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Online Masters Degree in Human Resources

Do you have strengths in leadership and interpersonal communication, with a good dose of business smarts? Specialists in employee relations are needed in a wide range of industries across the economy. Human resources specialists play the important role of liaison between management and employees. These professionals are involved in all aspects of hiring, from recruiting to interviewing, as well as administration and strategic planning.

Whether you are exploring a career change or you are already working in the HR field, you can expand your qualifications and seek exciting new positions by studying human resources.

Master's degrees in human resources

Typical courses you might encounter include labor market analysis, diversity in the workplace, employment relations, ethics and the use of needs assessments. Graduate studies generally allow you to focus your energy on one particular field within human resources, for example:

  1. Benefits and compensation
  2. Employment and labor law
  3. Labor and collective bargaining
  4. Organizational change
  5. Project management
  6. Staff training and development

Some programs explore specialized topics like international employment relations or the influence of globalization on this field. Master's degrees in human resources usually require the completion of an independent research project and thesis. Instead of a master's degree, some students might opt for an MBA with an emphasis on human resources. A Ph.D. in this field offers further advancement potential, especially in large organizations, or the opportunity to move into research or teaching positions.

Career options, outlook and salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a mean annual wage of nearly $100,000 for human resource managers in 2010. The BLS estimates an employment increase of 12.9 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is close to the average for all U.S. occupations; this growth would result in an additional 9,300 openings for HR managers. Legislation affecting benefits and labor laws could be a driving force behind the expansion in jobs. As more individuals seek training to move into other positions at their companies, human resource specialists might be in high demand to facilitate those changes.

The BLS notes that those who have extensive experience and have earned certification might see better advancement potential. With web-based programs, you can enroll in graduate studies while keeping your current position, allowing you to gain valuable work experience while you earn your human resources degree.

Featured Online Human Resources Degree Programs

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