About SHRM's Academic Initiative

In 2006, the SHRM Board approved an initiative to help the Society define and develop HR education at university business schools across the nation. The initiative is a long-term investment that includes multiple phases over several years.

SHRM conducted multiple research projects over a period of years that helped inform and formulate the need for SHRM to establish a position on the future of HR Education. SHRM Research shows:

  • There is inconsistency program-to-program in HR education.
  • Employers consistently state that students' courses of study do not cover all the topics required to be successful HR professionals in the workplace.
  • HR education needs to be anchored within a business context and include concepts/skills taught in a way that helps students apply HR learning in a business context.
  • Students seek information from SHRM with regard to selecting universities or courses of study.
  • Many entry level HR applicants lack relevant work experience according to hiring managers.
  • HR practitioners are increasingly concerned over curriculum issues and are looking to SHRM for guidance.
  • Internships and HR work experience are critical for career and early job success.
  • HR profession shifts its focus as HR professionals move through their career.
  • From tactical, functional HR delivery at entry level.
  • To include strategic responsibilities at higher levels.
  • No barriers exists to prevent unprepared professionals from entering the field.

How Does the SHRM Academic Initiative Fit in with SHRM's Mission?

Advance the Profession. SHRM's mission in part is to advance the HR profession. Within the context of that mission, SHRM will set the HR education agenda by concentrating on four key areas:

  • Creating curriculum and influencing the adoption and use of the curriculum;
  • Investing in the development of teaching materials targeted for use in BBA and MBA programs;
  • Developing relationships with faculty and academic institutions and;
  • Influencing the preparedness of HR professionals through HR degree programs and internships.

Serve the Professional. The other integral component of SHRM's mission is to serve the HR professional by identifying what he or she needs and then providing products, services and tools to meet those needs. Consequently, SHRM will be focused on:

  • Working with SHRM members, chapters and state councils to provide internship opportunities within their organizations.
  • Providing student members an opportunity to find internships.
  • Creating a template of how the internship can be a true learning experience for a student that results in the student securing direct work experience in HR.
  • Helping faculty understand the need for real HR experience from the practitioner viewpoint and to encourage internships to be a requirement for educational curricula.
  • Developing course content modules, case studies and other teaching tools for faculty to use in the classroom.
  • Creating a benchmarking "state of the profession" survey so the Society can start tracking HR graduates throughout their careers.
  • Creating assurance of learning assessments, based on the Curriculum Guidebook and Templates, at the undergraduate and graduate levels to help universities meet accreditation standards and provide students with an additional achievement that complements their degree in HR.