Human Resource Management Master’s Degrees in Kentucky
What Is Human Resources Management?
Human resources management (HRM) describes the formal systems devised for the management of people inside an organization. Typically, the responsibilities of HRM fall into three different categories:
- Employee Compensation and Benefits
- Defining and Designing Work
These focus on promoting the fact that the most important asset of a company is its workforce. Therefore, one of the goals of human resources is to provide the people inside the company with the training, benefits, and support needed to promote effective work.
The Evolution of Human Resources Management
If you are interested in pursuing a human resource management master’s program, it could be helpful to understand how the field of human resources management (HRM) evolved.
HRM has come a long way, from roots in administrative and personnel work to a focus on aligning employee skills, experience, and knowledge with business strategy and goals.
Technology, globalization, and the shift to a more strategic approach have all helped to transform HRM into a field that increasingly prioritizes hiring diverse employees, creating positive work cultures, and developing the workforce to enhance performance.
The role of technology in HRM
New technologies have made it easier for organizations to automate time-consuming tasks, streamline HRM processes, and boost employee engagement.
Some of these technological advances include:
- Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS): Centralize information and help HRM professionals more efficiently manage employee records, track performance, and make data-driven decisions
- Recruitment platforms and candidate tracking systems: Simplify the recruitment and hiring process and reduce the administrative burden on HRM teams
- Intranet platforms, social media networks, and collaboration software: Help keep traditional, hybrid, and remote teams engaged by making it easier to communicate, share information, and stay connected
The impact of globalization on HRM
Globalization of the workforce has pushed HRM professionals to adjust their strategies to better support organizational goals—and the needs of employees with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and locations.
In order to hire, train and retain a multinational workforce, HR departments often face language and logistical challenges, varying cultural norms and expectations, and unfamiliar legal systems.
HRM professionals who create policies that embrace a global mindset, consider cultural differences, and comply with domestic and international labor laws could help set their organizations up for success.
The transition from traditional HR to strategic HRM
Strategic human resources management (SHRM) involves creating programs and policies to help employees better meet a company’s overall business goals.
It entails proactive planning to improve employee performance and productivity, create a positive work culture and environment, and enhance workforce retention.
Examples of three SHRM initiatives include:
- Professional development programs that identify where employee skill sets could be improved and provide training programs and resources to address these needs
- Performance management systems or software to track and enhance the quality, quantity, and efficiency of employee work
- Compensation and benefits plans that are competitive enough to attract and keep qualified talent
Masters in Human Resources Management Degrees: Basics
Many human resource management master’s programs teach creative problem-solving skills, data-driven decision-making, strategic management skills, empathy, and ethics. These all contribute to understanding how human resources fits into and help develop the overall strategies of businesses and organizations.
Other concepts and theories of HR taught in HRM master’s programs may include:
- Foster relationships with stakeholders
- Implement talent development and onboarding strategies
- Use risk management, legal, and ethical practices to protect employees and management
- Implement a cross-cultural approach to improve the cultural competence of organization
Many programs teach how to integrate these concepts into the overall business strategies of organizations, typically through effective leadership strategies that promote human resources collaboration with overall business management.
Some of the courses you may take while pursuing your master’s degree in human resources management include:
- Talent Development and Team Growing
- HR Information Databases
- HR Statistics and Numerical Data
- Human Resource Technology Solutions
- Leading and Managing Workplace Learning
- Robust Compensation and Benefit Packages
- Employment Law in the Successful Workplace
- Cultural Sensitivity in a Global Marketplace
- Active Advocating for Employees
Remember that each program is unique. Therefore, the specific courses, and their titles, may vary from school to school.
Admissions requirements for HR management master’s degrees
Every school has its own admissions requirements. Therefore, it’s important to check with a few options to find one that matches your education and your goals. Some of the more common requirements include:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- 2.3 Bachelor’s degree GPA
- Official transcripts
- Statement of Purpose
- Three letters of recommendation
While these are the most common, remember that some schools may have more stringent requirements than others.
Different Master of Human Resources Management degree formats
When choosing to pursue a master’s degree in human resources management, there are typically three formats for you to choose from. Each of these appeal to different students and have unique benefits. The three learning formats are listed here.
- Online Master’s in Human Resources
- Hybrid Master’s Degree in Human Resources
- On-campus Master’s in Human Resources
For instance, on-campus HR degrees may make it easier for you to network with professors, classmates, and active alumni groups, which could help during your job search. On the other hand, online programs provide flexibility—you can perform coursework whenever it is convenient for you. Plus, you may develop online communication skills that are important in the workplace. Hybrid programs combine the elements of online and on-campus, which is why such programs could be the best of both worlds.
Additional certifications in human resources
Many master’s degree in human resources management programs have a curriculum and course of study that matches the requirements set forth by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). This defines HR educational standards in business schools across the country. By aligning coursework with the SHRM certification, these programs may help you prepare for the exam.
By earning SHRM certification, you may be more likely to be looked at as an expert in human resources management. However, SHRM is not the only available certification. Some of the others include:
- Human Resource Certification Institute
- International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Keep in mind that these certifications aren’t mandatory. However, many professionals choose to earn them to show their knowledge in the field and to stay up-to-date on current methods and approaches in human resources.
Important Skills for HRM Professionals
To be effective in their day-to-day roles, human resources professionals must possess a range of skills.
In addition to courses focused on higher-level knowledge of the principles of HR and strategic management, human resource management master’s programs may also help students develop empathy, data-driven decision making, and communication skills.
Emotional intelligence in HRM
Emotional intelligence (EQ) may be crucial in HRM because it means that professionals can understand and manage their own emotions as well as appreciate the emotions and perspectives of other people.
Five key components of a high EQ are self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Developing a robust EQ could help HR managers have a positive influence on employees, mediate conflicts, and foster strong working relationships.
Analytical skills and data-driven decision-making
The ability to analyze data and use it to make informed decisions is typically an important part of human resources management.
Today’s HRM professionals use data analytics to drive strategy and monitor the effectiveness of programs, identify high and low-performing employees, and project future recruitment needs.
HRM metrics that you may want to familiarize yourself with include employee turnover, engagement, performance, absenteeism, and offer acceptance rate.
Effective communication and conflict resolution
The ability to listen actively—and communicate in a clear, effective, and culturally sensitive manner—could have a major impact on the efficacy of your professional interactions.
Examples of HRM situations that might require strong verbal and written communication skills include:
- Job interviews and employee evaluations
- Salary negotiations
- Internal or external presentations
- HR policy handbooks
- Explanations of benefits
HR managers should also be aware of the effect of their non-verbal communication, such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, and be able to read cues from others.
This skill may be especially relevant when mediating disputes between employees or addressing serious issues such as discrimination or harassment.
HRM Concentrations and Career Paths
Human resources managers perform a range of duties, such as planning and managing benefits packages, recruiting new talent, and handling disputes. The median annual salary for human resources managers in 2022 was $130,000.1
States with the highest employment level in Human Resources Managers, 20221:
|Annual Mean Wage
Top paying metropolitan areas for Human Resources Managers, 20221:
|Annual mean wage
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
|Fort Collins, CO
However, some people trained in HMR choose to focus on particular aspects of the field. Here are some of the jobs they might pursue.
Talent acquisition and recruitment
HR recruiters focus on attracting and hiring competent employees to help meet the talent needs of their organizations.
This may involve developing recruitment strategies, creating job descriptions, screening candidates, managing the interview process, and negotiating salaries.
If you’re interested in this area of human resources, it could be beneficial to develop your interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and ability to assess whether applicant qualifications align with organizational goals.
Learning and development
Learning and development (L&D) professionals plan, manage, and evaluate training and development programs for new and current employees.
This may require assessing organizational needs, creating education materials, and, in some cases, conducting training to enhance the skills and knowledge of employees.
If you’re considering pursuing a career in L&D, you may want to look for human resource management master’s programs that could help you enhance your instructional, leadership, and critical thinking skills.
Median annual salary for Training and Development Managers, 2022: $120,0002
Compensation and benefits
Compensation and benefits managers design and oversee reward packages, including salary, health and retirement plans, bonuses, and other employee incentives.
Their job typically involves analyzing market data and trends to develop competitive pay and benefits plans while also ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations.
The process of assessing and developing compensation and benefits programs that fit the needs of an organization and its workforce generally requires strong analytical and decision-making abilities.
Median annual salary for Training and Development Managers, 2022: $131,2803
Employee and labor relations
Labor and employee relations professionals manage employment policies in union or non-union work environments.
Typical responsibilities may include drafting and negotiating labor contracts, overseeing complaints between employees and management, and coordinating union or employee grievance procedures.
Because labor and employee relations professionals routinely help address and resolve conflicts, important qualities for this role may include listening, mediation, and evaluation skills.
The Role of HRM in Employee Engagement
Employee engagement generally refers to how productive, motivated, and satisfied employees are in their roles and with their organizations.
Companies with a highly engaged workforce might see many positive business outcomes, including:
- A boost in productivity
- Less employee turnover
- An increase in profitability
- Less absenteeism
Below are three key strategies that HRM professionals may implement to improve employee engagement and enhance organizational success.
Build a positive organizational culture
A positive workplace culture is one that encourages open communication and collaboration while creating an environment where employees feel trusted, respected, and valued.
HRM professionals could help create a positive work organizational culture by:
- Developing and communicating clear organizational values
- Recruiting qualified applicants who show “cultural fit” with the organization
- Setting up onboarding programs that reinforce organizational values
- Ensuring that employees understand their individual goals for performance
- Rewarding high-achieving employees who embody company values
Develop employee retention strategies
Creating plans to enhance motivation, morale, and engagement—and retain talent—is typically an important part of human resources management.
Five employee retention strategies include:
- Designing competitive salary and benefits packages
- Promoting a healthy work-life balance
- Offering personal and professional development programs
- Creating employee recognition and rewards systems
- Providing scheduling flexibility and remote work options
Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion
HR professionals may play a critical role in creating workplace policies that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and physical abilities.
Initiatives to support DEI include:
- Including DEI in company core values and training
- Creating diversity within hiring teams
- Implementing diverse hiring practices
- Ensuring equity in pay and benefits
- Offering development opportunities for all employees
In work cultures where everyone feels included and appreciated, employees are more likely to be engaged, feel empowered, and spur innovation.
Take the Next Step with our List of HR Master’s Programs
Now you’re better equipped with the information you need to start your search for a Master’s in Human Resource Management. The academic path you choose may depend largely on what you plan to do after you complete your degree. To a certain extent, you might want to not only prepare yourself with an education, but also with the education that aligns with the type of career you hope to lead.
Reaching out to more than one human resource management school may increase your chances of achieving your goal. Just click request info, fill out the form, and be sure you understand the ins and outs of each program.
Why wait? Your future Master’s in Human Resources Management Graduate Program could be one click away!
GradSchools.com offers 5 Graduate Schools with Master’s in Human Resources Management | HR Master’s in Kentucky
Sources: 1 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113121.htm 2 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113131.htm 3 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113111.htm
Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Accessed 8/8/2023.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.
The University of Arizona Global Campus
Grand Canyon University
University of Louisville
Morehead State University
University of Kentucky
Murray State University