Human Resources Degrees and Programs
A 2010 study by researchers at Wharton Business School found that many human resources (HR) managers had advanced to their positions from within HR departments, suggesting that there are promising career paths within human resources for motivated individuals.
Entry-level positions in human resources are often administrative in nature, and advancement opportunities involve moving into management or specializing in a field such as labor relations.
Advancement may require a master's degree in human resources or a master's degree in business with a human resources concentration. At the master's degree level, broad concentrations in human resources degrees include:
- Benefits and compensation
- Labor and collective bargaining
- Staffing, training and development
These concentrations mirror the major career paths within HR that are tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The following mean annual salaries for HR managers were reported by the BLS in 2010:
- Compensation and benefits: $59,590 (specialists) to $96,940 (managers)
- Training and development: $57,280 (specialists) to $95,800 (managers)
- Human resources managers, general: $108,600
The human face of business
According to the BLS, a bachelor's degree in human resources is the most common credential for entry-level jobs in this field. Most dedicated human resources degree programs are at the master's level, so the BLS recommends bachelor's degree students pursue training in general business, the social sciences and computer and information systems.
More specific human resources courses, generally available at the master's degree level, could include labor law, organizational structure, industrial psychology and finance.