Distance learning human resources management master's degree programs tend to focus on strategic thinking, problem solving and methods for addressing performance issues in business, public sector and industry settings. Many of these programs take about two years to complete and can often be taken completely online. They are typically not focused on providing foundational knowledge in human resources but rather on advanced knowledge in current principles and practices.
Critical prerequisites include a bachelor's degree, GPA/GRE requirements, and professional experience. Additional online requirements include a webcam and headset with microphone.
MA - Human Resources Management
Most online master's degree in human resources management programs are designed for promotion-minded individuals who already work in the field. Some programs have prerequisites, such as a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, minimum undergraduate and graduate GPAs and a minimum score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), usually about 1,000. Schools may also require that students have a minimum number of years of relevant professional experience.
Graduates with a master's degree in human resources work with an organization's staff and management personnel to design the most appropriate intervention techniques for increasing productivity. To prepare students for such professional responsibilities, online HR master's degree programs typically include coursework in:
- Organizational behavior
- Management principles
- Employment law
- Benefits and compensation administration
- Career counseling
- Conflict resolution
- Cross-cultural communication
- HR computer technology
Online Delivery Methods
Within these programs, students view the necessary coursework, lectures and exams via an Internet-based learning platform, which functions as a virtual classroom. Students can communicate directly with instructors and classmates through these systems' discussion, chat or e-mail features. Some programs may also have various features such as interactive simulations available online to help students apply their knowledge. Students who are required to give presentations in their online classes will need to be comfortable working with Web cameras and video conferencing technology.
Career Information for Graduates
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the human resources management field is predicted to grow by 9% from 2014 and 2024, which is considered a faster-than-average rate of growth compared to other occupations. Graduates from a distance learning master's degree program in HR management often find jobs in the following categories:
- Training and development management
- Employment, recruitment and placement
- Compensation and benefits management
- Human resources management
- Job analysis and labor relations
Those professionals who are interested in an advanced career in human resource management can go on to earn a master's degree. Courses that students study include employment law, career counseling and conflict resolution.