Is a Masters in Human Resources Worth It?
A master’s degree in human resources does not necessarily equate to an advanced level of study; however, these degrees are often used as accreditation for those pursuing graduate-level studies in human resources. The program itself may last between two and three years or may take four. Some programs will only take one year.
During the course of study, students will learn about a variety of topics, such as employment practices, legal issues, and leadership and management techniques. They will also be educated about issues related to hiring, training, performance, and benefits. As a final project, students will be required to conduct research on an introductory topic related to human resource management. Typically, this will be related to the employer’s HR practices.
If you have an area of interest that is not related to the field of human resources, then a concentration in the related field would be more helpful. For example, if you wanted to become a labor relations specialist, you may wish to obtain a master’s degree in human resources. The same holds true for the field of business administration, in which a master’s degree is required. Another option is an MBA, but since this is a high-paying degree, many business administrators opt instead for a master’s degree in human resources.
There are various reasons why a person might want to pursue a masters in human resource management. Most professionals in this field have some sort of professional certification. These can include human resource management, payroll, and employee benefit administration. Many states require licensing of these professionals. Others simply offer certificates, while others have specific master programs. In some states, these programs are approved by the State Board of Nursing or the National Council for Higher Education.
Before beginning any program, you should research the institution thoroughly. Check out the accreditation of their program. You may also want to do your own independent research before you enroll in any program, so you can make an informed decision about which program will best suit your needs.
There are many online graduate programs available, though most are geared towards business professionals who already have several years of work experience. Many graduate schools offer programs with shorter durations, while others have a longer program and a heavy focus on hands-on application learning. Since you will be taking coursework that you can actually use, you will likely find that the more focused your degree is, the more valuable the degree will be.
If you decide to pursue a degree, keep in mind that your future employment opportunities will affect the length of time you will be able to study. A shorter program may allow you to graduate earlier and move onto jobs quicker, while a longer program will allow you to continue your education at a slower pace. It is important to ask whether the program is accredited or not. In most cases, if a program is not accredited by a reputable association, then it is not worth your time or money. You will be paying for classes that are not recognized by employers, and most students drop out before they finish, since the cost is simply too high. Keep in mind that employers do not require a specific number of credits for their positions, and they will usually accept a Masters degree as long as it can show potential employers that you have relevant work experience in the field.
When you do get your Masters degree, what will you do with it? One option is to put it to further your career. Human resources may be one of the fastest growing fields out there today, so having a Master’s can give you a jump start on the competition. There are also many job opportunities for graduates with this type of education, especially in the sales and marketing fields. While a master’s degree in human resources may not be a necessity for employment right now, remember that the job market is always changing and so is the need for qualified professionals.