Building a career in HR

Why Study a Diploma in Human Resource Management?

Recent years have seen massive shifts in the way that people work, with remote work bringing both challenges and opportunities to the way that organisations are run. This in turn is shaking up the field of human resource management along with new tools and roles that never previously existed.

In this article, we’ll look at the field of human resources. We’ll cover how a diploma in HR allows new entrants to start their HR careers as well as how a postgraduate diploma such as TUT’s Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management offers experienced HR professionals an opportunity to upskill and confidently take on more senior managerial roles.

Read on or use the article outline and FAQs below to jump to any particular sections you would like to know more about.

Article Outline


Human resource management FAQs

Introduction to diplomas in human resource management

A diploma in human resource management is a valuable stepping stone for those looking to enter the field of human resources (HR). This qualification offers a comprehensive understanding of HR principles and practices, equipping students with the skills needed to manage and develop talent effectively in a dynamic business environment.

A postgraduate diploma in HR is more advanced than a diploma and requires candidates to have already studied HR or a related programme at a bachelor’s level. It is aimed at those already in the field and looking to progress further in their careers.


The growing significance of human resource management

In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, the role of HR professionals has become increasingly important. They are not only responsible for hiring and training employees but also for shaping organisational culture, ensuring compliance with employment laws and contributing to strategic planning.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 5% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations.


The role of a diploma in shaping an HR career

Earning a diploma in human resources provides the foundational knowledge and practical skills required to begin a career in HR. It opens doors to various roles in the industry and lays the groundwork for further professional development and specialisation.

A postgraduate diploma takes this to the next level and helps practising HR professionals further their careers by providing additional leadership and management skills needed for a managerial position.


Overview of career opportunities

Graduates with a Diploma in Human Resource Management can pursue diverse career paths, including HR generalist, recruitment specialist, training and development coordinator and employee relations manager, among others.

A Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management opens graduates to far more senior roles than a basic diploma, allowing them to lead a human resources team or department within an organisation.

Some of the more common job titles that the holder of a postgraduate diploma could take on include HR manager, HR director, HR business partner, employee relations manager and chief talent officer. In some cases, companies are more creative with job titles such as chief people officer, chief happiness officer and director of people.


Pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management


The benefits of earning a Postgraduate Diploma in HR

The Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management at TUT equips students with advanced skills essential for both government and private sector HR managers. The programme’s industry relevance, use of current technologies and practices and focus on a multi-disciplinary HR environment prepare graduates to perform at specialist and managerial levels. This programme is particularly suitable for professionals seeking continuous development and aiming to influence future HR policies and practices.

The modules in TUT’s programme cover topics such as advanced strategic management and advanced human resource management, providing deep insights into strategic management within an HR context. These modules prepare students to develop organisational strategies related to key HR issues such as employee engagement and talent management. Graduates will complete the programme with improved skills in people management, coaching and performance management.


Why people management programmes are gaining popularity

The increasing complexity of the workforce along with ongoing changes to employee expectations require that those managing an organisation’s people need to keep up with evolving trends and changes in the industry. Programmes focusing on these areas are gaining popularity as they equip HR professionals to manage diverse and dynamic teams effectively.

A report into the global outlook of the HR market, carried out by ExpertMarketResearch.com, found that the global value of the HR market was valued at $25.53bn in 2023 and is forecast to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 10.5% from 2024 to 2032. The report noted that major drivers in the HR industry were the changing of business processes to digital systems, the rising uptake of HRM solutions and investments by governments. It also noted that advances in IT and the adoption of predictive analytics in HR procedures were the key trends in the global industry.


Advantages for training and skill development

The field of human resources, much like most aspects of modern business, is constantly evolving. As such, HR professionals wishing to climb to the top of their field should embrace opportunities to advance their training and skills. TUT’s postgraduate diploma in HR offers advanced training and skill development opportunities, providing insights into the latest HR trends and technologies and enabling professionals to stay ahead in a competitive field.


Key benefits of human resources management


Understanding of basic human resource functions

Courses in HR management provide a solid foundation in key HR functions such as recruitment, performance management and employee benefits. This understanding is crucial for effective HR practice.

TUT’s online programme includes a module on advanced human resource management that provides a comprehensive understanding of HRM, including the role of HR professionals, professionalism and ethical dilemmas, thereby equipping students with the necessary skills for HR management and strategy development.


Developing strategic HR planning skills

Strategic HR planning is essential for aligning HR goals with organisational objectives. Courses in HR management help develop these skills, enabling HR professionals to contribute significantly to their organisation’s success.

Through modules like that for advanced strategic management, students gain the practical experience and conceptual understanding necessary for strategic management and situation analysis in HR, enhancing their strategic HR planning skills.


Human resource professionals need to not only keep up to date on all relevant aspects of labour law, they also need to act ethically. TUT’s programme covers critical aspects such as addressing ethical dilemmas in HR. This prepares students to navigate the complex legal and ethical landscape of modern HR management, ensuring compliance and ethical practice.

One of the optional elective streams that students can choose, advanced labour relations, includes a module that goes into more advanced detail on labour law. Students who choose this elective will be able to successfully navigate the more complex labour law provisions and principles as they relate to South African law.


Enhancing communication and employee relations

Strong communication skills are fundamental in HR, requiring both interpersonal communication skills and organisational communication skills. This is needed for building positive employee relations and effectively conveying organisational policies.

TUT postgraduate diploma in HR’s emphasis on skills such as interviewing, coaching, managing conflict and performance management underlines the importance of communication and strong employee relations in HR.


Preparing for leadership roles in human resources management

As HR professionals advance in their careers, leadership skills become increasingly important to allow them to manage an HR team or department. HR management courses often include modules on leadership, preparing students for senior roles within the HR department.


Selecting a human resource management course

When selecting a human resource management course there are many factors to consider. If you are considering studying human resources management, then it is likely that you already have a goal in mind. This will differ from person to person, but some common goals include becoming the manager of a human resource department, conducting research and providing strategic input into improving organisational policies and procedures.

Depending on the level of your ambitions, this goal may require just a single qualification, both an undergraduate and a postgraduate qualification or potentially even further specialisations after completing a postgraduate qualification. With this goal in mind, you should next consider your current qualifications and experience. Look at the admission criteria for the qualification to see whether you already qualify or what you still need to do to qualify.

Once you know the qualification/s that you need to meet your goals, the next step is to look at the courses available and choose one that is both affordable and accessible. You will also need to consider your situation to select the format that works best for you. A full-time traditional contact class format suits those who live near the institution and who do not have other work or personal commitments during the day. For those who are working or have other daytime commitments such as looking after family, a part-time online format is likely to be the better choice.


Factors to consider for a successful HR career

If you are considering a career in human resources, then there are many things to consider. Most of the skills needed can be learnt, but the career is best suited to people who are naturally good communicators and like to work with people. An undergraduate qualification will provide the knowledge needed to find work as a human resources professional, where you can get a better feel for what the work entails and what aspects of it appeal most to you.

The field of human resources has many areas of specialisation that you may wish to pursue to further advance your career. Gaining relevant work experience will help in this regard, but completing a more advanced postgraduate qualification will open up doors to specialisation and more senior HR roles.


Evaluating course delivery methods and formats

Consider whether you prefer online, part-time, or full-time study. Each format has its benefits and can suit different lifestyles and learning preferences. Full-time traditional study formats may appeal to younger students seeking to experience the social life of a campus, while online part-time formats provide immense flexibility to those who have other responsibilities that would prevent them from attending daily classes.


Key considerations for selecting an HR management course

Key considerations include the course’s curriculum, the reputation of the institution, the opportunities for networking and the career support services offered.

Studying online with TUT gives you access to several dedicated services for career services and a graduate recruitment portal.


Defining your HR specialisation

There are many different specialisations within HR, such as talent management, employment law and international HR. Define your area of interest to find an HR course that aligns with your career aspirations.

TUT’s postgraduate diploma offers three electives to choose from, allowing you to specialise in human resources development, strategic organisational development or labour law that could lead to further academic study and specialisation.


Evaluating course content and curriculum

TUT’s postgraduate diploma offers modules such as advanced research methodology, which prepares students for higher-level studies and complex problem-solving in the workplace. The course also includes elective streams on human resources development, organisational development strategies and labour relations, enabling students to specialise in their chosen area of interest.


Budget and financial considerations

Finally, consider the course fees and any available financial aid or scholarships. Ensure that the investment aligns with your career goals and offers a good return on investment.

TUT’s postgraduate programme offers certain benefits that make it easier to budget for. This includes a pay-per-module system, as well as a carousel model that allows and affords you the flexibility to pause your studies and then resume at a later date should finances become tight. Studying online also saves on travel time and costs, making it more budget-friendly.


People also ask:


What does an HR person do?

HR professionals manage the human resources of an organisation, which are the employees. The roles of an HR person include recruiting, hiring, dismissals, training, employee relations and compliance with labour laws.


What is the role of an HR manager?

An HR manager oversees the entire human resource department. Some of their responsibilities include developing policies, ensuring compliance with laws and providing strategic guidance for improving the organisation’s employee relations and workplace culture.


What is an HRM course?

An HRM course such as TUT’s Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management provides advanced skills in managing human resources, covering strategic management, ethical and legal issues and employee engagement. The inclusion of the “M” for management means that HRM courses have more of a focus on management and leadership than is the case for a more entry-level HR programme.


What are the 7 main functions of HR?

The main functions of human resources are recruitment, training and development, performance management, employee relations, compensation and benefits, legal compliance and workplace safety.


What does a diploma in human resources management do?

A diploma in HR management, such as the one offered by TUT, equips graduates to perform at specialist and managerial levels in HR environments, handling issues such as talent management and strategic HR planning.


How does a diploma in HR management benefit HR professionals?

A diploma in HR management helps HR professionals by giving them additional skills in strategic management HR development that prepare them well for more senior HR roles.


What job can you get with a diploma in human resource management?

Graduates of an HR diploma will be able to competently carry out roles such as an HR manager, talent acquisition specialist, training and development manager or employee relations manager.


How does technology impact HR management?

Technology in HR management streamlines processes such as recruitment, training, data management and employee engagement. New HR software solutions also offer detailed analytics tools that help HR managers inform their strategic decision-making.


How do I choose the right human resource management course?

When selecting a course for your studies, consider factors such as accreditation, curriculum relevance, faculty expertise and alignment with career goals. For instance, TUT’s programme offers modules relevant to contemporary HR challenges and strategic HR management.


What specialisations are available in HR management?

Specialisations within the field of human resource management include talent management, organisational development, HR analytics and labour law. TUT’s programme offers three different electives, with one focused on organisational development, one on advanced human resource management and a third that dives deep into South African labour law.


How does technology influence HR course delivery?

Technology facilitates flexible online delivery of HR courses, interactive learning tools and access to HR resources.

You can learn more about TUT’s learning management system (LMS) in this article. All lectures and programme material is accessible through the LMS and it includes many other tools for interacting and engaging with lecturers and your classmates.


What is advanced human resources management?

Advanced HR management involves strategic management of human resources, focusing on aligning HR strategies with business goals and managing complex HR issues.

TUT’s postgraduate diploma includes a module on advanced human resource management that provides students with the skills to design new HR policies and programmes within an organisation as well as to conduct in-depth research into an organisation’s operations to assess and identify any underlying business or management issues.


What are the requirements for a Postgraduate Diploma in HR at TUT?

As a postgraduate-level diploma, applicants require an NQF-level 7 qualification in human resources or a related field. According to the national qualifications framework, level 7 applies to a bachelor’s degree or an advanced diploma.

Some common examples include an Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management, a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management or a Baccalaureus Technologiae: Human Resource Management/Human Resource Development/Labour Relations Management.


Study HR online with TUT

TUT recently launched a fully online Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management. The programme runs over two years and consists of five modules, with a choice of three different elective streams for different areas of specialisation.

Each of the three elective streams consists of two modules and the areas of specialisation are human resource development (combining advanced human resources development with organisational development strategy), advanced human resources management (combining advanced human resources development with advanced labour relations) and labour relations (combining advanced labour law with advanced labour relations).


Accredited 100% online postgraduate diploma

Studying online with TUT is flexible enough to allow you to continue with other daytime commitments. The programme also runs on a carousel model that cycles through the programme’s modules, meaning that you can start at four different times of the year.

The learning management system (LMS) is accessible at any time and from anywhere with an internet connection, giving you easy access to all your learning material and lectures. You can learn more about the many features and tools that are included in TUT’s LMS in our previous article on TUT’s learning management system and how to ace it.


Study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management

Applications to the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management are open to candidates who have already completed an HR-related qualification at level 7 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which equates to a bachelor’s degree or an advanced diploma. To find out more about the programme, including fees and upcoming starting dates, go to this page.

To request more information and get started with your application, you can go here.


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