Online Masters in HR Degree Programs

With an online master’s in HR, you can earn a graduate-level certification without attending a physical college. That means you don’t have to travel to a school or live on campus, and you can maintain any work or family-related responsibilities while you learn new skills. You could receive your master’s degree in as little as two years.

A master’s in HR online prepares you for a new career in human resources, and you could get a job as an HR manager, HR specialist, or labor relations specialist upon graduation. You will learn skills such as administrative management, employee relations, and organization development over the internet at a time that suits you.

Learn more about the increased earning potential and new career opportunities an online master’s in HR can provide. 

What Is an Online Master’s in HR?

A master’s in HR online teaches you a broad range of human resources skills over the internet. Instead of attending a physical college, you interact with academic staff via webinars, video tutorials, digital workshops, community forums, and email on a computer or smart device. You will access course content from a learning management system (LMS).

You might learn these skills from an online HR master’s degree program:

  • Recruitment, onboarding, and training employees
  • Payroll administration
  • Healthcare insurance and benefits administration
  • Labor laws and relations
  • Organizational management
  • Employee relations
  • How to use an HR management system
  • HR data and analytics

Upon graduation, you might get a job as a:

  • Human resources manager
  • Human resources specialist
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Learning and development manager
  • Recruitment specialist

Human resources can be a rewarding career where you manage the employee life cycle and improve performance outcomes in an organization. You might oversee recruitment and training procedures within that organization and solve various problems that pertain to labor laws and employee relations.

Studying for an online HR master’s degree could offer you various benefits over a traditional degree. For example, you might be able to maintain any work or family commitments while you learn because you won’t have to travel to a physical location to complete your studies. 

How Much Does a Master’s in HR Cost? 

Prices vary. Tuition fees for a Master of Science in Human Resources Management at Tarleton State University cost between $509.27 and $775.37 for each semester credit hour. Fees for a Master of Science in Human Resources at Western Carolina University cost between $270.53 and $848.70 for each credit hour.

An online master’s in HR could be cheaper than a regular college degree because you won’t have to pay for travel or accommodation.

Average Salary for a Master’s in HR

The median annual salary for someone with a Master of Science in Human Resources Management is around $69,000, according to PayScale. (Data correct as of July 21, 2021.)

The mean annual wage for human resources managers is $134,580, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $64.70. 

The top-paying states for human resources managers are:

  1. New Jersey: $177,960 (mean annual wage)
  2. New York: $169,290
  3. District of Columbia: $167,190
  4. Rhode Island: $160,500
  5. California: $154,030

The top-paying metropolitan areas for human resources managers are:

  1. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $194,040 (mean annual wage)
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $183,890
  3. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $179,870
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $174,710
  5. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $160,030

The mean annual wage for human resources specialists is $69,430, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $33.38. 

The top-paying states for human resources specialists are:

  1. District of Columbia: $101,680 (mean annual wage)
  2. California: $79,590
  3. New Jersey: $79,360
  4. New York: $79,360
  5. Virginia: $77,830

The top-paying metropolitan areas for human resources specialists are:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $96,090 (mean annual wage)
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $93,680
  3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $90,130
  4. Napa, CA: $84,210
  5. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $84,000

What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in HR Holders?

The outlook is good for those with a master’s degree in HR. There will be a 7.1% increase in job opportunities for human resources managers and a 5.3% increase for human resources specialists from 2018 to 2028, according to Projections Central/Department of Labor. Those are greater increases than the average for all job types (around 5%). 

Courses in a Master’s in HR

An HR master’s degree program comprises administration, financial management, employee relations, and more. Students in these courses learn how to solve organizational challenges such as recruitment, onboarding, training, benefits administration, and payroll. Graduates can apply these skills to HR management roles. Here are some courses you might find in an HR master’s degree program: 

  • Succession planning
  • HR ethics
  • HR data and analytics
  • Employee learning and development
  • Labor laws at the federal and state levels

You might also learn soft skills for an HR management role such as communication, calendar management, critical thinking, organization, and more. 

FAQs About a Master’s in HR

Summary Information

  • You can get a master’s in HR online or in a traditional classroom environment.
  • You could earn your HR master’s degree in as little as two years. 
  • You can study for an online HR master’s degree at a time that suits you.

Benefits of studying for a master’s in HR online include:

  • The opportunity to maintain a full-time job while you study.
  • No need to commute to a physical school.
  • The chance to balance family commitments with your studies. 

  • The cost of a master’s in HR varies depending on the school.
  • A Master of Science in Human Resources Management at Tarleton State University, for example, costs between $509.27 and $775.37 for each semester credit hour.
  • You could get a scholarship to reduce the costs associated with an HR master’s degree.

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