Should I Get A Master’s Degree in Human Resources?
If you’ve always been able to bring the best out of people working on a common project, you might want to consider a career in Human Resources. Human Resources professionals help organizations run more efficiently by working with their most valuable asset: workers. From compensation to rewards, fiscal solvency to organizational systems, to legal and ethical considerations, Human Resources managers do it all. In these careers you’ll be called upon to communicate with, motivate, and supervise people from diverse careers and experiences in a wide array of organizations and settings. So why should you get a Master’s in Human Resources other than natural aptitude? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median pay for Human Resources Managers was $110,120 annually, or $52.94 per hour. The field is expected to see a 9% growth between 2016-26, leading to 12,300 anticipated new jobs. While the entry-level education for these positions is a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s will give you a significant edge on the competition for these lucrative, growing roles. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business professional, someone with HR experience, or someone looking to shift fields; a Master’s in Human Resources will let you make an impact on how organizations run while working with the people who animate them.
At Online Course Report, we’ve ranked some of the top Human Resources Master’s degree programs that can be earned mostly, if not entirely online. We’ve also ranked many of the top online degrees across a massive spread of disciplines. There are many different types of Human Resources Master’s degrees. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Human Services Degrees
If you want to be involved in this field, but are more interested in altruism than corporate efficiency, consider a Human Services Degree. In these degree programs you’ll be prepared to help people in public outreach organizations. Human services graduates work with social workers, detectives, doctors and others that help people overcome substantial obstacles in their lives. You’ll likely intervene in the lives of substance abuse sufferers, or the victims of crime and/or violence. Some Human Services degree programs will specialize in conflict management/resolution, mental health, crisis intervention or community issues. If you know you want to work in this field, a Master’s degree will give you a great leg up over those who have only earned an Associate’s or Bachelor’s in human services, especially for high-end, senior positions. Here’s a quick look at common courses you can expect in a Master’s program in Human Services:
- Conflict Management
- Criminal justice
- Military Families and Culture
- Family Studies and Interventions
Human Resources Master’s
Human Resources Master’s are the baseline graduate degree in this discipline. To take a look at some of the top online Human Resources Master’s degrees, look no further than that link. We ranked HR programs based on their national rankings, flexibility and affordability, so you can focus on studying and working hard to improve your life and career.
If you truly enjoy working directly with people to solve their problems, and that of the organization you work for, HR is a great career option. A Human Resources Master’s is ideal for people who want to work one-on-one with coworkers, in the pursuit of greater efficiency and tranquility for all. Studying internal staffing issues, compensations, rewards, solving other human-related problems, and much more are all parts of these degree programs, and working in upper-level HR. These graduate-level HR programs are usually divided into Master’s of Science, which delve more deeply into technical and career-related topics; and Master’s of Arts, which focus more on liberal arts and humanities aspects of HR.
Let’s take a slightly closer look at some qualities and attributes of successful HR managers:
Qualities of Successful Human Resources Managers
- Organization: The enemy of inefficiency, and the backbone of HR work.
- Communication: How else are you going to get both an organization’s needs and the needs of its employees across to both parties?
- Objectivity: You work for your organization, but in order to be successful that includes representing the needs of employees, clients, etc. You must be strong, but fair, and uncompromising in your decision-making as an HR manager.
- Trustworthy: People need to feel comfortable talking to you about problems and obstacles, and know that you’ll handle these problems responsibly and compassionately.
- HR Experience: This is why you get your degree. No matter your natural aptitude, an understanding of the legal, ethical and practical framework of HR is the only way you’ll be successful in the field. Make sure to check our Online HR Master’s ranking.
MBA’s in Human Resources
If you know you want to work in HR, but are more interested in the corporate world and landing an extremely lucrative position, an MBA in Human Resources might be your best bet. In these programs you’ll pair the typical human resource management education with a stronger business curriculum, including coursework in:
- Strategies and Concepts
- Benefits Analysis
- Compensation Management
- Business Coaching
An MBA program in human resource management will likely involve challenging assignments, reports, presentations, internships and group projects.
Human Asset Management or Human Capital Management
Human Resources can sound outdated at times. Increasingly, businesses refer to the people who do the work which allows them to function as “human assets,” or “human capital.” These assets and capital need managers, and thus HR as a phrase is being phased out in some circles. In Human Capital Management degree programs, it’s not all semantics. These Master’s programs focus on analysis, evaluation and data-drive measurement of the value of a company’s workforce. These processes then help management make decisions, and build practices and systems that reward and encourage the best work and results. These degree programs take a special focus into topics like:
- Analysis of Strategy
- Human Capital Measurement
- Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis
- Design of Organizations
- Changing Implementation
- Talent Management and Leadership Development
Remember, HR is about finding the best ways to help an organization by locating, working with, and improving upon the talent that defines it. Let’s take a quick look at some top positions in the field:
Positions in Human Resources
- Human Resources Assistants: According to BLS, in these roles, you’ll, “Compile and keep personnel records. Record data for each employee, such as address, weekly earnings, absences, amount of sales or production, supervisory reports, and date of and reason for termination. May prepare reports for employment records, file employment records, or search employee files and furnish information to authorized persons.” While the median pay for these roles is only $39,480, the 90th percentile is over $57,000 annually. Since these roles are usually filled with people who haven’t earned Master’s in the field, you’d likely have your pick from available roles, earning in the upper echelon of these positions
- Human Resources Specialists: Once again we turn to BLS, who says, “Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.” The 2017 median pay for these positions was $60,350 in 2017, and they were expected to see a 7% growth between 2016-26, leading to 38,900 new jobs.
- Human Resources Managers: The holy grail of HR positions, in these roles you’ll “plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees. You’ll also likely earn over $100,000 annually, and be in a great position to get one of the over 12,000 new jobs that are expected to appear in this field by 2026.
Don’t hesitate. Check out our Online Master’s in Human Resources ranking right now.