Life / Career after MBA with specialization in HR

How does the journey after completing an MBA look like? What can a MBA aspirant expect? In this article we will look at career options and prospects for a MBA with specialization in Human Resources (HR).

Let’s begin by understanding what HR is and what all does this role entail.

What is HR?

William R. Tracey, in The Human Resources Glossary, defines Human Resources as: "The people that staff and operate an organization.

Any person contributing to the growth of an organization is Human Resource.

What is Human Resource Management (HRM)?

HRM is a process that involves recruiting, orienting, training, and managing employee’s productivity and career.

A HR manager is responsible for managing employees by optimizing their productivity by

  • Recruiting, on-boarding and training employees
  • Creating policies
  • Formulating retention strategies
  • Ensuring work satisfaction
  • Formulating employee benefits, rewards and appreciation.
  • Managing employee exits and retrenchment

Human Resource is like an umbrella under which you have multiple points to be considered while evaluating an employee. All these points must be carefully understood as each of them supplement the other areas.

HR has major areas of focus. They include:

  • Recruitment
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Learning & Development
  • Employee / Labour Relations / Industrial Relations.
  • Organizational Development.

The role of a HR may vary based on the size of an organization. In a small organization, the HR will handle all areas of human resources right from recruitment to organizational development. Large organizations usually have an HR department with several employees who manage each HR area (or department) and are assigned specific responsibilities and focus areas. For example, the Recruitment team will focus only on recruitment whereas the Learning and Development HR will focus only on skill development of the employees.

In Human Resource Management, one of the key areas is to strategize and to ensure that the human work force is nurtured and organizational uniqueness is developed.

How can a HR professional develop human workforce?

  1. By ensuring policies, procedures and work process flow are in place
  2. Developing a bond between the employer-employee relations.
  3. Creating awareness about the company goals, objectives and organizational purposes.
  4. Ensuring that there is a transparency related to policies, budgets and business growth.
  5. Implementing employee benefit programs.
  6. Focusing on employee welfare / employee strengths helps in productivity.
  7. Creating a conducive work environment for employees.
  8. Measuring of human work force and their performance.

Skills sets required of an HR Professional

  • Leadership skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Creative and strategic thinking
  • Ability to look from an another person’s view point and plan your policies accordingly
  • Sensitization to different cultures
  • Excellent people management and communication skills

Career prospects available for an MBA with specialization in HR

There are several positions that an MBA in HR can look for. They include:

  1. Recruiter or Talent Acquisition Specialist or Staffing specialist: They oversee hiring and selection. It’s an important role as they represent the organization for talent sourcing.
  2. HR Generalist / HRBP: They are designated to take care of an employee from the time the employee is on boarded till their exit from the organization.
  3. HR Manager / HR Head / HR Lead: They develop and create policies to ensure the growth of the employee and there by the organization. The HR Manager oversees all the HR functions.
  4. HR Analyst / MIS Specialist: They analyse or gather information on HR trends in and outside of an organization related to jobs, salary, technology, hiring, policies and laws.
  5. HRMS / HRIS Implementation Specialist: These are tech savvy HR professionals who plan, create and implement the HR modules on databases such as Oracle or SAP.
  6. Payroll Specialist / Compensation & Benefits specialist: They ensure that salaries are processed and paid on time.
  7. Employee Relations / Engagement Specialist: They address employee concerns and also take care of employee orientation programs, wellness programs, benefits, awards and rewards.
  8. Compliance Manger /Labour Law specialist: They ensure that the organization and employee comply with the labour law of the state/government. They also provide assistance towards any disciplinary actions that need to be taken or for any unforeseen accidents etc.
  9. Training Manager/L&D Specialist: They are in charge of the training and skilling of employees. They can either provide training and career development for an employee and also improve their morale or manage a pool of training resources and vendors.

Organizations that need HR professionals

All organizations need an HR! Where there are human capital a HR is required. Given below are the major industries that employ HR professionals.

  1. Software Companies / Information Technology.
  2. ITES ( BPO / KPO / Call Centres / Medical Transcription )- Outsourcing
  3. Consulting / Recruitment / RPO
  4. Insurance Companies
  5. Engineering
  6. Media , digital media & Advertising
  7. Telecommunications
  8. Banking & Finance
  9. Medical & Healthcare
  10. Hospitality , Travel & Tourism
  11. Educational & Training
  12. Manufacturing companies :
    • Pharmaceuticals.
    • FMCG
    • Computer & Electronics
    • Petroleum , Coal, Chemicals, Plastics
    • Textiles & Leather
    • Primary Metal, Fabricated Metal, and Machinery
    • Transportation
  13. Government


A human resource professional can play a wide variety of role in any organization. It’s an extremely important role. An HR is responsible not only for recruiting the right talent for the organization but also for contributing to an organizations culture and development. They act as advocates for both the employee and the employer. It is an extremely interesting and challenging role to take up.

As Edward L. Gubman rightly observed in the Journal of Business Strategy, "The basic mission of human resources will always be to acquire, develop, and retain talent; align the workforce with the business; and be an excellent contributor to the business. Those three challenges will never change".