While earning a PhD in Human Resources degree, you could analyzes the key concepts, theories, and current research behind effective organizational behavior, onboarding, compensation and benefits, and more. Many Human Resources PhD programs also look to develop critical analysis and leadership skills so that you may contribute your own findings to the field of HRM.
PhD Human Resources programs focus on teaching how employment relationships affect organizations, workers, and society. Students engage in multidisciplinary analyses of human resources management (HRM) and labor relations issues.
Usually, this is through courses heavily focused on research, critical analysis, and developing leadership skills in industrial relations and HR. This type of study helps doctorate human resources programs prepare students to apply current theory in the management of all aspects of the employee relationship, and add their own contributions to the field .
Within the field of human resources, you may be able to concentrate your studies further. Related programs include PhD Organizational Behavior and PhD Organizational Development programs. Not all schools offer these options, so be sure to follow up directly if this interests you.
Human Resources PhD degrees are terminal degrees in the field, or the highest form of sutdy. For this reason, Doctorate in Human Resources programs may have stricter admissions requirements than other degree levels.
For instance, admissions requirements for PhD in Human Resources Management programs may include the following.
Remember, every HRM school has different requirements and some may have more stringent rules for admission. For instance, some schools ask that you take the GRE or GMAT exams, while other schools don’t. Check with a few options to find the perfect match for you.
While pursuing your Doctorate in Human Resources degree, many programs ask that you complete a number of core courses. Normally, these courses focus on specific components of human resources management and analyze modern issues in the field. They also may take a historical perspective of strategies that have worked in the past.
Upon completing all required courses, often students propose, write, present, and defend a dissertation to a board of faculty members. Additional graduation requirements may include:
However, every school has its own design. Therefore, it's best to check with a few Human Resources PhD programs to find the specific requirements of each.
Most full-time students earn their Doctorate Human Resources degree in four to five years. This includes completing all required courses, defending a dissertation, and fulfilling any other requirements that a school may offer. While PhD Human Resources programs are typically designed for full-time students, there are some schools that offer part-time options. However, it wil likely take longer for part-time students to earn their PhD.
That said, every school is different and has different requirements. For instance, some schools ask that students teach a course while researching your dissertation. Others may start students on their dissertation work right way. Therefore, some programs may take more or less time to complete.
Human resources began as the “personnel department” designed to protect women and girls in industrial environments. Now, it has evolved to take on more responsibilities. In some companies, the HR department has become a core business partner in defining and aligning an organization’s purpose and supporting company culture.
An HR department may be concerned with recuriting talent, putting employees in a position to succeed, and accurately measuring employee performance and satisfaction. These aspects may help contribute towards and measure an organization’s progress to achieving their mission.
Human Resources PhD courses focus on researching and analyzing the theories and concepts behind each of these functions. This may prepare graduates to contribute in each of these roles.
Did You Know?
New hires that go through a structured on-boarding program are 58% more likely to be with the company after three years.
Human resources management is a term used to descirbe the systems used to manage people within an organization. The scope of human resources continues to expand inside of organizations, and many companies expect human resources to be a part of strategic decisions. This includes ongoing employee training, performance management, as well as effectively contributing to the overall direction of an organization and accomplishment of a company’s goals and objectives.
HRM responsibilibies fall into three primary categories: 1) staffing, 2) compensation and benefits and 3) defining and designing work.
Some specific HR responsibilities are listed below.
Just like every Human Resources Management PhD program is different, every organization has a unique design. Therefore, specific responsibilities may vary depending on each company. These may be influenced by aspects such as size, industry and structure of the business.
The responsibilities and functions of human resources continues to grow. Therefore, PhD Human Resources programs may cover a wide range of topics, from compensation and benefits to discipline.
Students in PhD in Organizational Development programs may have the opportunity to participate in the activities below.
There may be a number of other topics that schools may look at and analyze. As a result, look at a few different schools and compare course lists to find a perfect match for you.
Human Resources PhD courses strive to teach a complete understanding of the key issues in human resources management. Typically, this is by analyzing the theories and concepts behind compensation, organizational behavior, dispute resolution, training and development, and a number of other subjects.
Some of the courses you may take while earning your PhD in Human Resources are listed below.
Many programs also teach various statistical techniques and software packages used in human resources research. This may help you perform your own research for your dissertation and specific courses. However, remember that each school has a different design and curriculum. Therefore, courses may vary from school to school.
As the workplace continues to change, organizations need a skilled, knowledgeable workforce that consists of adaptive and flexible employees. As such, training and development is a key component of human resources management, and PhD Human Resources programs.
As a result of training and development, employees may:
Training and development are part of an overall philosophy of continuous learning in the modern workplace. While pursuing your doctorate in human resources management, these aspects may be studied to prepare you to help create a more engaged workforce and support company goals.
Onboarding and training occur at different times of employement. Onboarding occurs when an employee is first hired but has a bigger focus than simply training. It also plays a role in building a bond between employee and company. On the other hand, training and development is focused on the skills and functions of a specific job throughout the entire time an employee spends with a company.
Onboarding, which can also be called a probationary period or introductory period, is focused on immersing the new hire in the company culture, values, and mission. Training and development are all about the specifics. Typically, training is focused on the responsibilities of a specific job during the first 90 days.
However, it should be a main focus of management to continue to provide employees with the skills required to succeed in the company in the future. Without proper training, employees are left to figure out tasks on their own, which may not align with the organization’s goals.
While performing research on various Human Resources Doctorate programs, you will normally find three different learning formats to earn your degree. Each of the following formats appeal to different students and learning styles, and provide various benefits.
Online PhD Human Resources programs may offer the freedom and flexibility to perform coursework around your professional and personal responsibilities. On the other hand, traditional, on-campus programs may provide more structure and offer more active alumni groups, which could help jump-start your career search upon graduation.
"Hybrid" PhD in Human Resources programs combine both online and on-campus formats. Some hybrid programs have courses that have both online and on-campus coursework, while others may have some classes that are entirely online or entirely on-campus.
Review your options to find the learning format and type of Doctorate in Human Resources program that matches your goals.
Upon earning a PhD in Human Resources Management, some students choose to pursue a career in education as a postsecondary teacher. In order to become a postsecondary teacher in human resources, many schools ask that you have earned a PhD in the field.ii
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of postsecondary teachers to increase 13% during the 10 years from 2014 to 2024.iii In 2016, the media annual salary was $75,430.iv
Another career for those that have earned a Doctorate in Human Resources is a human resources manager. While some companies only require a bachelors degree, many look for candidates who have a masters degree.v In 2016, the median annual salary for human resources managers was $106,910.vi
There are a number of additional licenses or certifications that you may pursue before, during, or after you’ve earned your PhD in Human Resources. However, all of them are completely optional and are not required as part of any doctorate program or many employment opportunities.
Keep in mind though that many candidates choose to pursue one or more additional certifications in order to show professional expertise and credibility. It may also have the added benefit of enhancing advancement opportunities. In fact, some positions may require certification, so be sure to read job listings carefully.
Some of the professional associations that offer a variety of certifications in human resources include those listed below.
This is just a list of some of the most common organizations. There may be many others that offer a variety of human resources certifications.v
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is a professional HR society that represents more than 285,000 members around the world. Their goal is to serve the needs of human resources professionals by providing a number of resources and training to advance the practice of human resource management.
SHRM has two different certifications available, which are:
Each of these certification exams are computer-based with 160 questions. They are designed for different human resources professionals who have different experience and educational requirements. Therefore, research both exams, as well as other certifications, to find one that matches your goals.
Take the next step to earning your PhD in Human Resources by reviewing the programs on this page. Click on any of the sponsored listings below or use the filter above to narrow your selection and contact schools directly.
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-4 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-6 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-4 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-5
Illinois Institute of Technology
The Rehabilitation Psychology Division offers an M.S. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education, and a Ph.D. in combined Clinical/Rehabilitation Psychology. The mission of the Rehabilitation Counseling program is...