Human resources management masters programs typically require two years to complete when attending full-time. This degree could include research projects, examinations and even a teaching component.
Human resources is a vital functional area in most organizations. Human resources management professionals are typically required to perform tasks such as employee recruitment and retention, employee training, workforce development, collective bargaining, talent management and payroll and benefits administration. Prospective graduate students of human resources management should investigate what sorts of programs are available in various schools and also make sure that the curricula meets their own personal and academic goals.
Human resources management graduate programs are offered on a number of campuses. Prospective students should carefully consider their graduate school options and take the time to apply to programs that provide the right mix of academic curricula, campus culture, local charm, and faculty and staff support.
The importance of the accreditation status of a graduate program cannot be overstated. It is extremely important that students carefully investigate the accreditation status of the programs they are interested in before enrolling. Enrolling in an unaccredited program may directly impact an individual’s ability to qualify for financial aid, and might potentially limit employment opportunities upon graduation.
There are a few important resources that may help determine the true accreditation status of the programs you are interested in applying to. The first resource is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CHEA has a database of Institutions Accredited by Recognized U.S. Accrediting Organizations. This service is free of charge, and users are able to search for schools by region, institution name, or accrediting body(1).The United States Department of Education provides a similar tool that allows users to confirm the accreditation status of higher education institutions(2).
There are many myths that exist about the field of human resources management. It is important for prospective graduate students to understand which of these myths are factual and which are nonsense.
Myth: All human resources managers do is conduct employee mediation and conflict resolution meetings.
Reality: While employee mediation and conflict resolution are key components of human resources management, any HR professional can attest that the job is much more involved than that. Students seeking graduate degrees in human resources management should dispel of this myth and understand that the job of a human resources manager often requires knowledge of office administration, workforce training, talent management, negotiations, and strategic planning.
Myth: Graduate programs for human resources management are the same as undergraduate programs.
Reality: The reality of the situation is that graduate programs for human resources management are much more involved and demanding than general undergraduate programs. Graduate programs for this field require more studying, additional hands-on projects and participation in a highly focused course of study than undergraduate programs. Graduate students should be prepared to have much more expected of them.
Myth: After graduating, human resources management professionals can just sit back and let other office employees handle the hard work.
Reality: Quite to the contrary, human resources management professionals are considered critical components of any major firm. Graduates should be prepared to help shape corporate cultures, contribute to successfully achieving organizational goals and employ their human capital skills to the fullest of their abilities. As professionals with accredited graduate degrees, HRM graduates will find that there is a lot expected of them in the corporate world.
Myth: A graduate degree in human resources management is unnecessary.
Reality: It is possible for individuals interested in working in the field of human resources management to qualify to practice in the field without earning a graduate degree. However; a graduate degree in human resources management may help individuals develop the skills necessary to become leaders within an organization or more capable and valuable members of the HR team.
Myth: Earning a graduate degree in human resources management could actually limit my career options.
Reality: A graduate degree in human resources management actually opens up many career options since it allows for more specialization than just a general undergraduate degree. Professionals with graduate degrees may be able to specialize in fields such as human resources development, workforce planning, risk management and employer-labor relations, creating avenues toward new potential career opportunities and a possible advantage in the job market.
Students enrolled in human resources management graduate programs should strongly consider spending time nurturing their professional network and gaining real world experience. Students can do this by becoming student members of professional organizations, participating in internships, and using online resources to help develop their skills and gain new knowledge. These activities may help human resources management graduate students gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a working professional in their chosen field.
The Society for Human Resource Management at SHRM.org offers a Student Program(3), and HR Young Professionals Community(4) sites that serve as outstanding resources for graduate students. Another valuable resource is the National Human Resources Organization; this organization offers career services, events, career development opportunities and other benefits(5). Other resources for HR students and professionals include: the Professionals in Human Resources Association(6), The American Society for Training and Development(7), and The International Public Management Association for Human Resources(8).
Internships are well worth looking into as well. Graduate students should consult with their academic advisors as to what internship opportunities are available and take advantage of them. Internships offer opportunities for students to gain valuable real world work experience, access networking opportunities, and internships might also enhance graduates’ resumes. Online resources like LinkedIn, HR.com, HRPS.com and CiteHR.co may be useful tools for graduate students as well. All of these sites offer valuable information and advice for graduate students to use in a wide array of areas, including job hunting and networking with other human resources professionals.
A: It’s crucial to make sure that any online graduate and Ph.D. programs are fully accredited and in good academic standing. Prospective graduate students should consult with the United States Department of Education at ED.gov and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation at CHEA.org to ensure that any graduate program they enroll in is fully accredited. Students should keep a wary eye out for diploma mills and enroll only in a fully accredited online graduate or Ph.D. program.
A: As with traditional campus-based graduate programs, online programs typically focus on key areas such as payroll administration, talent acquisition and retention, employee-labor relations, conflict mediation, strategic planning, statistical analysis, technology, and organizational skills.
A: Graduates of human resources management programs might find potential career opportunities in a wide variety of organizations. In addition to general human resources professionals, graduates may become specialists in areas such as talent development and acquisition, business analysis, human capital, office administration and employee-management relations. Other specialized areas of human resources management are also available.
A: Human resources management professionals typically work in firms, corporations and agencies of all sizes in both the public sector and the private sector. Just a few potential workplaces include major corporations, consulting firms, state and local government, the Federal government, healthcare agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, advertising and marketing firms and manufacturing companies.
A: Graduates who successfully earn a master’s degree or and Ph.D. in human resources management may potentially enjoy numerous advantages over those who don’t. Crucially, they have the opportunity to brand themselves as specialists in certain areas such as talent acquisition, workforce development and employee-management relations. In addition, they might be able to leverage their graduate degree to better stand out amongst competitors in the job market and employ their advanced skills to become leaders within an organization.