Is a Masters Degree in Human Resources Worth It?

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Is a Masters Degree in Human Resources worth it?

Is a Masters Degree in Human Resources Worth It

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If you want to boost your income and have more open doors as you climb the career ladder, than a traditional, or online master’s degree in human resources may be worth it.

What is the Best Masters Degree for Human Resources?

human resource manager checking an employee in the office

When deciding on an MBA with a specialization in Human Resources or a Master of Arts or Master of Science in Human Resources, you must keep your career goals in mind.

An MBA can help you advance in human resources, but can also give you the business background needed for higher-level positions in an organization. If you are sure you want to work strictly in the human resources area, then a master’s degree in this area may be all you need.

A master’s in human resources can help you boost your career in the human resources field and allow you to pursue better pay in higher management positions in that area. An MBA may allow you to branch out from the human resources field and into other aspects of the business world.

human resource managers interviewing a job applicant

Both degrees may better your career, but an MBA typically offers more earning potential and costs more to obtain.

Master’s in Human Resources MBA in Human Resources
Focuses more on human resources Focuses on all aspects of the business world, but
Requires a bachelor’s degree in a similar field Accepts bachelor’s from a variety of fields
Does not require prior experience before applying Prefers full-time work experience before applying
Usually costs less than most MBA’s to complete Usually costs more to complete
Opens graduates to higher careers in human resources Typically requires an internship, field study, or research projects after the completing coursework

If you want to work with people and excel in human resources, then a master’s degree in this area may help you achieve this goal.

Why Get a Masters in Human Resources?

Benefits Managers working together in the office

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the human resources field are expected to grow about three percent over the next eight years. There are a number of careers you might go into in this field including:

  • Benefits Managers
  • Compensation Manager
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Labor Relations Specialist

These careers are very competitive, and having a master’s degree in human resources can help your resume shine above the others.

This human resources online degree program can help you show your willingness to work hard and learn the necessary skills to be successful in your field. Some employers may want you to have specific certifications to apply. It would help to research the job you are seeking to understand all the qualifications you need.

What Do You Learn in a Master’s HR Program?

hr manager shaking hands with a job applicant

When completing a master’s degree in human resources, you will be required to attend courses that help you learn more about the human relations aspects of organizations. Many of the occupations available in this field advise applicants to be well versed in recruitment, placement, training, benefits, and safety management.

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Many universities that offer a master’s degree in this field offer courses designed to teach students these skills. Some of these courses include:

  • Financial management
  • Policy development
  • Human resource technology
  • Organizational behavior

After completion of this program, you should be able to show potential employers that you can successfully adhere to the job responsibilities required.

Financial Management

This course allows students to understand how companies reach decisions in investment and financing. It also explains how businesses establish working capital policies.

hr managers working together in making company policies

Policy Development

This course can help you learn how to assist in developing and implementing policies and procedures for organizations. It can help you learn how to create a manual that includes essential information, such as health, safety, and legal rights.

Human Resource Technology

Human Resource Technology can help you learn how to contact employees, store files, and analyze performance. You should learn the best technical standards and programs to assist with these tasks.

Organizational Behavior

Organization Behavior courses can help you learn how to motivate groups to have better job performance. Other focuses of this course typically include:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership Strategies
  • Workplace Diversity

Skills learned in this course can help you build better human resource skills.

Compared to a Bachelors, Is a Masters in Human Resources Worth It?

human resource manager listening to a job applicant during interview

A bachelor’s degree in human resources is worth it for many students who are looking to get into this line of work. This degree can assist you in learning the ins and outs of the human resources field, and many employers look favorably on this degree.

Other employers may be more interested in someone with a higher-level degree, such as a master’s in human resources.

With the increase in technology and workload expectations, many companies are looking for individuals with more skills and education to fill these important jobs. Companies are offering higher salaries and benefits packages to incise applicants who can show they can be successful in the human resource area.

The table below shows some differences between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in this field of study.

Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Master’s Degree in Human Resources
Usually costs less Can help you obtain in-depth knowledge of the field
Typically less time to complete Shows employers you have the necessary skills needed for a career in human resources
Gives and overview of human resources May give you a better advantage on your resume
Can help open you up to new careers CAn help open you up to more career options
Can help you boost your earning potential Allows you to demand a competitive wage to meet your competitive degree standards

Although a bachelor’s degree can help open many doors, having a master’s degree can help you land the job you want, with the salary expectations you hope to gain. Getting a master’s degree in human resources may time some extra time and money, but it may be worth the effort.

What Can You Do With a Masters Degree in Human Resources?

training specialist briefing newly hired employees during a meeting

Having a master’s degree in human resources may significantly enhance your employment options. Companies are often looking for qualified candidates who are willing to go that extra step.

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Having a master’s degree in this area can help you gain employment in careers such as:

  • Training and Development Specialist
  • Benefits and Compensation Manager
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Labor Relations Specialist

There are many other careers that may allow you to utilize your skills from this degree. You should research your career goals and see more about the hiring possible open to you.

How Much Can You Make With a Masters in Human Resources?

Masters in Human Resources Careers and Salary

Many occupations pay well in the human resource field. Many of these occupations require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Still, with the competitiveness of the area, employers are looking for mare skills that a bachelor’s degree has to offer.

An applicant with a master’s degree in human resources likely has a better chance of gaining employment in the top jobs in this field.

Careers Annual Median Salary
Compensation and Benefits Manager $125,130
Human Resources Manager $121,220
Training and Development Manager $115,640
Labor Relations Specialist $73,240
Human Resources Specialist $63,490

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The table above lists some of the most sought out positions for the human resource field. You can find more information about these careers and more that the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Human resources is a wide field with many opportunities for growth.

Accreditation for an Online HR Master’s Degree

Accreditation for an Online HR Master’s Degree

Colleges and universities can participate in accreditation programs to help make sure their school provides the best in human resources education that can ensure students can compete in a global industry. The Department of Education has several major regional accrediting agencies.

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Regional accrediting agencies include:

These facilities can provide accreditation for online programs in human resources as well. Colleges and universities can also choose to participate in the Distance Education and Training Council for online accreditation of the master’s in human resources online.

Financial Aid for a Master’s in Human Resources

Financial Aid for a Master’s in Human Resources

The total cost for a master’s degree in human resources varies on the school you chose. Public universities are often cheaper than private universities. Most colleges and universities will offer financial aid packages to help with the cost of your education, but the total cost of your program will depend on factors such as:

  • Your household income
  • Grants or scholarships offered by your school
  • Additional financial awards and scholarships for which you apply

You should start with filling out a free application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA. You can find all the necessary information, such as deadlines, forms, and directions on their website.

Is a Masters Degree in Human Resources Worth It?

HR with Masters Degree doing an interview

Yes, a masters in human resources is worth it for many professionals. In the management field, jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 5% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics), faster than the average for all occupations. Common careers in this field include human resources specialist, labor relations specialist, training and development manager, and compensation and benefits manager.

If you enjoy working with people and want a career where there is room for growth, then human resources may be right for you. A master’s degree in human resources can better your chances of gaining the position you want and for boosting your earning potential.

The extra time and money you spend on a master’s degree in this field may be worth it when you achieve the career you have been waiting to find.

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Jordan Meeks
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.