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Online Masters Degree in Human Resources

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although there are jobs available for students with a campus-based or online bachelor’s degree in human resources, students with a master’s degree will be the most competitive in the future job market. Accredited online master’s degrees in human resources provide classes in human relations management and law that can eventually lead to work in upper-level governmental or corporate positions.  Students who pursue a campus-based or online PhD in human resources may also find opportunities to affect public police and human relations legislation.

What are the admission requirements for an online master’s in human resources?

Top online masters degree programs in human resources commonly require students to submit the following for admissions purposes:

  • Application form
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Personal statement or Essay
  • Letters of recommendation

A bachelors degree in a human resources related field is normally required of candidates for these programs. These fields may include:

  1. Communications
  2. Finance
  3. Business Management
  4. Law
  5. Information Technology

What types of online master’s degrees in human resources can students pursue?

Students can pursue one of several different online masters degrees in human resources at accredited online schools.

Specialties are often pursued by students, in order to become a specialist in a specific area.

Common online areas of focus include:

  • Global Human Resources: This segment of online human resources masters degree programs focuses on acquiring and maintaining talent pools internationally. This degree track also focuses heavily on human resource legislation and cultural influences on the hiring process.
  • Resource Management and Development: The goal of this educational area is to provide strategies for promoting internal development and growth within a resource pool in addition to maintaining high-quality work standards. Key concepts taught in this track are performance analysis, recruitment and training.
  • Benefits and Compensation: Those who choose to emphasize this sector of the human resources masters degree online spend most of their time learning the basics of insurance and compensation benefits. In addition, students in this track learn key elements of insurance and compensation law, federal employment requirements and alternate forms of benefit structuring.
  • Labor and Collective Bargaining: Students who focus on this element of human resources are immersed in state and federal legislation regarding labor relations and worker’s rights. Typical classes include developing worker representation, public collective bargaining and mediating labor disputes.
  • Employment and Labor Law: This track examines the legal aspects of the online masters degree human resources program through courses on worker’s compensation, collective bargaining and workers’ rights. This emphasis is designed for students going into legal work and can be the base for a future degree in employment law.

What can students expect to learn in an online human resources master’s degree program?

Some classes which are popular among students enrolled in top online masters programs in human resources include:

  1. Employee Relations: This course emphasizes the creation of a positive work environment and interpersonal relationships with employers and employees. Online master’s degree human resources topics in this class may include nonviolent intervention, communication methods and grievance management.
  2. Diversity in the Workplace: Designed to help students evaluate personal prejudices and promote tolerance among associates, this course is a requirement in the best online master’s degree programs in human resources. It discusses the appropriate treatment of racial, sexual and gender roles in the workplace.
  3. Labor Market Analysis: This is a comparative course on historical and recent theory of labor in national and international markets. Theories regarding labor supply and demand, wage determination and labor policies are also discussed.

What careers can students pursue after graduating from human resources masters programs online?

There is a variety of different job options that online human resources masters programs graduates may choose from.

Graduates can choose from the following careers, amongst others:

  1. Training and Development Specialists: With an average salary of $58,000 per year, this career may be a good entry-level job for students completing an online master degree in human resources. Professional trainers are responsible for the direction and coordination of internal education among employees. Jobs in this market are expected to grow by 15% over the next ten years, which is about average growth.
  2. Compensation and Benefits Managers: Individuals who pursue an online master in human resources may oversee employee benefits such as retirement plans, health insurance and vacation time. The average salary for this position was over $89,000 in 2010. Although this is a very lucrative career, jobs are expected to grow by only 3%. This is much slower than normal, possibly due to a general unwillingness of companies to hire more workers in this area.
  3. Human Resource Managers: This is predominantly an administrative position that works with staff recruitment, executive-level labor planning and mediating between employers and employees. It demands a high wage of almost $100,000 per year, mainly due to the level of responsibility that is required. In 2010, there were 71,800 people employed as human resource managers, and that number is expected to increase 15% by 2020.
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