Online Human Resources Degree Programs

A bachelor degree in human resources is the most common qualification for entry-level positions in human resources. Online human resources degrees enable students to gain the essential knowledge and skills to lead a meaningful and successful career in human resources. Human resources are an important part of all organizations and graduates will be able to pursue career options in a variety of different fields. Advanced degrees at the master and doctorate level lead to more job prospects in management positions. Read more about online human resources degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 5,447 bachelor degrees, 4,051 master degrees, and 44 doctorate degrees conferred in general human resources management/personal administration. There were 283 bachelor, 640 master, and 6 doctorate degrees in human resources development and 765 bachelor and 1,590 in other human resources management and services (1). In 2006, human resources assistants held 168,000 jobs, with 17% employed by Federal, State, and local governments and the others employed in various other fields such as healthcare and finance. Also in 2006, human resources managers and specialists held 868,000 jobs, with 17,000 being self-employed and 13% being employed in the government sector (2).

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook of human resources graduates depends on the degree and position. Employment of human resource assistants is expected to grow as fast as average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 11% and adding 19,000 new jobs. Human resources managers and specialists are expected to experience faster than average employment growth, increasing 17% and adding 147,000 new jobs (2).

Specialties

Human resources are a vast field that offers many different specialties for students to concentrate on. The specialties include compensation, management, employee benefits, employment and recruiting, training and development, labor relations, job analysis, performance management, employee health, employee relations, security and safety, payroll, and project management. These specialties provide a wide variety of career options. Students who are interested in a particular specialty should chose schools that have strong programs in that particular area.

What to Expect

It is essential for students to have an interdisciplinary background for a career in the human resources field. Most human resources degree programs combine business and social sciences. Coursework often includes management principles, microeconomics, macroeconomics, organizational structure, ethics, mathematics, human resources development, public administration, financial reporting, business strategy, training and development, compensation, industrial psychology, and recruitment. A graduate degree is becoming increasingly important for management positions. A Master of Business Administration with focus on human resources management is a popular degree. Master and doctorate degrees focus on specialized human resources topics.

The End Result

A bachelor degree in human resources enables graduates to pursue many different career options. Human resources graduates can pursue positions in a variety of companies and organizations including non-profit and government organizations. Graduate degrees prepare individuals to pursue higher level management positions. Career opportunities for human resources graduates include:

Human Resources Specialist
Human Resources Manager
Employee Relations Representative
Compensation Specialist
Recruiter
Benefits Specialist
Training Supervisor
Occupational Analyst
Labor Relations Specialist
Mediator
Career Counselor

A career in human resources will be rewarding for individuals who have a sincere interest in human resources practices of organizations. Human resources professionals work with a diversity of employees to help facilitate a successful organization. They help improve productivity, morale, and employee satisfaction to provide a competitive advantage and strong working environment.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition

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