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Human Resource Management Major

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Human Resource Management

8,937 Master's Degrees Annually
317 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#25 in Popularity (Master's)
$70,730 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Human Resource Management Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many human resource management graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 8,943
Graduate Certificate 1,510
Doctor’s Degree 317

What Human Resource Management Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, HR majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for HR Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for HR Majors

When studying HR, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for HR Majors

As you progress with your HR degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Human Resource Management Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with HR:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Business Professors 18.0% $83,960
Compensation and Benefits Managers 5.1% $121,010
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 8.4% $63,000
Human Resources Managers 9.0% $113,300
Human Resources Specialists 7.1% $60,880
Training and Development Managers 10.4% $111,340
Training and Development Specialists 11.5% $60,870

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management?

8,943 Master's Degrees Annually
73% Percent Women
46% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Human Resource Management runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #25 out of all the graduate majors we track. In 2019, about 8,937 graduates completed their master’s degree in this field. The major attracts more women than men. About 73% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of HR majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of HR Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 382
Black or African American 2,158
Hispanic or Latino 1,247
White 3,706
International Students 525
Other Races/Ethnicities 925

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in HR. About 5.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Venezuela

How Much Do Human Resource Management Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of human resource management students with a master’s degree is $48,400 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $44,900 (25th percentile) and $56,200 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to HR.

Salaries According to BLS

HR majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $66,790 to $121,730 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Human Resource Management Major  ( 66790 to 121730 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with HR require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to HR have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 5.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.1%
Some College Courses 2.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 49.5%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 6.1%
Master’s Degree 17.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.5%
Doctoral Degree 12.0%

Online Human Resource Management Programs

In 2018-2019, 803 schools offered a HR program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 162 60
Certificate (1-2 years) 59 23
Certificate (2-4 Years) 6 1
Associate’s Degree 130 50
Bachelor’s Degree 163 65
Post-Baccalaureate 162 60
Master’s Degree 371 165
Post-Master’s 30 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 32 8
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Human Resource Management Worth It?

The median salary for a HR grad is $70,730 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 77% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $616,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to HR.

Major Number of Grads
Business Administration & Management 135,757
Accounting 21,904
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 14,136
General Business/Commerce 10,236
Finance & Financial Management 6,277
Marketing 3,308
Management Information Systems 3,158
International Business 2,417
Entrepreneurial Studies 1,778
Taxation 1,611
Other Business, Management & Marketing 1,240
Real Estate 1,186
Hospitality Management 1,072
General Sales & Marketing 637
Construction Management 507
Business/Managerial Economics 267
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 221
Insurance 173
Business/Corporate Communications 80
Telecommunications Management 38
Business Support & Assistant Services 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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