HR careers: Keep up with the rapidly changing workplace
From flexible hours and hybrid offices to changing workplace demographics, the world of work has undergone rapid transformations over recent years. Here we speak to expert Dr Keely Jo Frasca about upskilling in human resource management and organizational psychology.
The workplace continues to evolve at a dizzying pace, presenting new opportunities for employers and staff to enhance the way we work.
The workforce is becoming increasingly age-diverse, with multigenerational teams contributing a range of perspectives, and these demographic changes are receiving considerable attention, with some researchers focusing on ways to combat age discrimination at work, explains leading academic Dr Keely Jo Frasca.
“Older people are staying in the workplace for longer, seeking more work opportunities, progressing in the workplace in ways that they wouldn't have done before. There’s a lot of literature out there about the stereotyping, biases and discrimination that come into play when we screen older people,” she adds.
Other trends, such as a greater focus on employee wellbeing and retention and the rise of hybrid and remote offices, came into sharp focus during the pandemic.
Dr Frasca is Programme Director of the University of London’s Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management programmes.
The MSc in Organizational Psychology covers theory and evidence of psychological processes and organisational change in the workplace, to understand how to enhance wellbeing, motivation, and performance outcomes.
The MSc in Human Resource Management delves into research and theories related to focal HR issues, including employment relations, strategic HR processes, diversity, and careers. Both programmes also cover leadership, personnel selection, and research methods.
Both degrees can be studied from anywhere in the world and are designed to prepare students for careers as advisors, managers and consultants in large multinational companies and government departments.
Typical students include both recent university graduates and experienced professionals seeking new work opportunities or to update their existing knowledge with fresh, evidence-based insight.
“Some have realised that the ways in which their organizations have been doing things for many years haven’t got much evidence behind them to say that they work very well.
"For instance, one of the modules I run covers different ways of running interviews or screening for compatibility. Some people who have been in this field for a long time might have run different types of psychometric tests which aren’t very valid or reliable,” says Dr Frasca.
Another key draw is the flexibility, she says.
We offer both degrees fully online. They are super flexible. Students can take the courses on a modular basis and build up to a postgraduate diploma, or if they go further and do the dissertation, get a master’s degree.
Lectures are coupled with a team of tutors who are on hand with week-to-week support. “They get the best of both worlds. They can watch the lecture recordings in their own time, while also having weekly interaction from their tutors and peers via forum-based conferencing. Every module also provides the option of attending live online seminar-style discussions.
Their learning experience is also enriched by interactions with other students in a diverse environment. “A lot of the face-to-face programmes in the UK might be more heavily dominated by UK students, but this is a real global programme with students often drawing from a wealth of practical industry experiences, which further enrich the weekly peer-to-peer discussions,” Dr Frasca adds.