Middle Tennessee State University launched its new Human Resource Management concentration this fall with the confidence that its courses align with guidelines from the Society for Human Resource Management, an HR professional organization considered a gold standard in the industry.
MTSU’s Jones College of Business was notified this summer that it is now among more than 500 programs in approximately 425 educational institutions throughout the world that have met the guidelines to become SHRM aligned. The guidelines were developed by SHRM to define the minimum HR content areas that should be studied by HR students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
HR instructors within the Department of Management modified the curriculum and course work for the proposed new concentration to also cover the 18 topics and eight competencies that SHRM requires.
“The alignment adds credibility to the concentration and will be a boost on our graduates’ resumes by allowing them to say they completed a SHRM-aligned program,” said assistant management professor Kristie Abston, who spearheaded the effort. “Everything is world-class with SHRM. It is the premier organization for the HR profession.”
That’s important in a burgeoning industry with median salaries for HR professionals in the Midstate ranging from $40,000 to $94,000, and with a jobs growth rate projected from 6% to 26% by 2026 statewide.
The alignment also gives the opportunity for eligible MTSU students, who already have sufficient HR internships and related experience, to take the SHRM-CP certification earlier than students from non-aligned programs. Otherwise SHRM requires up to four years of professional HR experience, depending upon level of college education, before taking the certification exam.