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Human Resource Management

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2021 Human Resource Management Degree Guide

It is impossible to have a successful business unless employees are properly trained, happy, and efficient. The work environment, hiring process, and work relationship are all important factors to a business's ability to thrive, making the role of Human Resource Manager critical to any business. These managers handle the staffing, training, pay, and policies of the workplace. By majoring in Human Resource Management, students will manage the progress of human capital in the workplace and provide services to these groups and individuals.

Some of the concentrations associated with this major are Labor and Industrial Relations, Organizational Behavior Studies, Labor Studies, and Human Resource Development.

There are a variety of courses you will take when majoring in Human Resource Management, they include employee and labor relations, organizational behavior, staffing, compensation and benefits, and statistics. This major is commonly offered as a Bachelor's Degree.

Human Resource Management Degrees Remain Stable

#43 Most Popular Major
26.8k Degrees Awarded
-0.1% Increase in Graduates

Human Resource Management was the 43rd most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 26,823 degrees in this year alone. This is approximately the same as the 26,853 graduates the prior year.

The United States has 406 different schools where you can get a degree in human resource management. This year's Best Colleges for Human Resource Management ranking compares 114 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom HR rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Human Resource Management

Those who work in the field of Human Resources need to be comfortable interacting with people. Your days will revolve around meeting the needs of others and making sure employees are satisfied. You will be working and meeting with others constantly, therefore strong communication skills are essential. You must be able to understand and listen to concerns and relay information to your superiors. Work on your interpersonal and communication skills while still in college in order to achieve success.

Students may benefit from an internship or work experience in any field where they interact with people. Customer service can be a great background to a job in Human Resources.

HR Degree Program Entry Requirements

human resource management degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional HR certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Human Resource Management Degrees

There are various different levels of HR degrees. You can get anything from a associate's degree in human resource management to the highest HR degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. The time it takes to complete a HR degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to HR, with approximately 52.1% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for HR workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 49.5%
Master’s Degree 17.5%
Doctoral Degree 12.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 6.1%
High School Diploma 5.5%

About 86.8% of workers in careers related to HR obtain at least bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in human resource management have received.


The education level required is different depending on the HR career you are seeking.

HR Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$46.2k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in Human Resources Management have the option to become Human Resources Mangers. These managers can work in virtually any type of industry and are in demand.

Graduates can also become a Human Resource Specialist. The specialist deal directly with the hiring processes of employees. They recruit, screen, and interview potential employees.

Solid Growth Projected for HR Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your HR degree? Human Resource Management careers are expected to grow 8.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to human resource management.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Human Resources Specialists 586,700 7.1%
Training and Development Specialists 315,300 11.5%
Human Resources Managers 148,400 9.0%
Business Professors 123,000 18.0%
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 91,300 8.4%

HR Degree Salary Potential

Human Resource Management graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $46,196 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $11,600 to as high as $100,100. As you might expect, salaries for HR graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for HR Majors

Salaries for human resource management graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers HR grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Compensation and Benefits Managers $132,860
Human Resources Managers $126,700
Training and Development Managers $121,730
Business Professors $103,330
Labor Relations Specialists $70,730

Getting Your Human Resource Management Degree

With over 1,546 different HR degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased HR school rankings to help you with this.

Human Resource Management is one of 21 different types of Business, Management & Marketing programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to HR

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 410,147
Accounting 105,123
General Business/Commerce 58,451
Finance & Financial Management 56,186
Marketing 51,241

View All HR Related Majors >


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