Dear Mentor:

For HR, should I major in psychology or economics?

I'm an arts student interested in a career in HRD. Which would be the ideal subject to major in - Psychology or Economics?

HR Bound, Pune, India

Dear HR Bound:

Human Resource Development (HRD) is a field that deals with managing people and managing companies. At the individual level, it deals with motivation, recognition, training, and compensation. At the company level it deals with productivity, culture, organizational structure, and organizational behavior. Traditionally, the appropriate preparation for leadership in Human Resources has been in psychology and sociology. Recently, however, the economic view of people and groups in organizations has become a popular topic for researchers contributing to the state of the art in Human Resources.

There is no ideal single subject to major in if you want to be a leader in Human Resources. But, if it were me, I would consider the ideal training to be the following: A major in psychology, with a minor in economics and some courses in sociology. And I would make sure to include economics and sociology courses that are applicable to companies or organizations.

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