Online master’s degrees in human resources management

You excel at sorting through complex situations. You enjoy helping employees find their path within a company. You have strong organizational skills, the ability to quickly adapt to changing legislation and the experience and drive to join your company’s management ranks. An advanced academic degree in human resources can help you obtain the educational background needed for high-level positions in the human resources field.

What is an online master’s degree in human resource management

Online master’s degrees in business in human resources management can give you the expertise, critical thinking ability and in-depth knowledge needed to prepare for responsibilities you might face in a managerial role. Depending on the specific program you choose, some possible courses include:

  • Human resource organizational behavior and theory
  • Employee relations and performance management
  • Labor market analysis
  • Ethics and leadership
  • Labor and employment law
  • Diversity in the workplace

An online master’s degree program in human resource management can also establish the foundation you need in order to land a coveted job in this competitive labor market. While there are more applicants than open positions, employers generally prefer applicants with both an advanced degree and relevant work experience.

What could I do with an online master’s degree in HR

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most managerial positions in the human resources field require an advanced academic degree in human resources, especially for positions in the area of labor relations.

At an estimated growth rate of 7 percent between 2018 and 2028, employment for human resources management positions is expected to be faster than the average growth rate of all other human resources-related careers. Below is a list of potential managerial and specialist positions, along with relevant salary figures, as reported by the BLS.

  • Compensation and benefits managers lead an organization’s efforts to coordinate all activities related to compensation and benefits for an organization’s employment force. The May 2019 median annual wage was $122,270.
  • Training and development managers spearhead efforts to train and develop an organization’s workforce. The May 2019 median annual wage for training and development managers was $113,350.
  • Human resources managers are typically responsible for overseeing the human resources — also known as personnel — department of an organization. The May 2019 median annual wage for human resources managers was $116,720.
  • Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists, who can specialize in highly specific areas, traditionally perform job and benefit analysis and make recommendations based on their findings. The median annual wage, as published in May 2019, was $64,560, with the top 10% of analysts earning up to $105,600.

A myriad of options are available to obtain your advanced academic degree in human resources. Before you choose your program, evaluate each degree’s specific requirements, classes and placement opportunities. Our Guide to Majors in Human Resources can help you sort through the possibilities. You may also want to consider related specialized fields like operations management and organizational psychology.


  • May 2019, Occupational Profiles, Occupational Employment Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • Human Resources Managers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed June 2020,
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