Distance learning human resources management graduate coursework can be included in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program or can be offered as a standalone Master of Science (MS) degree. These online programs, typically offered by four-year universities or colleges, are mostly designed for working professionals with relevant experience. In fact, schools may only admit students who have a certain number of years working in HR or business.
Along with work experience, prospective students must have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for admission into a master's program in HR management. Some programs could require students to demonstrate knowledge or skills in areas such as mathematics. Once admitted, individuals may complete an online master's program in about two years if they study full-time.
Students use a virtual classroom environment to talk with peers and instructors in addition to accessing assignments and lectures. Some programs may include live Web classes or meetings using conferencing technology.
Master of Science programs tend to incorporate up-to-date research with software applications and database management systems in order to teach students methods of promoting employee work performance.
The curricula are typically around 45 credit hours long, often combining virtual classroom instruction with hands-on work experience. Common core courses might cover the following areas:
- Foundations of human resource development
- Principles of adult education
- Designing virtual communities for staff
- International business
- Employee management
- Risk management
- Decision-making methods
Training and development professionals, managers and executives who want to better develop their employees and career changers would likely find a MS program an ideal fit for their already busy schedules.
Some colleges and universities offer human resources management as an area of emphasis in their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs. Admittance to many of these programs is dependent upon demonstrated knowledge in accounting, marketing, management, business law and macroeconomics through the successful completion of undergraduate courses, relevant testing or established work experience.
All core and specialization courses combine theory with practical application. The human resources management emphasis teaches proficiency in:
- Compensation and benefits packages
- Employment laws
- Downsizing plans
- Succession plans
- Crisis management
- Facilitation of training programs
Master's degree programs in HR management are available in the form of distance learning. Students can choose between MS and MBA studies and can complete their degree within two years when studying full time.