Earning An MBA In Human Resource Management – Forbes Advisor

Earning An MBA In Human Resource Management – Forbes Advisor

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Imagine you’re in charge of an organization’s most valuable asset––its people. Obtaining a master of business administration (MBA) in human resource management can equip you with the competencies to handle just that. Human resources (HR) play a critical role in attracting, developing and retaining top talent, creating a positive company culture and ensuring employee satisfaction.
This article overviews what earning an MBA in HR entails, including standard admission requirements, typical coursework and career opportunities.

What Is an MBA in Human Resource Management?
An MBA in human resource management is a graduate program focusing on developing advanced HR knowledge and skills. Earning an MBA can take as little as two years, or longer if you attend part-time. This degree program suits individuals who want to specialize in HR management within the broader context of business and pursue leadership and senior-level HR roles for career advancement.
The curriculum combines business, management and specialized HR coursework that teaches students how to develop and implement HR strategies, support company goals, manage labor laws and employee relations, and design and implement competitive benefits and compensation programs.
Learners explore the latest trends in diversity and inclusion, emerging technologies and the use of data analytics to make informed, strategic and data-driven HR decisions that drive an organization’s success.
What Can You Do with an MBA in Human Resource Management?
Earning a human resource management MBA can lead to several leadership and management-level positions. The specific qualifications needed for each job can vary depending on the organization.
Human Resource Manager
Median Annual Salary: $130,000Projected Job Growth (2021-2031): 7%Job Description: Human resources managers oversee essential HR functions such as recruiting and staffing, employee training and development, implementing workplace policies and establishing best practices. They adapt emerging technologies, new laws and benefits programs to remain competitive and equitable.
Human resource managers typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in HR or a closely related field and have several years of relevant work experience; however, some employers prefer candidates with an MBA in HR. The below salary data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Compensation and Benefits Manager
Median Annual Salary: $131,280Projected Job Growth (2021-2031): 2%Job Description: Compensation and benefits managers design, implement, and manage cost-effective compensation and benefits programs based on industry research. They also administer benefits programs, analyze data, conduct job evaluations and determine pay scales.
Many employers require compensation and benefits managers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline; however, some employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree.
Training and Development Manager
Median Annual Salary: $120,000Projected Job Growth (2021-2031): 7%Job Description: Training and development managers collaborate closely with other departments within an organization to lead and coordinate the design, delivery and evaluation of employee training and development programs.
They identify training needs and design programs that align with employee and business objectives. They gather instructional materials, create a curriculum and coordinate workshops. Training and development managers also manage training budgets and stay current with industry trends to ensure program relevance and effectiveness.
Many training and development positions require a bachelor’s degree in HR or a closely related field at a minimum; however, some employers require a master’s degree.
HR Information Systems Manager
Median Annual Salary: $164,070Projected Job Growth (2021-2031): 16%Job Description: HR information systems (HRIS) managers administer, maintain and improve an organization’s HR technology systems. They implement and integrate new HR technology systems and maintain the integrity of critical HR data. They also provide user support, reporting and analytics.
HRIS managers also maintain reports and dashboards to inform strategic HR decision-making and planning. They ensure all technology complies with relevant regulations and laws, such as security and data privacy laws.
Many organizations require HR information systems managers to have a graduate degree and years of relevant work experience. An MBA is a common credential for HRIS managers.
What’s the Difference Between a Master’s in Human Resources and an MBA in Human Resource Management?
A master’s in human resources (MHR) and a human resource management MBA are two graduate degrees focusing on human resource management. While these programs share similarities, key distinctions include scope and focus, course content, program length and career opportunities.
MHR programs primarily focus on HR functions, such as talent acquisition, employee relations, employment law, training and development, and compensation and benefits. Human resource MBA programs have a broad curriculum that includes human resources and business management coursework, such as finance, economics, marketing and accounting.
Generally, MHR graduates primarily find employment opportunities in HR departments, whereas individuals with an MBA in HR have more diverse career prospects, including management positions in multiple industries.
Choosing between an MHR and an MBA in human resource management depends on your educational and professional background, interests and career goals.
Admission Requirements for an MBA in Human Resources
Admission requirements for human resource MBA programs vary by program institution. Generally, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, meet a minimum grade point average requirement and submit official transcripts from any previously attended colleges or universities. Standard MBA admission requirements also include the following:

Résumé or CV detailing professional work experience. Some MBA programs require applicants to have a certain amount of work experience, usually between two to five years.
1-3 letters of recommendation from academic and professional references
Personal statement or admissions essay
Interview with the admission committee
GMAT or GRE scores

Common Courses in a Human Resources MBA Program
The curriculum and specific course titles and offerings for an MBA in human resources vary by program and institution. Below is a sampling of a few standard courses found in human resource MBA programs.
Organizational Behavior and Development
Organizational behavior and development courses examine foundational behavior theories, principles, and tools for managing and cultivating a positive and productive workplace culture. Students learn about individual behavior, team dynamics, effective communication, motivation factors and strategies for fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Marketing Management
Marketing management focuses on teaching students the fundamental principles and practices of marketing. Students learn the necessary skills needed to develop and implement effective marketing strategies. Course topics typically include marketing research and segmentation, consumer behavior, promotion and advertising, product development and management, customer relations management and marketing analytics.
Corporate Finance
Corporate finance courses overview key financial concepts and tools organizations use to manage their finance and make strategic investment decisions. Course topics typically include mergers and acquisitions, capital budgeting, working capital management, corporate valuation and risk management.
Accounting Practices for Managers
The accounting practices for managers course surveys financial reporting systems and accounting applications in modern business. Students learn to interpret and use the information in financial reports to inform strategic business decisions concerning performance evaluation, resource allocation, pricing decisions and cost-volume-profit analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About an MBA in Human Resource Management

Which MBA is best for human resources?

An MBA specializing in human resources or human resource management is one of the best options for individuals looking to pursue or advance their career in HR. This degree program provides graduates with a comprehensive understanding of HR practices through its specialized curriculum, which focuses on vital HR functions, strategies and skills.

What is the salary of an MBA in HR in the USA?

According to Payscale, the average salary for individuals with an MBA in HR is $73,000. Many factors can impact your earning potential, including location, level of education, certifications, professional work experience, position and company.


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