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2023 Human Resource Management Degree Guide

It is impossible to have a successful business unless employees are properly trained, happy, and efficient. The work environment, hiring process, and work relationship are all important factors to a business's ability to thrive, making the role of Human Resource Manager critical to any business. These managers handle the staffing, training, pay, and policies of the workplace. By majoring in Human Resource Management, students will manage the progress of human capital in the workplace and provide services to these groups and individuals.

Some of the concentrations associated with this major are Labor and Industrial Relations, Organizational Behavior Studies, Labor Studies, and Human Resource Development.

There are a variety of courses you will take when majoring in Human Resource Management, they include employee and labor relations, organizational behavior, staffing, compensation and benefits, and statistics. This major is commonly offered as a Bachelor's Degree.

A Recent Jump in Human Resource Management Degrees

#45 Most Popular Major
28.8k Degrees Awarded
7.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, human resource management was the 45th most popular major nationwide with 28,787 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 2,171 over the prior year, a growth of 7.5%.

Our 2023 Best Human Resource Management Schools ranking analyzes 440 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for human resource management students. Explore this or one of our many other custom HR rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Human Resource Management
2023 Overall Best Human Resource Management Colleges >

Best Human Resource Management Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Human Resource Management
Bachelor's Degrees in Human Resource Management
Master's Degrees in Human Resource Management
Doctorate Degrees in Human Resource Management


Human Resource Management Degree Requirements

Those who work in the field of Human Resources need to be comfortable interacting with people. Your days will revolve around meeting the needs of others and making sure employees are satisfied. You will be working and meeting with others constantly, therefore strong communication skills are essential. You must be able to understand and listen to concerns and relay information to your superiors. Work on your interpersonal and communication skills while still in college in order to achieve success.

Students may benefit from an internship or work experience in any field where they interact with people. Customer service can be a great background to a job in Human Resources.

Getting Accepted Into a Human Resource Management Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic human resource management program qualifications, to serve in some HR careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Human Resource Management Degrees

There are various different levels of HR degrees. Human Resource Management programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest HR degree you can get. Human Resource Management programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to HR, with approximately 52.1% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to HR tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 49.5%
Master’s Degree 17.5%
Doctoral Degree 12.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 6.1%
High School Diploma 5.5%

About 86.8% of workers in careers related to HR obtain at least bachelor's degrees. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in human resource management careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the HR career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for HR Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$49k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in Human Resources Management have the option to become Human Resources Mangers. These managers can work in virtually any type of industry and are in demand.

Graduates can also become a Human Resource Specialist. The specialist deal directly with the hiring processes of employees. They recruit, screen, and interview potential employees.

Solid Growth Projected for HR Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your HR degree? Human Resource Management careers are expected to grow 8.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to human resource management.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Human Resources Specialists 586,700 7.1%
Training and Development Specialists 315,300 11.5%
Human Resources Managers 148,400 9.0%
Business Professors 123,000 18.0%
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 91,300 8.4%

How Much Money Do People With a HR Degree Make?

Human Resource Management graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $49,046 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $19,265 to as high as $124,764. As you might expect, salaries for HR graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for HR Majors

Salaries for human resource management graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers HR grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Compensation and Benefits Managers $132,860
Human Resources Managers $126,700
Training and Development Managers $121,730
Business Professors $103,330
Labor Relations Specialists $70,730

Getting Your Human Resource Management Degree

With over 1,540 different HR degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased HR school rankings to help you with this.


Human Resource Management is one of 21 different types of Business, Management & Marketing programs to choose from.

HR Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
General Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration 19,084
Organizational Behavior Studies 3,921
Human Resources Development 2,315
Labor & Industrial Relations 1,789
Other Human Resources Management and Services 1,450

View All HR Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 416,590
Accounting 99,265
Finance & Financial Management 57,778
General Business/Commerce 56,042
Marketing 52,916

View All HR Related Majors >


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