Careers

Careers

The School of Labor and Employment Relations offers undergraduate and graduate programs, both residentially and online, that prepare students for careers in a wide range of industries.

Our undergraduate degrees prepare students for entry-level positions in human resource management, talent management, development, employment law and labor and management relations. Labor and employment relations (LER) majors have many career options after graduation and are vital to the success of corporations, government agencies and local and national organizations.

Working as a human resource and employment relations (HRER) specialist for an employer is one of the most popular professions for labor and employment relations majors. Virtually every employer - multinational corporations, small companies, family businesses, hospitals, charities and non-profit agencies, schools and universities and federal, state and local governments - employ HRER professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HRER is a growing profession and the job outlook for the next decade is very positive.

For students interested in social and economic justice, working for a union provides an opportunity to pursue a career where you can put your beliefs into actions.  Hundreds of LER alumni have gone on to work for labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the United Steelworkers, the American Federation of Teachers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

Our graduate programs prepare students for more advanced jobs in industries such as human resources and employment relations, as well as labor and global workers’ rights. The curriculum in our graduate programs is constantly evolving to keep students up to date with current practices. Our programs give students the opportunity to develop strong practical skills for the workforce, and to prepare for a career in human resources and employment relations, or labor and global workers’ rights upon graduation.

Internships

Internships are one of the most important things you can do while a student at Penn State. They can help you decide whether a given career path is right for you by giving you a real sense of what is involved in a certain job along with practical experience in your field, something that can extremely helpful when you begin your search for a post-graduation job.

LER students are responsible for finding their own internships or jobs, but the School can be very helpful as you conduct a search for the right internship. A first step in this process is determining the kind of work you think you would like to gain experience in (i.e. human resource management, labor and employment relations, union organizing and representation, government, law, etc.). You should also think about practical considerations, like whether you can do an unpaid internship or will require one that is paid, and the geographic areas where you would like to work.

Once you have an internship arranged, you need to sign up for internship credits. LER students should register for LA 495. Katelyn Perry, LER’s academic adviser, can help you with the registration process. To begin the process, you will need to download the Internship Packet

The Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network is a resource for Liberal Arts majors who are seeking opportunities to engage in career-related, international and professional development activities. Liberal Arts majors interested in internship opportunities, study abroad programs, alumni mentoring opportunities, undergraduate research experiences, or funding sources to help support an enrichment activity should visit the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network for more information.

Liberal Arts majors can also register for an account with the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment system to search and apply for internship opportunities, upload resumes for review, view important announcements or upcoming events and schedule appointments with a Career Enrichment staff member to talk about resumes, specific career interests, or funding opportunities to support enrichment experiences.