Do you like working with people? Resolving conflicts? Making workplace environments better? If you answered yes to those questions, then a human resources degree is the right move for you. Earning a degree in this field will allow you to become a vital part of any organization.
Every business needs a human resources department to help deal with everything from petty arguments between coworkers to verbally abusive managers or more serious offenses such as assault. To work in human resources, you need to be a team player, have great conflict resolution skills, and have a genuine desire to set things right. Think that could be you? Read on to find out all about human resources degrees.
What Can I Do with a Human Resources Degree?
There are human resources jobs available for every level of degree. With an associate or bachelor’s degree, you can secure quite a few entry-level positions. With one of these degrees, you could work as a human resources payroll specialist, a personnel clerk, and sometimes as a recruiter or even manager. Of course, different companies have different education and experience requirements so be sure to check the requirements of your dream job before settling on a degree path.
With a Master’s Degree in Human Resources, you become qualified for a whole new range of jobs. More managerial positions, including compensation and benefits manager, training and development manager, and human resources manager, become available. Though it is possible to be hired for these positions with an undergraduate degree, most employers prefer a master’s degree because it proves you have more knowledge and experience.
If you decide to pursue a human resources doctorate, you become eligible for positions like a human resources consultant, executive, or if you want to go a different direction, a professor. It probably goes without saying, but any position you get with a doctorate includes a great salary due to the extensive education.
There are many other positions available with human resources degrees, though these are some of the most popular. On average, a human resources professional earns around $76,800 per year. As with any field, your education and experience greatly impact your salary. With a higher level of degree and a few years of experience, you can easily make more than the average.
Types of Human Resources Degrees
There are a lot of types of human resources degrees. Of course, there are the standard associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, along with a doctorate. But, there are also MBAs, certificates, and specializations you can add.
A typical associate degree is the first degree you earn in this field. It generally takes around two years to complete and the only prerequisite you need is a high school diploma or equivalent. It is recommended that you take any English, communications, and tech courses offered in high school to give you a better educational foundation.
For a bachelor’s degree, you will need to have completed a human resources associate degree or something similar like an Associate Degree in Business Administration. Many associate degrees are simply general education or transfer degrees, though. While it is great if your associate degree is in human resources or business, it can be in pretty much whatever you want and you can still enroll in a bachelor’s degree program.
Master’s degrees have a few more prerequisites. Most will require you to have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources or a similar field. You will need to meet a minimum GPA requirement, which is usually 3.0 or higher. For a Master of Business Administration in Human Resources, you may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores, though there are MBA programs with no GMAT requirements. Many master’s degree programs take between two and three years to complete, depending on your program and your pace of study.
Doctorates are the highest level of human resources degree you can earn. On average, it takes four to five years to complete a doctorate, though there are ways to speed it up. To be qualified for enrollment in a PhD program, you will have to meet all of the requirements of a master’s degree program as well as having earned a master’s degree’ you’ll also need to provide letters of reference, have work experience, and write a letter of purpose.
If you don’t have the time to spend years in college, you can consider a human resources certificate program. There are many different certifications you can earn much faster than a college degree and they can still help you find the job you want.
Best Human Resources Degree Programs
Attending one of the best 10 schools listed below for a human resources degree is the best way to start your career. While many colleges offer human resources degrees, these are the best for a reason. With a variety of online, hybrid, and on-campus options to choose from, as well as many research, internship, and hands-on learning opportunities, you are guaranteed to enjoy your time at one of these schools.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
At Rutgers University, you can earn a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate in human resource management. All three of the programs can be taken sequentially, or you can transfer credits from other universities to fulfill requirements.
These programs are designed for students who already have college experience. All of the programs are offered on-campus, though the university does have online options for some courses.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities offers a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree program in human resources as well as a certificate option. While the certificate is very straightforward and can be completed in less than a year, the other programs take two to three years each.
Students can choose between two concentrations for their degree programs. The options are general human resources management/personnel administration, or labor and industrial relations. Core courses will provide a basic human resources education and students will then branch off to study their concentrations more in-depth.
At Trident University, students can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management, which is also offered at the master’s degree level. Both of these degree programs are designed for students who don’t have the time for on-campus classes but want to earn a degree.
Students enrolled in Trident University’s programs will learn important communication skills and study areas like accounting, organizational behavior, and strategic management. Combining these skills with the core courses of human resource systems and global human resource management skills provides students with a unique education.
Cornell University offers a PhD in Industrial and Labor Relations with a major in human resource studies, a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Studies, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Studies. All of these programs are offered on-campus, though there are online options as well.
The degree programs at Cornell are designed to provide students with a broader understanding of business and professional skills. Students receive an education founded in modern human resource practices and principles to better prepare them for the work field after graduation.
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, students can enroll in a PhD in Human Resources and Industrial Relations or a Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. The PhD program focuses primarily on research. The master’s degree program is designed for working professionals to further broaden their skills.
Alongside the master’s degree program, students can earn an MBA, giving them more qualifications for jobs in the future. All of the program options are offered entirely on-campus, online, or as a hybrid format to best suit every student’s needs.
New York University
At New York University, you can enroll in a BS in Leadership and Management Studies with a concentration in human resource management, or an MS in Human Resource Management and Development. Both of these degrees are offered online and on-campus.
Courses in New York University’s programs focus on leadership skills, team-building skills, and cross-cultural communication skills. This helps graduates earn managerial positions. Students of these programs will need to complete a capstone project and an internship prior to graduation.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University offers a bachelor of business administration with a focus in human resource management, an MS in Human Resource Management, and a PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in organizational behavior and human resource management. All three of these programs are offered on-campus.
Students enrolled in these programs are offered access to the university’s Center for Human Resource Management. This provides opportunities to work on research projects, attend lectures given by human resource experts and specialists, and meet contacts in the business world to help build a network.
Michigan State University
At Michigan State University, students can enroll in a Bachelor of Art in Human Resource Management program, an MBA in Human Resource Management program, or a Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Labor Relations program. All of these programs are offered on-campus.
The BA and MBA programs cover the core courses of human resources but focus more on business skills. The master’s degree program offers a general education in six areas that students can also choose to specialize in. Those areas are human resource management, strategy and firm performance, international human resources and labor relations, organizational change leadership, analytical skills for human resources and labor relations, and workplace law.
Texas Tech University
At Texas Tech University, you can enroll in an online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science in Applied Leadership with a concentration in human resource development. This degree focuses on leadership skills and uses real-world examples to teach students, who are given opportunities to do more hands-on work than in other online programs.
Texas Tech also offers an undergraduate certificate in strategic leadership in human resource development. This is a great choice for those who are interested in human resources and want specialized knowledge but don’t want to spend years on a degree.
CUNY-Bernard M Baruch College
CUNY’s Bernard M Baruch College offers a BBA in Human Resource Management and an MBA in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. These programs cover core courses and then branch out into electives and concentrations.
These programs are designed to prepare students for managerial, specialist, and generalist positions after they graduate. By combining the core foundations of business with specialized human resource management courses, CUNY has developed a program that allows students the flexibility of working in business or human resources.
Human resources is a great field for people who are good problem solvers, team-oriented, and great with other people. There are many positions available in the field for any level of degree, making it a field that is very easy to get started in. As you gain education and experience, you will qualify for new, higher positions and salaries.
Earning your degree from one of the top colleges listed above is a great way to not only ensure the best education but also impress employers. If you put a degree from one of these schools on your resume, you will have a leg up on any competitors when job hunting.