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Asked by Madeline on November 2, 2017

I am currently a management major at my university and debating changing to organizational leadership with a minor in management. I would like to work in the HR department of a company in the future. I have yet to pin a difference in the two majors. Will it matter what degree I hold in order to achieve a management position in a company? Thanks!

Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on November 29, 2017

Based on your question, I am going to assume that you want to be a manager working in HR. If you want to work in a management position at some point in your career, I do not think your degree will make a difference. Your work experience is going to be more important in getting you to a manager level position than a degree will. If you specifically want to work in HR, I think either major is acceptable. HR professionals typically have diverse degrees ranging anywhere from HR to psychology to organizational leadership and so on. It will also be key for you to obtain an HR internship while in school to help narrow in on your HR focus.
As far as achieving a management position, I would recommend taking on leadership opportunities and other additional responsibilities throughout your career to help you achieve this level. It will be important for you to set goals in your career and share your interests with your manager so he/she can help you achieve them.
Good luck!

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Answered by Hector, Hiring Expert at Tenneco, on December 1, 2017

Happy Friday!

Considering your are pursuing a career in HR you cannot go wrong with either degree.  I would make sure to establish in HR focus in either degree path and get involved in some extra HR activities (Part-Time Job, Internship, On-Campus Leadership Experience).  

The two degrees have much overlap, but simply put Organizational Development/Change is focused on the human element while Business Management is a bit more technical.  In OD you will learn about the social sciences and leadership.  In business you may have the opportunity to dig a little deeper into finance and marketing.  Ultimately both will teach you about management and set you on a path to a great HR career. 

Glad you are joining the world of HR.  Always remember that the number one priority is the people. 

Thanks,
Hector Hernandez
Tenneco

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Answered by Jenna, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on December 7, 2017

In our department, we have both majors and then some others as well. It's just a different path to the same field!
The difference between the two majors typically tends to be the focus of the studies.  While a Business Management or HR Management degree exposes a student to all of the various fields of business, along with the different processes (Staffing, Talent Development/Training, Business Law, Performance Management, Compensation and Benefits), an Organizational Leadership degree focuses on the people element more specifically throughout.  It's simply a difference in focus of the degree.
Either degree can lend itself to the HR field, and it ultimately depends on how you pair your degree with experience.  An Organizational Leadership degree doesn't immediately say you're interested in HR.  It needs to be paired with involvement in a university's SHRM chapter, an internship or co-op in the field, or a listing of electives such as those listed above, which would set you apart from other OL majors.
In order to hold a management position in an organization, experience (in life and in the field) will be a main determiner, rather than the degree. 
Thank you for asking!

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