Career outlook

What can I do with a degree in employment and labor relations?

The employment and labor relations major provides students with the opportunity to develop the critical skills necessary to analyze the social, political and economic dimensions of employment and workplace issues. Students become familiar with employment and labor law, human resource management, compensation and benefits, and techniques associated with the resolution of conflict in the workplace.

Transferable skills

A degree in employment and labor relations develops skills in:

  • Career development and planning
  • Conflict resolution and negotiations
  • Problem identification, analysis, and solving
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Written and verbal communication skills

Careers in employment and labor relations

Among several career paths, students may choose to pursue a career as a human resource manager or specialist in the private, public, for non-profit or healthcare sector, including a career as a labor relations specialist. Students may also pursue a career working for a labor organization as a staff specialist or pursue an advanced degree in law or business.

Career insights by degree

Still want more information about what degree is right for you? Visit our career insights explorer tool to learn more.

Graduate study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

In the field

Students in employment and labor relations often pursue careers in businesses, federal, state, and local governments, and non-profit organizations, such as unions. They work as human resource managers, labor relations managers, human resource and labor relations specialists, and as professional staff for labor and community-based organizations.

Specialists can be found in such areas as recruiting, compensation and benefits, training and development, and talent management. There are also human resource generalists in the field. Networking is critical to the job search process as is acquiring relevant experience and skills, through work-related activities, including internships.

For more information about careers in labor and employment relations, including human resource management, see the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on job outlooks in these areas:

Other career resources

Also, consider networking in these organizations and the Metro Detroit Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association and the Michigan Public Employer.

For help and more information, contact Career Services.