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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Labor Relations

Majors Overview April 4, 2014

Students will explore methods in labor training, conflict resolution, human resources management, and collective bargaining with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Labor Relations. Those who graduate from the program may choose to pursue further education or find a career as an employment or union representative.

B.S. Programs in Labor Relations

Students enrolled in a 4-year Labor Relations program are prepared for leadership roles in labor management. Often considered an interdisciplinary degree, it equips students with the knowledge related to the use of analytical skills in assessing workplace issues, corresponding to use of interpersonal skills in ameliorating them. Concentrations in unionization, legal studies, or globalization may also be offered through the program. Apart from offering Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs, schools also offer Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in the field.

Field or internship experience may be required in some schools. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs can expect to become proficient in understanding employee rights, training personnel, and representing employees. Coursework may involve delving into grievance procedures, current labor problems, and labor ethics. Apart from general education coursework, students may also study topic areas such as:

•Labor and American politics
•Globalization and labor
•Labor law
•Labor history
•Industrial and organizational psychology

Career Choices

Various industries employ labor relations specialists, including healthcare assistance companies, insurance firms, technical services, and manufacturing companies. The skills obtained through the degree program can help graduates obtain job positions such as:

•Management consultant
•Benefits manager
•Human resources specialist
•Union leader
•Training specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

A 21% employment growth rate has been predicted for human resources (HR) specialists over the 2010-2020 decade, while the corresponding growth rate of 13% has been projected for human resources managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, HR specialists earned an average annual wage of $55,640, while managers took home $99,720 (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek continued education by earning a master’s degree in Labor Relations. Coursework in a graduate degree program is devised to expand on the foundations laid via the undergraduate coursework, and students are assisted in enhancing their comprehension of labor management and law. Additionally, numerous companies offer certification opportunities; these include the American Society for Training and Development and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

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