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Masters Degree Programs in Human Resources: Program Info

Master's degree programs in human resources provide studies for those wishing to advance their career. Working professionals may take advantage of one of many flexible online programs rather than the traditional classroom route.

Essential Information

Managers in the human resources field recruit, interview and train personnel, as well as coordinate with a company's top staff on administrative matters. Although not required for a managerial position, a master's degree in human resources may give those interested in these roles an edge over other candidates with only a bachelor's degree. Field experience is an additional factor in securing these positions.

Online schooling is offered by some schools and there are often concentrations available as well.

Master's Degree in Human Resource Management

Master's degree programs in human resource management include core coursework in a variety of broad subject areas, with many programs encouraging students to delve deeper into an area through a concentration. Generally no specific undergraduate degree or prior coursework is required, though some programs give preference to applicants with demonstrated human resources work experience. Additionally, graduates are able to complete voluntary certifications through several associations. Common courses include:

  • Ethical issues in human resources
  • Labor laws
  • Human resource consulting
  • Global human resources
  • Compensation and benefits management
  • Employee training practices

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Human resources specialists held around 482,000 jobs in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Overall employment of human resources specialists is expected to grow 5% between 2014 and 2024, with prospects higher for human resources managers, at an anticipated growth of 9%. Many companies were expected to contract out human resources specialist roles, thereby necessitating highly trained experts, while others were expected to add traditional human resources responsibilities to the plates of current employees as a cost-saving measure. As of May 2015, the median annual wage for human resources managers was $104,440 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

Certification is not required for a career in human resources, but it is commonly pursued by those interested in management positions. Many organizations offer certification, including the Society for Human Resource Management and the American Society for Training and Development. Certification often requires demonstrating knowledge of a specific area of human resources or state labor laws. While Ph.D. programs in human resources are available, they are primarily pursued by students seeking careers in higher education.

Working professionals who are interested in a more advanced career can pursue a master's degree in human resources. Specific course topics that this program focuses on includes labor laws, global human resources, and employee training practices.

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