Online Master’s in Human Resources

To be an asset to a company, human resources professionals should be highly educated and trained. In many cases, this is accomplished by earning a master’s degree in human resources. Many individuals choose to earn an online master’s degree in human resources as a solution for fitting in graduate-level education with work and family commitments. Online degrees are often the perfect solution for someone already working in HR but wishing to advance his or her education. Here is an overview of the human resources professional as well as a comprehensive list of online Master’s in Human Resources (MHR) programs.

Skills Needed for HR Professionals

Human resources professionals may be hired with a bachelor’s degree, but most employers prefer the candidate to have a master’s in human resources. Candidates should also have some experience working in human resources. Experience working in human resources may also be beneficial. Some HR managers begin their careers by working as labor relations specialists, human resources specialists or HR assistants.

The candidate should be familiar with compensation and benefits packages, employment laws and business management. Successful human resources professionals should have good communication, leadership, organizational, interpersonal and decision-making skills.

Career and Salary Outlook

Human resources managers are expected to see an employment growth of 9% during the 2016-2026 decade while human resources specialists should see a growth of 7% during that same period according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As companies grow, so will the need for human resources professionals. The bureau predicts that about 12,300 new human resources jobs and 38,900 human resources professional jobs should be created by 2026. Human resources managers earned an average annual wage of $123,510, and human resources professionals earned $66,220 as of May 2017.

Program Overview

There are various online master’s in human resources programs available to aspiring HR professionals. When choosing a program, it is important that students choose one that’s accredited because it will meet the high standards set by the Society of Human Resource Management. The SHRM offers various certifications for human resources professionals. Individuals interested in taking online HR courses and programs can find information on the SHRM website.

The one thing that all the online human resources management programs have in common is that they’re all offered through distance learning. The curriculum may vary from school to school, but most require students complete coursework and complete an internship or field experience in the final semester. During the internship, the student will work in an HR department under supervision to obtain practical experience.

Master’s in Human Resources Online Program List

Colorado State University
Master of Science in Human Resources Management
Credits: 36, 39 if undergraduate GPA is below 3.0
Time to completion: 12 months
SHRM Aligned: Yes

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University is a public research university as well as the Colorado State University System’s flagship university. CSU has nine colleges, eight schools and 55 academic departments working together to offer 65 undergraduate degree programs and 55 master’s degree programs. Additionally, CSU offers various online degree programs through its CSU Global Campus, including an online master’s in human resources management.

This online program, which was ranked as the No. 1 best online master’s degree program for 2019, provides students with the comprehensive practices, theories and programs related to human resources. Students learn to work with senior management and collaborate on employee and HR issues. This program is also in alignment with the SHRM’s curriculum guidebook. Applicants to this program can choose from several areas of specialization.

Students complete various courses and are required to complete a capstone course and a supervised internship. Course topics include managing human resources; fundamentals of research and writing; maximizing human capital; foundations of business; legal and human resource dimensions of business management; staffing and talent development; effective organizations, and strategic labor relations.

Pepperdine University
Master of Science in Human Resources
Credits: 39
Time to completion: 12 months
SHRM Aligned: Yes

Pepperdine University is a private research university situated on an 830-acre campus near Malibu, California. Pepperdine has five colleges and offers more than 73 degree programs. It also offers several bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs online through its various colleges and graduate schools, including a master’s in human resources.

The online Master of Science in Human Resources program at Pepperdine combines business with HR courses to give students a well-rounded education. The courses are streamed online, and students can network with other students. Students get a membership to WeWork, a network that allows students to communicate and share experiences.

Their self-paced courses can be done at the student’s leisure and handed in at any time because they have 24/7 access. Despite this being an online program, students will have to meet with classmates two times during the year. This program can be completed in 12 months.

In addition to completing coursework, students will also complete an internship or a directed research project. Course topics include human resources overview; financial accounting; employment laws; total rewards, compensations and benefits; human resource consulting and managing; human resource analytics; talent management; personal and leadership development; and economics concepts.

Southern New Hampshire University
Master of Science in Human Resource Management
Credits: 36
Time to completion: 15 months
SHRM Aligned: Yes

Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University is a private university that offers more than 40 graduate and 100 undergraduate degree programs in education, business and liberal arts. In addition to offering evening and weekend courses, SNHU offers many online programs. The tuition rates at SNHU are some of the lowest in the nation.

The Master of Science in Human Resource Management program at SNHU is a 100% online program that aligns with the SHRM guiding principles with its format and curriculum. The flexible start dates allow students to enroll at various times throughout the year. Students have 24/7 online access to the program so they can study and learn at their own pace.

What makes this program valuable is that it combines business practices with human resource management. Courses in this online program include human resource information systems, talent development and workforce planning, strategic human resource management and corporate communications.

Western Carolina University
Master of Science in Human Resources
Credits: 36
GMAT/GRE: Yes, unless GPA is over 3.25
Time to completion: Two years
SHRM Aligned: Yes

Western Carolina University is a public university located in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The school offers more than 115 undergraduate and 40 graduate programs through its various colleges and schools. WCU is ranked as one of the top 15 pubic research colleges in the South. WCU also offers more than 20 hybrid and online programs at various degree levels, including a master’s in human resources.

The master’s in human resources program is a distance learning program that requires students complete 36 credits. Online students have access to not only an online library and online tutoring but also many of the same career services as on-campus students. Applicants to this program must have a GPA of 3.0. The program consists of 12 courses, seven of which are required and five electives.

The curriculum is based around four competencies: operational HR leadership; relational HR leadership; ethically and socially responsible HR leadership; and strategic HR leadership. Full-time students can compete this program in one year while students completing two courses per term can finish it in two years.