Students who choose to advance their education and career by pursuing an online master’s degree in human resources should find that they have a greater competitive edge when searching for more specialized jobs as administration service managers, compensation and benefits managers, labor relations specialists and training specialists. Many graduates find that they not only have more job opportunities, but also higher earning potential.
With so many factors at play — program length, tuition cost, degree level, location, school type, and even student population — it can be overwhelming to research all the available online human resources master’s programs and choose the best one. This search tool makes it easy to filter program and school features so you can find the right program for you.
By earning a master’s degree in human resources online, graduates open doors to more job opportunities, higher pay and leadership positions. Choosing a concentration can help students hone specific skills and become more qualified for certain careers. Here are some of the most common concentrations within the human resources master’s degree and the careers they can lead to.
This concentration focuses on pay administration policies, such as leave guidelines, range of pay and overall compensation practices compliant with U.S. legal code.
Responsible for everything involving a company’s total compensation and benefits package, including salaries and payroll, bonuses, health and life insurance benefits, and pensions.
Deals primarily with compensation and its facets: job descriptions and classifications, market research, compliance and budgets, staffing needs, and compensation packages.
Works with payroll systems and is responsible for distributing payments to employees, balancing payroll accounts, maintaining payroll guidelines, and adhering to local, state and federal payroll regulations.
In this specialization, students come to understand the learning processes at play in the workplace so they can help employees and management develop personal and organizational skills to perform better. Students learn advanced skills in employee training, career development, performance management and other relevant areas.
Responsible for total HR operations within a company, from managing organizational infrastructure to developing a culture of success for all employees. May also supervise compensation and benefits and manage employee training and professional development.
Responsible for researching and implementing programs to improve performance measures for operations within a company, including developing procedures for employee review, collecting employee performance indicators, preparing accountability reports, and establishing best practices for performance measurement systems.
Manages and directs all training and development programs in an organization. Works with employees and managers to improve performance by training, orienting, motivating and supporting all employees.
Students who choose HRIS as a concentration learn how to automate, manage, support and administer key HR functions like payroll, compliance, recruiting and software-based training. They are exposed to the latest HR software and dive into tools such as enterprise systems, social networking and cloud computing.
Develops and maintains HR databases to collect, store and analyze organizational data.
Students in this concentration learn to establish, implement and maintain policies in the workplace that benefit both the organization and its employees. Some of the areas of study include managing personnel systems, improving employee productivity and dealing with ethics and workplace professionalism.
Handles dispute resolution by negotiating collective bargaining agreements and managing grievances between management and employees. Also serves in an advisory role to management, unions and employees.
Typically works as an independent contractor, providing HR services and counsel to companies on issues such as human capital, benefits, internal communications, recruitment, or training and development.
The staffing concentration teaches students how to find, recruit, hire and place employees in positions that benefit both the organization and the individual. Students study staffing laws and regulations, the principles of recruitment, management controls and workplace diversity.
Helps to develop a recruitment strategy for an organization, and uses an array of recruitment tools to assist in finding, hiring and placing new employees.
With so many jobs available in human resources, many students choose to advance their careers with a master’s degree. How much more do master’s degree holders earn compared to those who just hold a bachelor’s degree? These numbers from PayScale.com give some indication: Employees with a BS in human resources management — who commonly find jobs as human resources managers — reported earning between $35,718 and $74,716 annually; professionals with an MS in human resources pulled in $41,290 to $102,439 a year.
IMPA HR is “the leading public sector human resource organization in the world.” Professionals can find HR industry news, jobs, policies, resources, education and professional development opportunities on the site, as well as conference and event dates.
At NHRA, members can find and post job openings, discover resources for career development and advancement, get meeting and event information, take part in networking forums, and access news and tools for HR development and leadership.
PIHRA is a resource for networking, learning and advocacy. On the site, people can find information about HR ethics, meetings and events, jobs and personal advising.
SHRM is a comprehensive resource website with information for HR professionals on industry news, ethics, education, strategy and legal issues. With more than 575 local affiliate chapters, professionals can find additional programming and networking opportunities near them.
When choosing an online human resources graduate program, it’s important to choose the program that best fits your occupational and educational goals. Compare program features as you decide, and check out our rankings of the Best Online Master’s in Human Resources Degrees for 2015-2016.
Read more about our methodology here.
|RANK||COLLEGE||SCORE||TEACHER/STUDENT RATIO||COST||GRADUATION RATE|
|1||University of Hawaii at Manoa||100.00||13:1||56%|
|2||Catholic University of America||98.75||7:1||67%|
|4||Western Carolina University||98.00||16:1||58%|
|5||New York University||97.75||10:1||83%|
|5||University of Scranton||97.75||11:1||80%|
|7||Siena Heights University||97.50||11:1||51%|
|7||Fitchburg State University||97.50||15:1||57%|
|9||Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||97.25||17:1||86%|
|10||University of Denver||97.00||11:1||76%|
|12||University of St Francis||96.25||11:1||56%|
|17||Florida Institute of Technology||95.25||9:1||55%|
|18||North Park University||95.00||12:1||53%|
|20||La Salle University||94.50||12:1||66%|
|24||Pittsburg State University||93.50||19:1||50%|
|24||Southern Adventist University||93.50||14:1||52%|
|28||University of Saint Mary||93.25||9:1||35%|
|28||Saint Joseph’s University||93.25||13:1||73%|
|28||Saint Francis University||93.25||14:1||72%|
|31||Rochester Institute of Technology||93.00||13:1||63%|
|32||University of Wisconsin-Stout||92.00||20:1||53%|
|32||Indiana Wesleyan University||92.00||16:1||63%|
|32||Central Michigan University||92.00||20:1||56%|
|35||Seton Hall University||91.75||14:1||66%|
|35||Robert Morris University||91.75||15:1||62%|
|38||Baker College Center for Graduate Studies||91.50||13:1||20%|
|40||Briar Cliff University||91.00||12:1||47%|
|42||Tarleton State University||90.50||19:1||45%|
|43||Concordia University-Saint Paul||90.00||15:1||46%|
|44||Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota||89.50||16:1||65%|
|44||Franklin Pierce University||89.50||12:1||46%|
|47||University of North Texas||89.25||23:1||50%|
|48||Saint Leo University||88.75||15:1||45%|
|49||The University of Texas at Tyler||88.50||21:1||45%|
|50||Indiana State University||88.00||20:1||40%|