Should HR Officers Pursue Human Psychology Degree?

May 5, 20202:16 pm443 views
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HR is a factotum department. They recruit, select, train and develop staff. They also have a responsibility to review recruitment laws, promote safety, administer wages and salaries, collective bargaining and handle veritable metrics.  As the role of HR handles both human capital and human management, HR must possess two essential abilities: management and human psychology.

Management is obviously needed for HR because it becomes core to a company’s function concentrated on recruiting, managing and directing people. HR Management also deals with issues related to compensation, performance management, organisation development, safety, wellness, benefits, worker motivation, training and others which are important for the sake of business’s success. 

See also: 2 Keys to Successfully Manage Remote Workers

On the other side, human psychology is as vital as a management strategy. Understanding psychology could help HR determine human behaviour that is very critical in organisational behaviour context to achieve better and enhanced organisational performance. According to the study of The Role of Psychology in HRM, there are four fundamental effects of human psychology in HR, namely motivation, leadership, interpersonal relations, and the selection of personnel. In these fundamentals, there lies the key to influence employees’ behaviour and performance. Talibova Rasim, the author of the study, cited that the role of IQ is now below EQ. If HR wants to influence workers to have high performance, they should tackle the human mind and human emotions because behaviour is only an indicator of mind paradigms. That being said, it is vital for HR to master human psychology to be successful in their fields. 

So, should HR pursue a Human Psychology degree? 

It goes without saying that having a psychology degree will help enhance the credibility of an HR professional. At its core, studying psychology will help HR officers understand human behaviours and mental processes better. This knowledge of psychological theories and concepts then will be beneficial in a wide variety of settings, such as talent sourcing, interview, training, evaluation, or rewarding employees. 

Albeit learning human psychology can help ease the work of HR, it is not necessary for an HR professional to hold a psychology degree. The human resource degree itself has sometimes covered human psychology although it is not as detailed as pursuing a psychology degree. However, it is advisable to pursue a psychology study if you want to narrow HR roles to Human Management roles. 

Now, let’s reverse the question: can anyone with a Human Psychology degree pursue an HR job?  

The short answer is Yes, you can work in an HR position with a psychology degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes that a degree in HR or Business Administration is needed to acquire HR positions. Yet, taking coursework in subjects related to HR, such as industrial psychology and organisational development, also come under the banner of wanted degree to get HR roles, with some HR job advertisements list psychology among the preferred fields of study. 

Online psychology degree to pursue 

Whether you want to upskill or learn the subject to fill your spare time, here are free psychology courses you can try. 

  • Introduction to Psychology from Yale University. This study of the mind and its development seeks to explain many of the activities of the thought process. 
  • Introduction to Psychology from MIT OpenCourseware. This study looks into the brain and human nature, and how the brain supports the mind. 
  • Social Psychology from MIT OpenCourseware. This study looks into consensually-shared social situations, taught by MIT professor Stephan Chorover. 
  • Neuroscience and Behaviour from MIT OpenCourseware. This course goes into the neural function of the brain. This course helps understand the sensory and motor system, motivation and reward, and related learning and memory. 
  • Human Emotions from Learn Out Loud. This is an iTunes, Podcast study taught by Dacher Keltner of UC Berkeley. The goal is to look further into brain function and to see how it can be studied and better understood by professionals. 
  • Statistics for Psychology Research: Structural Models by JHSPH OpenCourseware.  This course learns the field of psychological research. By studying the design and analysis of various types of measurement tools, you will be more familiar with how to create and interpret many ways of quantifying many psychological factors. 
  • Statistics of Psychological Research: Measurement by JHSPH OpenCourseware. This is a higher level of the previous Statistics for Psychological Research course. This doctoral-level provides highly specified teachings in the way measurements are studied in psychological research. The lessons look into psychometrics, latent variable analysis and item response theory. 

Read also: HR Knowledge: Psychology Theory of Work Motivation (Chapter II)