Organizational resource management degrees do not exist at the graduate level; rather, those who wish to work in this capacity usually pursue human resources management degrees. Graduate programs in human resources management are available at the master's and doctoral levels. Some schools offer fully or partially online classes for flexibility. Graduates of master's programs often work as human resources managers, while graduates of doctoral programs often teach at postsecondary institutions.
Doctoral programs consist of one to two years of coursework followed by a comprehensive exam, and two to five years of work on a dissertation that is overseen by an advisor or committee. They cater to those with substantial experience in human resources wishing to apply their expertise to postsecondary teaching.
Prerequisites for these programs include a high school diploma, college transcripts, standardized test scores and work experience, as well as letters of recommendation, resumes and a personal statement.
Master's Degree in Human Resources Management
Students in human resources management master's programs study skills necessary for recruiting, hiring, and retaining high-quality employees. In an increasingly complex and global business market, human resources managers need to understand broad business practices and strategies--a focus of many programs.
There are more business classes in these programs than in the past. Classes are often interdisciplinary to produce to the diverse skill set needed by human resources managers. Common class topics include:
- Business development
- Management practices
- Human resources law
- Statistics and finance for business
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Ph.D. in Human Resources Management
Students enrolled in doctoral programs in human resources management study theory and practice of human resources, including hiring, retaining, training, compensation, and productivity. As in master's-level human resources programs, courses combines business and management classes. However, because more research into employee relations is involved at the doctoral level, psychology classes are incorporated as well. Class topics at this level include:
- Employee psychology
- Compensation practices
- Market analysis
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for human resources managers were expected to increase 9% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than average compared to all occupations. The median annual salary for human resources managers of all types as of May 2015 was $104,440, per the BLS. Managers focusing on employment services earned an average of $124,000 in 2015, while those performing more general office administrative services earned an average of $115,670 the same year.
Most graduates of doctoral programs in human resources management pursue college or university teaching positions. As reported by the BLS, the employment of business postsecondary teachers was projected to grow by approximately 9% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for postsecondary business teachers, including human resources management teachers, was $75,370 in May 2015, per the BLS.
Master's and doctoral degrees in human resources management prepare graduates for careers as human resources managers or postsecondary teachers at colleges and universities. Courses cover topics including business development, human resources law, employee psychology and market analysis.