Human Resource Degrees & Specialties

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If you’re considering earning a human resource degrees, one of the first steps may be to decide which type of degree program would work best for you. It can be beneficial to ask yourself some questions about your experience, lifestyle and the type of career in human resources that you’d like to pursue. To help get you started we’re going to look at different types of degree programs that make sense for specific jobs in human resources. Hopefully, this will give you a sense of what type of degree may work best for your unique goals and background.

Online or Campus Human Resource Degrees?

Before we get into the different types of degrees, like associates, bachelors and masters, let’s examine the benefits of studying online or on campus. One factor to consider is whether or not you will continue to work as you earn your degree. If the answer is yes, you could likely benefit from the flexibility that online degree programs offer. When you earn your degree online, you can schedule your classes around your work or family schedule – and you have the option of working from anywhere with an internet connection.

So what does the traditional campus experience offer? If your priority is experiencing the comradery of a classroom setting and the ability to interact with instructors in person, then studying on campus could be a good option for you. It may also allow you to take advantage of services such as libraries, computer labs and other resources.

What types of degrees should I pursue if I want to be a Human Resources Manager?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) human resources managers generally require a bachelor’s degree in either human resources or business administration. In some cases, candidates may earn a bachelor’s degree in another field and then take courses in HR subjects such as industrial psychology, industrial relations or organizational development. Higher-level jobs may require that you in a master’s degree in human resources or labor relations or an MBA degree.[i]

If you already have your bachelor’s degree in human resources but are interested in gaining more specialized knowledge in the field, you may want to look into associate’s degree programs to help boost your credentials.

What degree program makes sense if I want to be a human resources specialist?

If your goal is to become a human resources or labor relations specialist, the BLS recommends that you earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or a related field. The types of courses you should take include subjects like human resource management, business, professional writing and accounting.[ii]

What type of degree do compensation and benefits managers generally pursue?

According to the BLS, employers generally look for applicants that have earned at least a bachelor’s degree – and some may require a master’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees in human resources, business administration, finance or business management may be acceptable credentials. But again, organizations often prefer to hire managers who have a master’s degree, especially those with a concentration in human resources management, finance or business administration. [iii]

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