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School of Labor & Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

whatisHR_IR

What is Human Resources and Industrial Relations?

In today’s economy, the success of any enterprise lies with the quality of people it hires.

The goal of human resources (HR) and industrial relations (IR) is to effectively and successfully manage an organization’s most critical resource: its people.

A Growing Field

HR/IR specialists are in high demand as organizations recognize the need to maximize their human resources. Increased global competition, changes in the nature of work and the composition of the labor force, extensive governmental regulation, company restructuring and deregulation of product markets are all factors contributing to an intensified awareness that the effective use of human potential is critical for success.

Human resource management is an umbrella term that refers to numerous employment issues. HR/IR professionals ensure that an organization makes effective use of its human capital. This means hiring people who fit the organization’s business strategies, making sure the administrative systems are running at maximum efficiency, helping employees overcome obstacles, and serving as persuasive change agents when new practices, structures or cultures are needed. HR/IR professionals do these things by solving problems creatively, whether those problems involve people, technology, or a combination of the two.

Benefits of Graduate Study

Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company, a growing high-tech firm, a government agency like the National Labor Relations Board, a large and growing union, or a university that trains the next generation of HR/IR professionals, or if you are an undergraduate searching for the right program to advance your professional education, the knowledge and skills you learn and the relationships you develop at LER will benefit both you and your employer. Ultimately, a graduate degree from LER is about gaining a competitive edge for your career.

LER offers two graduate degrees in HR/IR: a master’s degree (MHRIR) for HR/IR practicing professionals and a doctoral degree (PhD) for professional researchers and teachers. Investing in a graduate degree from LER not only allows the opportunity to obtain a professional career in HR/IR, but also gives the chance to experience the diverse, cultural atmosphere promoted by our excellent faculty and staff.