7 Benefits of Earning a Master’s in Human Resources

A master’s degree in human resources can help elevate your career, opening the door to management positions and advanced opportunities in the field. However, a graduate degree requires a significant time and financial commitment, which may leave you wondering: Is a master’s in human resources worth it?

Relevance of HR Degrees in Today’s Job Market

Across different industries, there is an increased demand for professionals with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human resources. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, labor demand continues to outpace the supply of workers; as a result, human resource specialists and managers are required to improve recruitment efforts and retain top talent within their sector.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that between 2022 and 2032, the human resources field is expected to grow by about 5 percent, which is faster than average for all other occupations. There may be as many as 10,000 new jobs created in the HR industry, placing graduates with a human resources degree in a positive position.

What You Can Learn in a Master’s in HR Degree Program

A master’s degree in human resources can provide you with expert-level knowledge of the best HR policies and strategies while giving you additional insight into trends that will shape the industry in the coming years. When you enroll in a human resources master’s degree program that also takes a specialized approach, you can gain high-level skills related to HR technology, such as:

  • Recruitment strategy development
  • Workforce communications
  • Legal management
  • Diversity training
  • Performance appraisals
  • Data-based management

Why Is a Master’s in Human Resources Worth It?

Combined with work experience in the field, a master’s in human resources can take your career to new heights. Below are the top seven reasons to consider pursuing a graduate degree in human resource management.

Gain a Stronger Understanding of HR

Even if you already have a bachelor’s degree in human resources and have been working in the HR field for several years, you may find that a graduate degree in human resource management gives you an advanced understanding of the industry. Although HR primarily focuses on the employee life cycle, it’s also a nuanced field that is constantly changing to adapt to the needs of modern times. A graduate degree allows you to better understand the current state of the human resources field and offers insight into what the industry may morph into in the future.

According to Indeed, specialized topics sometimes incorporated into a human resources master’s degree curriculum include:

  • Labor relations
  • Conflict management
  • Organizational culture
  • Information technology
  • Ethics in the workplace
  • Managerial coaching

Become More Marketable

While there is significant demand for HR professionals across different industries, the largest and most influential organizations are searching for talented professionals who stand out from others in the job market. A graduate degree is one of the best ways to increase your marketability in HR, as it showcases that you have advanced industry knowledge and are passionate about your chosen career field. In addition, those who hold a graduate degree in human resources are more likely to be specialized, which is what organizations are seeking in human resource managers.

Enhance Soft Skills

Of course, businesses and organizations of all sizes and across different industries are looking for qualified HR professionals with the professional skill set needed for their niche field. However, human resource managers with effective soft skills are in high demand as well, and a master’s degree program presents the perfect opportunity to develop and hone those critical skills.

Defined as nontechnical skills that can be applied across a variety of industries or sectors, soft skills can improve your effectiveness as an HR manager so you can achieve better results within your department. The most important soft skills in human resources include communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and leadership, all of which you may naturally develop throughout the course of your graduate degree program.

Career Advancement

A master’s degree in human resources can open the door to a plethora of career advancement opportunities. Once you have earned your degree, you may be eligible for higher-level positions within HR. Some positions that require candidates to have a master’s degree include:

  • Director of human resources
  • Talent recruitment manager
  • Senior leader of talent management
  • Vice president of human resources

These positions allow you to explore niche sectors of the HR field and give you an opportunity to put your advanced skills to work in an actionable, exciting way.

Higher Salary Potential

One of the primary concerns students have when they pursue a master’s degree is the tuition cost and the return on their investment. The human resource management graduate degree is a worthwhile investment because most positions available to those with a master’s degree offer higher salaries than entry-level positions requiring only a bachelor’s degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for human resource managers in 2022 was $130,000. Along with the higher earning potential, these senior- and executive-level positions often include compensation packages with premier benefits, bonuses, and more.

In-Demand Field

In an age when talent recruitment is increasingly complex and the professional landscape is rapidly evolving, there has never been more demand for skilled HR professionals who prioritize ethics, value diversity, and know how to use a data-based approach to enact dynamic employee strategies.

No matter if you want to work for a small startup, a local nonprofit, or a global corporation, there are plenty of job opportunities in the human resources sector. The BLS notes that the field is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade, highlighting the increased demand for competent and experienced HR professionals.

Expand Your Professional Network

According to LinkedIn, earning a master’s degree in human resources can help expand your professional network. Throughout your degree program, you may interact with professors and instructors skilled in the industry. Through these connections, you may be able to learn more about different organizations in need of up-and-coming thought leaders, or you may discover niche opportunities within the HR field.

Additionally, your classmates may likely be professionals who currently work in HR, giving you endless opportunities to network and discover new possibilities in the local area. Whether you are looking to elevate your position within your current organization or searching for new opportunities in a different location, you could leverage the network that exists within your degree program.

How to Get a Degree in Human Resources

Earning a master’s degree in human resources doesn’t have to be difficult. At Excelsior University, we offer an engaging graduate degree program in human resources that is flexible and versatile, allowing you to specialize and set yourself apart in a crowded job market.

Request more information about our Master of Science in Human Resource Management with an Emphasis in Diversity and Technology today.