Earning a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management

Earning a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management

Everything you need to know about a master's degree program in human resources management.

Overview of Master's Degree Program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration

A business can not thrive if its employees are unhappy or not following guidelines. The human resources department is responsible for creating and implementing management policies. A master's degree in human resources management/personnel administration prepares an individual to manage the human resources department. A human resources manager is responsible for understanding and implementing policies on the psychology and organization of a company. In addition to becoming a human resources manager, this degree may be used for a variety of general and top management positions.

Often students who earned a bachelor's degree in human resources management, or have experience working as a human resources assistant will pursue a masters degree in human resources management in order to advance in their career. Completing a master's degree program is the typical way to move up in this career, as advanced knowledge is becoming increasingly important on the job. Some people who have experience in the legal profession are transferring to a career in human resources management. Lawyers and other people in the legal profession may choose to pursue a masters degree in human resources management in order to supplement their knowledge on labor laws.

A master's degree in human resources management and a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a focus in human resources management both prepare students for a career in human resources management. In an MBA program, students spend their first year learning general business administration practices, while their second year is spend focusing on human resources management. In masters degree programs, students have more of an opportunity to specialize in a particular area within human resources management.

Applying for a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration

The process of applying for a masters degree program in human resources/personnel adminstration is similar to applying to any other graduate program in business. However applicants must keep in mind that earning acceptance to most masters degree programs is a competitive process. This reflects the level of competition in the application process for obtaining a job in the field.

All applicants of a master's degree program in human resources need to already have a bachelors degree. This degree does not need to be in human resources management. In college these applicants must have received a high GPA in order to be accepted into a master's degree program. Typically, the minimum GPA for admission into a master's degree program is 3.0.

Grad schools offering a master's program in human resources management tend to look for individuals that have experience working in human resources. Although these applicants have an advantage in being admitted to a program, those who have a business or liberal arts background also have a strong chance of admittance.

Most graduate programs for human resources require applicants to complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). People who achieve high scores on the test have an advantage over those who have average scores. Additional materials usually required in the application package include a personal statement, letters of recommendation and your college transcripts.

How to Choose a Human Resources Management/Personnel Management Master's Degree Program

Students may choose to pursue a generalist career path, or they may specialize in a particular area within human resources management. Generalists learn standard knowledge on how to effectively manage a department or branch or a company. Specialists focus on a specific aspect of human resources management, such as training and development and compensation and benefits. Other programs, such as that at the Atlantic International University, offer students the ability to tailor their classes specifically to what aspect of human resources management they wish to enter after graduation.

Many graduate programs offer part-time, night, weekend and online courses so you may tailor your human resources management degree to your scheduling needs. The online master's degree program in human resources/personnel administration is a great option for students who will be juggling work, family and grad school. Check to see if the online program follows a blended format, as those require that student attend some classes or a portion of their degree on-campus.

What to Expect in a Master's Degree Program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration

A degree in human resources management typically takes two to three years to complete. Students should expect to take courses in business administration, psychology, sociology and recruitment, training and development. Other courses on labor history, labor law and labor economics are helpful for students who wish to become a labor relations specialist.

Most people pursuing a master's degree in human resources management have come from a mid-level management position, and wish to be promoted to an executive level position. Critical thinking and strategic planning are two components that are a focus of human resources management programs.

You may choose to attend a thesis or non-thesis human resources graduate program. A thesis program requires you to complete an in depth research paper on a specific topic within your the field. If you have to write a thesis, choose a topic that you are passionate about, as you will be working on it for the entire second half of your degree program.

Top 10 Graduate Schools in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration

  1. American InterContinental University
  2. University of Phoenix
  3. Webster University
  4. University of Oklahoma, Norman Campus
  5. Central Michigan University
  6. Park University
  7. Cornell University
  8. Colorado Technical University
  9. SUNY
  10. Keller Graduate School of Management



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