource professional’s dedication, excellence, and professional and educational expertise. In some cases, employers will specify certification as a requirement for potential HR leaders:
Certification options include:
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) –SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP
- Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)— PHR, SPHR, GPHR, or HRMP
HR Resources, Staffing Firms, and Associations
City and state human resource departments, staffing firms, and human resource associations in Texas include:
Major HR Departments in Texas
Professional Human Resource Associations
- Central Texas Human Resource Management Association
- Texas Municipal Human Resource Management Association
- Austin Human Resource Management
- Dallas HR
- HR Houston