Human Resources

Human resources (HR) is the function of business that is focused on employees. There are many different areas including recruiting, training, benefits, compensation, employee relations, diversity management, consulting and more.

Career Paths: Generalist or Specialist

There are two main career paths for human resources professionals, generalist or specialist. A role as a generalist will cover all the areas of HR, while a specialist focuses on one area.

Generalist Specialist
  • Usually at smaller companies, or in a particular department
  • Handles all aspects of HR
  • Example:  One individual may be responsible for selecting and hiring new employees, training them and managing their benefits enrollment
  • Specializes in one particular area
  • Example:  Recruiter, there job is to attract and hire top talent.  Once that person is hired, their job is complete.  Someone else will conduct training; someone else will enroll them in benefits, etc.
HR Generalist - Job Titles  HR Specialist - Job Titles
  • Associate HR Generalist
  • HR Assistant
  • HR Coordinator
  • HR Generalist
  • HR Manager
  • HR Representative
  • Benefits Assistant
  • Compensation Analyst
  • Employee Relations Specialist
  • HRIS Analyst
  • Recruiter
  • Talent Acquisition Manager
  • Trainer, Training Specialist, Training Coordinator

HR Certifications

Certifications may not always be mentioned in a human resources job description.  But, some employers will prefer or in some cases even require HR professional certification. The most popular and long-standing certification you will see is listed as PHR (Professional in Human Resources) or SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources). These certifications require both educational and experience components and the certification is provided by the HR Certification Institute

Recently, however, it appears that the Society for Human Resource Management is now offering their own certification programs. It is unclear how this will impact employer requirements for professional certification in the future. It is always helpful to speak to several HR professionals currently working in the field to stay informed about current trends.

HR Associations and Professional Organizations

Human Resources Job Search Resources

In addition to the two UB career management systems BizLink and BullsEye, use the following resources to find information on HR opportunities:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Search by job function or industry and find information on average salaries, work environment, job outlook and more
  • Search for jobs in one place access thousands of websites, including job listings from major job boards, newspapers, associations and company sites. Search by keyword and location

Human Resources Magazines and Websites


To learn more about the Human Resources concentrations and courses included within the concentration, please refer to the academic curriculum.