OverviewIn today’s knowledge economy, the value of human capital has never been more important for firm survival. Organizational Behavior/Human Resource (OB/HR) professionals help organizations convert human capital into sustainable competitive advantage. They focus their efforts on implementing the strategic objectives of the firm among the labor force to improve business results. OB/HR professionals often lead in organizational change and help their firms effectively use employee skills, provide training, and evaluate ways to increase employees’ satisfaction with their jobs and working conditions. The OB/HR field demands a range of personal qualities and skills. For example, human resource managers must speak and write effectively. They work with people of various cultural backgrounds, levels of education, and experience and must be able to cope with conflicting points of view, function under pressure, and demonstrate discretion, integrity, and fair-mindedness.
OptionsMyriad opportunities exist for undergraduate business students who major in business management with an emphasis in OB/HR. A career in organizational behavior or human resources may consist of entry level jobs such as human resource generalists or specialists who help design and manage compensation and benefits programs. A growing number of OB/HR graduates begin their careers as organization design and compensation analysts. This involves research and strategic implementation aimed at attracting, recruiting, training, and providing professional development for new hires. Later, OB/HR graduates may advance to managerial positions in compensation or training, which may lead to positions such as director of human resources, director of organizational development, or senior executive positions responsible for overseeing human capital. Those interested in more OB-focused careers often work doing internal consulting for firms and develop leadership rotation, leadership development, organizational development, strategic training, and performance management systems. OB/HR professionals may choose to join a consulting firm or open their own businesses. A growing number of students interested in OB/HR also pursue advanced degrees at the MBA and/or PhD level. The Marriott School is currently placing between four and five students in top PhD programs around the nation in OB/HR each year.
OutlookCareer opportunities for graduates with a business emphasis in OB/HR increase each year. The demand projections appear to be particularly strong for training and development specialists in response to the increasing complexity of many jobs, the aging workforce, and technological advances. Additionally, demand has increased as the field of HR management becomes more strategic and integrated into mainstream business processes and as retail, service, non-profit, governmental, and global business entities grow.
The undergraduate emphasis in OB/HR has three 3-hour required courses and two 3-hour elective courses necessary for graduation. Students may choose among six different elective courses to customize their emphasis depending on their career goals or interests.
OB/HR Student StatisticsAverage Total GPA: 3.6
Average BYU GPA: 3.58
Average SAT: 1229
Average ACT: 27
Average Age: 23