By Lauren Lavelle
After years of educating students about the ins and outs of recruiting employees, Rider’s human resource (HR) management program was named one of the top programs in the U.S. and New Jersey by College Factual, a website that focuses on college analytics and provides students with rankings of major and minor programs across the country.
The program came in 20th out of 135 U.S. colleges and universities and ranked third in New Jersey.
“Being a human resource management major has positively impacted my college career,” said senior Christina Leib. “I was drawn to the HR program because of my interest in learning how to best develop employees for the company I work for.”
The program is housed in Rider’s College of Business Administration, which holds a dual accreditation in the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The association recognizes quality business schools across the nation and aims to create better leaders.
Eugene Kutcher, associate professor and chairman of the College of Business Administration, believes this contributed to the program’s high accolades and sets it apart from competing HR majors.
“Some of our competitors might have an HR program, but it’s not within an accredited business school,” he said. “They don’t necessarily have everything that the AACSB gives to business students so, here, [students] really have the language of business figured out, not just a specialization in HR.”
Through internships, guest speakers and independent research studies, students are able to master the skills a proper HR employee needs to be successful in the working world.
“Our faculty does a superb job of preparing our students to enter the workforce,” Leib said. “ I have taken what I learned in my HR classes and applied concepts throughout the HR internships I have had.”
After graduation, Leib plans to attend Villanova to pursue a master’s degree then travel overseas for work.
“I have great interest in working for a global company in order to travel and see firsthand how HR practices and policies are different in other countries,” she said.
According to Kutcher, the evolvement of the HR program played a large part in the success rate of students.
“[The program] follows what’s happening in the industry,” he said. “Over the years, human resources has taken a lot from psychology and sociology because we’re talking about human beings. We really try to bridge the gap and make sure we’re thinking about the roots of why we manage people this way in companies. The rates of students that go out and get jobs is something to be proud of.”
Leib added, “My biggest takeaway from the program is how important it is for HR professionals to partner with management to ensure employees are working toward the company’s strategic objectives.”
She added, “At the end of the day, your employees are your human capital that get the job done, and it is paramount that they are maintained. Recruiting and selecting the best people for your company is just the beginning. While employees deserve fair compensation and benefits, they also desire opportunities to develop and progress in their careers.”