As essential members in nearly every industry, human resources professionals recruit, train, and advocate for employees in the workforce. Students may aspire to human resources careers that focus on management and leadership or specialize in cultivating healthy employer-employee relationships. While most human resources career paths require you to earn a bachelor's degree, the field offers many positions for graduates at all education levels, including work as HR assistants, training/development specialists, and compensation and benefits managers.
An interested student should research all aspects of a career in HR. Most degrees require or recommend that candidates gain professional experience through internships or externships, thus advancing a competitive edge in the marketplace. As a broad field with vast opportunities, qualified human resources managers and specialists in related roles can earn between roughly $60,000 and $121,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Skills Gained in a Human Resources Program
The field of human resources requires applicants to possess advanced soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities. An aspiring HR professional should choose a degree with an emphasis in written and oral communication coursework and try to gain hands-on experience in the field. Job seekers may also pursue specialized training and certification in particular areas of expertise to build professional skills. The following talents are among the most sought-after by HR employers:
As liaisons between employers and employees, human resources professionals must possess excellent communication skills. All human resources careers require workers with the ability to demonstrate professionalism and tact when communicating, whether orally or in writing. Employers prefer candidates with exceptional speaking and listening skills for all roles in human resources.
Human resources professionals often lead staff and initiate projects in various management roles. Employers expect HR managers to possess self-motivated leadership skills to oversee the hiring and training process, organize new-hire policies, and manage employee benefits. These professionals must demonstrate the ability to work somewhat independently to guide several projects at the same time.
Acute problem-solving abilities prove critical to any human resources career path. HR workers often encounter conflicts in managing job candidates, employees, and their respective egos, but a qualified problem-solver can satisfy all parties involved while remaining professional. This skill includes the ability to diffuse an escalating situation and negotiate terms between parties.
- Interpersonal Relations
Much like communication, interpersonal skills are a crucial part of a human resources career. HR managers generally possess an outgoing personality with heightened sensibilities that enable them to "read" people well. Maintaining interpersonal relationships plays a major role in the job functions of an HR manager.
HR professionals often display advanced decision-making skills. Managers and HR directors often require the ability to take charge of a large project in its entirety, such as staffing or training, and make informed executive decisions in the best interest of their company or client. Employers prefer candidates with high-level decision-making skills and experience to act on their behalf.
Why Pursue a Career in Human Resources?
Job seekers may wonder, "is human resources a good career?" With a variety of jobs available in many industries, growth opportunities, and the intrinsic value of helping others at work, HR professionals can enjoy a well-compensated career with longevity. For example, the BLS projects 12% job growth through 2026 for human resources managers working in specialized operations management, with a median salary of $113,300.
The field encompasses a unique variety of roles requiring business, administrative, and human services skills. From human resources management careers to industrial/organizational psychologist positions, students can choose from several degree paths to shape their future in the field. Additionally, human resources professionals enjoy a lifetime of learning and continuing education opportunities to stay abreast of the latest developments in a competitive industry.
How Much Do Human Resources Majors Make?
Many factors affect the potential salary of a human resources graduate. Professionals working in human resources may earn more or less than their counterparts depending on their geographical location and the industry in which they work. A candidate's education and experience can also greatly affect their salary potential. The table below represents the variable titles and median salaries earned by HR professionals based on individual experience levels and degree level.
As in any occupation, late-career professionals earn more than entry-level workers, with compensation and benefits managers and labor relations managers among the top earners in the field.
|Job Title||Entry Level (0-12 Months)||Early Career (1-4 Years)||Midcareer (5-9 Years)||Experienced (10-19 Years)|
|Human Resources Manager||$49,000||$58,000||$66,000||$71,000|
|Compensation and Benefits Manager||$80,000||$73,000||$83,000||$96,000|
|Labor Relations Manager||N/A||$82,000||$90,000||$91,000|
|Training and Development Manager||$55,000||$63,000||$74,000||$84,000|
Interview with a Professional
Brad Stultz is the human resources director for Totally Promotional. Since 2014, he has overseen many personnel responsibilities, including hiring, disciplinary, policy creation, enforcement and more for approximately 300 employees of Totally Promotional, an online retailer and manufacturer of custom-printed promotional products.
- Why did you choose to pursue a degree in human resources? Was it something you were always interested in?
I've always gravitated toward human resources and management roles throughout my career. In choosing human resources, I wanted a degree that would allow me to be an advocate for employees while setting company culture and policies that provide for growth and profitability. One of the more prominent aspects that drew me to human resources was the constantly changing landscape of the field. There are new advances, technologies, and best practices being released on a near-daily basis. I also very much enjoy building dynamic teams that play to the strengths of its individual members.
- What would you say are the minimum educational and work experience requirements to earn a job in human resources?
The minimum work experience should be at least five years for anyone wishing to step into an HR-related role. Building a comprehensive resume through varied work experiences is crucial when seeking a career in human resources. One very common misconception is that you need to actively work in an HR role to build experience. Human resources comprises so many different areas that any experience related to the field can be beneficial in securing a permanent role.
A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum required education to obtain a solid HR foundation. One thing to consider is that many schools now offer certifications that you can complete online or in a campus setting. These certifications do not provide all of the comprehensive and in-depth courses that a bachelor's degree program would, but they do provide a solid overview of several key areas within HR.
- What about working in human resources do you enjoy?
There are so many things that I enjoy about working in the human resources field, but the top perk is watching employees that I have hired grow with the company. It's so rewarding to see someone rise through the ranks. Over the past five years with Totally Promotional, I have seen over 35 hires move into supervisory- or management-level roles. I also enjoy working with our management team to help create a culture that clearly defines our morals and goals as a company. At Totally Promotional, we strive for a working environment that promotes employee engagement and personal growth.
- What are the most difficult aspects of working in human resources?
Many of the most challenging aspects of human resources relate to disciplinary matters. I also find policy creation and enforcement to be difficult, at times, due to the amount of legal research necessary to ensure fairness. Attendance seems to be the catalyst for many of our terminations, and that can be very frustrating. We work very hard to clearly communicate our attendance requirements and continually educate our employees on where they stand with attendance concerns.
- What advice would you give to students considering earning a degree in human resources?
If you're interested in a long-term career in human resources, be willing to start at the entry level of a company just to get your foot in the door. A versatile HR professional has a great working knowledge of all roles within a company. I began my working career as a cart pusher in a big box chain and eventually worked my way up to a management role. At Totally Promotional, we encourage internal promotion and are proud to say that nearly all of our management team began in entry-level positions. Having a keen understanding of what it takes to perform a role can help you more easily create policies and improvements that will provide actual benefits to the team.
- Any final thoughts?
To be a true HR professional, be willing to listen to those whom you represent. By making yourself available and open to the concerns of your employees, you become a great resource to your management team in affecting positive change within an organization. I have always been of the mindset that HR should aim to enable others to be the very best they can be. We must provide adequate training, great benefits, and a good working environment to all of the employees we represent. We must also be willing to listen to management concerns and work towards finding solutions that are cost-effective yet beneficial to employees and their work processes.
How to Succeed in Human Resources
Graduates with a human resources degree at any level can enter a variety of career roles. Most human resources careers require a bachelor's degree; however, associate and master's degrees can also prepare graduates for related positions in numerous industries and fields. Typically, associate programs lead to positions as human resources assistants or office clerks, while advancing to the bachelor's level provides students with extensive career choice.
Earning a bachelor's degree in human resources often involves an internship or field experience, a component not required of most associate programs. Bachelor's degree holders qualify for positions in HR management, recruiting and training, and compensation and benefits management. Earning a graduate certificate can provide an edge in the job market for bachelor's degree holders to demonstrate specialized HR skills. Additionally, many schools accept graduate certificate transfer credits toward a master's degree.
Many employers prefer a candidate with a master's degree in human resources for advanced positions like an HR manager or a niche role like labor relations specialist. Aspiring postsecondary teachers, researchers, and executive-level consultants and managers may choose to pursue a doctorate in HR, denoting a terminal degree in the field and extensive expertise in their specialties.
Human resources employers require a unique combination of education, experience, and soft skills for the workplace. Most employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor's degree in human resources and field experience, which may include supervised training, internships, or externships. Like many fields, management positions in HR typically require previous experience in lower-ranking roles like specialist or associate. Additionally, each professional certification in human resources requires applicants to complete a certain number of hours or years of experience as part of the credentialing process.
Licensure and Certification
Generally, human resources professionals do not require licensure. However, pursuing optional certification in an HR specialty can help job seekers stand out among competitors with similar education and experience. For seasoned employees, licensure and certification may also play a role in advancing one's career from their current HR position. Read on for some of the industry's most common certificate-administering agencies, though students should always research certifications relevant to their specializations or career pathways.
HR Certification Institute
HRCI offers numerous certifications for professionals in human resources at all levels, as well as for international, domestic, and California-based HR workers. Credentials issued by this organization serve both emerging and established HR professionals.
WorldatWork certifies HR professionals working specifically in benefits and compensation roles. Credentialing options from this organization fall into one of five broad professional categories: compensation, executive compensation, sales compensation, benefits, and work-life certification.
Certified Employee Benefit Specialist
Issued by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), CEBS certification includes designations in two specialty tracks: group benefits associate (GBA) and retirement plans associate (RPA). The CEBS credentialing process requires completion of five courses in GBA and RPA curriculum.
Association for Talent Development
ATD offers some of the most specialized certifications in the field, with certification programs covering coaching, consulting, and e-learning professional training. Students can search for relevant industry certifications by role and complete most programs online.
International Society for Performance Improvement
ISPI offers three certification options: certified performance technologist, certified developer of training, and certified facilitator of training. ISPI also accredits qualifying HR programs through schools that meet rigorous industry standards for value and integrity.
The Society for Human Resource Management
Students may seek two types of certification through SHRM, depending on the student's level of career experience. The organization offers the SHRM-certified professional (CP) credential for early-to-midcareer HR workers, and the SHRM-senior certified professional credential (SCP) for those in late-career experienced roles.
Institute of Management Consultants
IMC offers the certified management consultant credential, ideal for management consultants with experience in the industry and specialized skills in an HR capacity.
Concentrations Available to Human Resources Majors
Students can choose from a variety of concentrations when setting out on their human resources career paths. While schools may differ in their approaches to human resources education, many offer concentrations in business or compensation and benefits as part of HR management programs.
Likewise, many MBAs and finance programs offer human resources as a concentration option. Others enable students aspiring to enter specialized recruiting or training roles in HR to concentrate on training and development or organizational leadership, respectively. While individual choices may vary, the following represent some of the most common concentrations within the field.
- Business Administration: Bachelor's in business administration (BBA) and master's in business administration (MBA) programs often prominently feature human resources as a concentration option. Naturally, business and HR are closely related in the workforce, and students who emphasize HR as part of a business program may receive more acute training in soft skills like communication, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
- Organizational Leadership: This concentration can provide a broad set of skills for a student to carve their own human resources career path. A focus in organizational leadership can prepare a graduate for a role as an HR manager, HR director, or potentially lead to an advanced degree toward becoming an HR consultant, CEO, or I/O psychologist.
- Training and Development: Drawing from fields such as education and psychology, a concentration in training and development prepares graduates for an HR career in this acute area of the field. The curriculum teaches students to explore various methods of evaluation and motivation and to develop/improve workforce education programs.
- Compensation and Benefits: This unique concentration combines finance and leadership concepts, preparing graduates for careers managing employee compensation and benefits for a business or organization. Most programs explore procedures surrounding payroll, sick leave, and insurance benefits for employees.
What Can You Do With a Human Resources Degree?
The available careers for human resources majors depends largely on degree level. Though most managerial positions require at least a bachelor's degree, the field also offers opportunities to graduates of associate and graduate-level programs. A human resources career path can begin with an undergraduate degree. It may also lead a student to a master's degree, master's certificate, or doctoral program on the way to an advanced role in the field.
Accredited degrees and certificates provide students with the minimum education requirements for some of the most exciting and lucrative careers in human resources. As a popular major, human resources programs also emphasize soft skills that prepare graduates for their choice of careers in the field. The following sections outline the minimum education requirements met by each human resources program.
Associate Degree in Human Resources
Generally, earning an associate degree in human resources can prepare graduates for entry-level employment as HR assistants, HR associates, or administrative assistants. Many associate degree holders continue to pursue bachelor's degrees, which meet the minimum education requirements for most human resources jobs. For many candidates, earning an associate degree provides the opportunity to work in the field of human resources while gaining work experience and potentially mastering a specialized skill through an HR bachelor's degree.
- Human Resources Assistant
HR assistants act as an extension of their HR supervisor, often performing many of the same clerical and organizational duties as their immediate superior in the field. Duties include organizing meetings and interviews, preparing HR paperwork, and maintaining new hire information. Some employers offer on-the-job training to associate graduates seeking bachelor's degrees.
- Human Resources Associate
HR associates perform clerical and field-specific duties alongside HR professionals. Typical responsibilities require strong communication, organizational, and computer skills. Additionally, HR associates must demonstrate acute multi-tasking skills with the ability to frequently switch projects as needed. Employers prefer a candidate with a college degree in HR.
- Administrative Assistant
Administrative assistants provide clerical support to human resources professionals. Additionally, they may also conduct research and interact with clients as directed by their supervisors. An associate degree introduces students to the administrative responsibilities and soft skills needed in this position.
Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources
As the most common minimum requirement for HR roles, candidates with a bachelor's degree in the field qualify for the broadest employment opportunities. Employers accept bachelor's degree holders for most entry-level positions, including HR manager, director, specialist, or coordinator, in addition to corporate recruiter positions. Some employers may prefer a candidate with advanced experience or a master's degree for high-level government or corporate jobs. Along with field experience, earning a bachelor's degree also qualifies students to pursue professional HR certification.
- Human Resources Manager
These professionals manage all HR policies and programs within an organization. HR managers routinely track employee benefits, including health insurance, maternity leave, and paid time off. They also keep HR procedures in compliance with industry standards at all times. A bachelor's degree meets minimum requirements for education and experience (usually through an internship) for this position.
- Human Resources Director
HR directors often supervise HR departments or management teams. They manage day-to-day tasks including payroll, recruitment, and compensation and benefits; they may also operate at high levels of administration, overseeing HR budgets and implementing large-scale hiring programs. Employers generally require bachelor's degrees for entry-level jobs.
- Human Resources Specialist
HR specialists perform duties in a particular area of HR, such as compensation and benefits, payroll, or recruiting. Like most support positions, HR specialists share in the clerical responsibilities of the department. They often act as the first point of contact for employees with questions in the HR specialist's area of expertise. Most employers require a candidate to possess a bachelor's degree and field experience.
- Corporate Recruiter
Corporate recruiters require a unique set of skills that reflect their specific employers. These professionals oversee a variety of recruiting initiatives, including job fairs, advertising, and job board postings. Employers prefer recruiters with at least a bachelor's degree in HR or business and work experience, preferably in the client's specific field or industry.
- Human Resources Coordinator
HR coordinators perform many of the same duties as HR managers and may assume the highest HR position available within a small organization. HR coordinators typically manage a variety of tasks, including recruitment, payroll, compensation, and benefits. A candidate for an HR coordinator position should hold a bachelor's degree and obtain work experience in a specialized area of HR.
Master's Degree in Human Resources
Master's degree holders tend to possess more years of experience and specialized skills than bachelor's program graduates. A candidate with a master's degree can pursue advanced positions, including senior HR manager, vice president of human resources, and information systems manager.
While some employers accept a bachelor's degree for labor relations and compensation and benefits management roles, many companies prefer to hire a graduate of a master's program, such as an MBA with a concentration in human resources. Additionally, many employers accept a master's degree in lieu of a bachelor's degree with extensive work experience.
- Compensation and Benefits Manager
As a specialty of HR, compensation and benefits managers explain and implement employee insurance benefits, retirement, and payroll policies. These professionals also typically promote benefits through employee education programs. Many employers prefer a master's degree over a bachelor's degree and work experience.
- VP of Human Resources
Vice presidents of human resources operate at the highest levels of corporate administration. VPs often perform the same duties as high-level HR managers, with additional duties including workforce compliance, corporate tax regulations, and contract and union negotiations. Most VP jobs require candidates to possess a master's degree in HR, business, or management.
- Senior HR Manager
Senior HR managers may work full time within an organization or consult for several clients at the same time. They perform general HR duties involving recruiting, hiring, and benefits enrollment; however, HR managers at the senior level have extensive experience in the field compared to early or midcareer workers. Most senior HR managers hold advanced degrees and boast an average of seven years of work experience.
- Labor Relations Specialist
These professionals act as liaisons among employers, employees, and labor union representatives. Specialists in this area sometimes study business with a concentration in HR or focus on contract negotiation or industrial relations. They typically maintain federal regulations and compliance within a business or organization, in both union and non-union settings. Employers generally prefer a candidate with a master's degree and work experience.
- HR Information Systems Manager
This professional requires the combined skills of a senior HR manager and an IT expert. HR information systems managers oversee electronic and internet-based HR operations for a given organization. Duties may include employee database maintenance, social media recruiting, and HR software training. A candidate commonly earns a business degree, such as an MBA with a specialization in HR or HR/IT systems management.
Graduate Certificates in Human Resources
Earning a graduate certificate can provide bachelor's degree holders with specialized credentials in human resources and, in some cases, prepare a student for a graduate degree. Though graduate certificates and master's degrees emphasize much of the same core curriculum and soft skills, a graduate certificate generally takes half the time it takes to complete a degree and includes an average of five courses. Many schools allow students to apply credits earned in graduate certificates toward master's degrees in human resources.
Doctoral Degree in Human Resources
Like any career, a terminal degree provides candidates with the most advanced employment opportunities in their area of expertise. While master's degree holders qualify for high-level corporate management positions in various HR specialties, graduates of doctoral programs can pursue higher education, consulting, and research positions in the field of human resources. Roles including postsecondary business professor and I/O psychologist require the highest level of degree possible in a human resources specialty.
- Postsecondary Educator, Business
As in any field, postsecondary teachers require a doctoral degree in their respective subject of instruction. Earning a terminal degree in business or HR management demonstrates a thorough understanding of the subject matter and thus qualifies a candidate to teach others in their area of expertise. Some community colleges accept candidates with a master's degree, though most university teaching positions require a doctorate in business or HR.
- Human Resources Consultant
Human resources consultants enjoy the freedom to work independently of any one business or organization. Consultants in the field of HR may work with several clients at a time, taking over the process of recruiting, hiring, conflict resolution, and performance evaluations. Employers tend to seek out the most educated and experienced consultants, as evidenced by a terminal degree in the field.
- Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
Many students consider a human resources career on the path to becoming an I/O psychologist. Similar in nature, both careers involve the study of interpersonal relationships in the workplace. While an I/O psychologist in a traditional practice typically possesses a psychology degree, the field of HR offers many nontraditional jobs for students focused on research or psychology in a business context. This position requires an advanced degree in I/O psychology with an HR concentration or a focus on organizational behavior theory.
Where Can You Work with a Human Resources Degree?
Many factors can affect a job seeker on a human resources career path. Graduates of an HR program typically consider the following four categories when searching job prospects: location, industry, setting, and organization size. With a global reach in nearly every type of business, HR professionals can join a diverse workforce with the potential to find the perfect role in their choice of locations in the field.
While nearly every corner of the world requires HR professionals, location can impact much more than just a human resources management career. Aspiring HR workers should consider their qualifications, salary potential, and the availability of jobs in a given location. In their search for HR jobs, candidates might pursue research into the popularity (thus, the competitiveness) of HR jobs in their area, which could inform their pursuit of specialized certification or licensure in their area of expertise.
Qualified human resources majors can pursue their choice of occupations and industries. The field offers graduates a wealth of career options depending on each student's level of education and experience. As shown below, industries including management, consulting, and administrative services employ the largest number of HR professionals and also tend to pay generous salaries to qualified candidates in the field.
- Management of Companies and Enterprises
HR professionals play a key role in the management industry, often working alongside top executives to maintain human resources departments of the highest quality within an organization.
Average Salary: $140,880
- Employment Services
A natural choice for HR professionals, employment services like temp and staffing agencies depend on qualified workers to handle the employment needs of a diverse client base.
Average Salary: $102,820
- Management Consulting
While many companies maintain permanent HR managers in house, other industries routinely hire management consultants to take over HR processes only when needed, such as in a major hiring boom or transitional period.
Average Salary: $135,630
- Office Administrative Services
The office administrative services industry often employs workers with broad general administrative experience, including HR skills. HR assistants and administrators may fall under this category.
Average Salary: $124,910
- Local Government
Many HR professionals work in local government, as the industry requires uniquely qualified talent in various specializations. Human resources professionals in this industry may require exemplary skills in upholding confidentiality and discretion and in electronic HR software and tools.
Average Salary: $102,820
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Do You Find a Job as a Human Resources Graduate?
Graduates of human resources programs possess soft skills that employers find appealing, including communication, leadership, and organizational ability. For human resources professionals, most employers do not require certification or licensure, but many prefer candidates with advanced qualifications. In this broad field with applications in numerous specializations, graduates with extensive experience and professional credentials can stand out among their competitors.
Job seekers can choose from dozens of online resources in pursuit of an HR job. Sites such as HRJobs.com feature searchable job boards for emerging and experienced HR professionals. Other specialized sites include iHireHR.com and HRCrossing.com, where candidates can filter jobs by location and job function, along with accessing resources for networking opportunities, interviewing tips, and resume-writing suggestions.
The majority of HR managers work in corporate business and management. Specifically, banks and securities agencies are among the largest employers of HR managers in the United States. The BLS projects job growth of 9% through 2026 for HR managers, which is especially positive for an HR professional with a certification or master's degree in the field.
Professional Resources for Human Resources Majors
This organization features membership options for any level of HR career experience and issues CP and SCP certifications. Membership benefits touch all specializations of HR, with resources for labor relations, compensation, and recruiting professionals. Perks include dozens of local chapters across the U.S., numerous member publications, global conferences, and an annual exposition.
Primarily a continuing education and credentialing agency for HR professionals, HCI offers dozens of training seminars around the world, webinars, and courses in various specializations of HR management. A student looking to take courses online through HCI must register for a complimentary community membership. Members can search for jobs, enroll in courses or certification programs, and pursue research into their specialization of the field through the HCI website.
NHRA provides members with field advocacy opportunities and access to conferences and leadership events, plus networking and job boards. The organization emphasizes professional networking and development for HR professionals at all levels of experience, with affiliate member groups in eight major U.S. cities. Members can also access the latest job posts in various concentrations of HR and business.
Ideal for emerging and experienced compensation and benefits managers and specialists, IFEBP membership provides professionals in this area of human resources lifelong learning and certification options. The organization issues the certified employee benefit specialist credential and features programs in specializations like retirement, health benefits, and pension plans.
ATD emphasizes specialty training programs for human resources professionals including coaching, master-trainer, performance consultant, and instructional designer coursework. The organization also certifies associate professionals in talent development and certified professionals in learning and performance through exclusive ATD certification programs. More than 35,000 members enjoy networking through 100 nationwide chapters, discounts on personal services, and career advice from peers.
This organization provides services of special interest to compliance officers and labor relations specialists. SCCE issues three certifications: certified compliance and ethics professional (CCEP), CCEP-international, and CCEP-fellowship. While students can access the job board for free, membership offers perks including career networking with over 10,000 peers around the world.
This organization serves payroll specialists in all sectors of business and commerce. APA offers fundamental payroll certification and the certified payroll professional credential for entry-level and experienced payroll workers, respectively. The organization's more than 20,000 members enjoy the latest industry news, free webinars and e-books, and comprehensive job postings online.
Encompassing all specialties of HR, AHRD emphasizes scholarly research and fellowship among human resources practitioners. The organization hosts an annual conference, publishes several industry journals, and manages affiliates and special interest groups. AHRD facilitates its own faculty mentoring partner project and extensive searchable job board of nationwide career opportunities.
CUPA-HR is a prime resource for college instructors and university professors teaching human resources and HR-related subjects. Members can stay abreast of the latest continuing education and collaborative opportunities in the industry through various webinars, internet workshops, and free e-learning courses. As the preeminent professional organization for HR workers in higher learning, CUPA-HR encompasses more than 30,000 individual and more than 2,000 institutional members.
The contemporary executive branch of SHRM, HRPS serves the highest levels of talent and talent-development roles in the workforce. The HRPS membership encompasses HR executives with innovative ideas for the future of the industry and its specialized labor force. Members may join at one of several levels for emerging through experienced HR practitioners, with benefits including exclusive networking opportunities, complimentary SHRM membership, and access to HRPS webinars and publications.