How Do I Prepare for a Graduate Level Studies in Human Resources?

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Prepare HRIf you want to move ahead in the human resources field, you might be wondering what you should do to prepare for graduate level studies in the industry.¬†While some entry-level jobs in human resources may only require a bachelor’s degree, higher-level positions will likely require a master’s. Looking into program requirements will help you prepare for master’s level studies.

Do I Need a Bachelors in HR?

Although program requirements will vary in different schools, all master’s level programs will require that you hold some kind of bachelors degree. While it’s possible that you could obtain a bachelors degree in human resources management, it’s more likely that you will find human resources courses as part of a broader based bachelors program, such as a bachelor of science in business. That would be a helpful preparation, but basically any liberal arts degree at the bachelors level, as long as your grades were strong, should probably be sufficient in tandem with other prerequisites. It would likely help if you had at least some classes in business or other related areas. Some graduate schools may require a certain grade point average in your undergraduate studies.

General Requirements

In addition to providing your transcript from a bachelors degree completed at an accredited college or university, you will generally need test scores from the graduate record examination (GRE) or the graduate management admissions test (GMAT). Some schools may have minimum percentile requirements for test scores, so it’s a good idea to check with the admissions department of the schools where you plan to submit applications. Most programs will also require some letters of recommendation, and either a personal statement or an interview with you. So you’ll want to put some thought into why you are applying for an HR degree.

Work Experience

Though pertinent work experience is not generally considered prerequisite for master’s degrees in HR, having some may improve your chances of getting into a competitive program. Work experience that might prove helpful could include management positions, work that has required strong interpersonal or organizational skills, or work where you’ve gained skills in computers and technology, especially if those skills were related to helping run a business or organization.

Though many students desiring an HR degree pursue the Master’s of Human Resource Management (MHRM) degree, there are other options, such as an MA in Human Resources of an MBA with a concentration in some form of HR studies. Each program has a bit of a different nuance, so it’s a good idea to discuss your options with people who have gone into the specific kind of HR work you would like to pursue. Whatever HR path you decide to take, knowing your ultimate career goals is always helpful. Bear in mind that a master’s degree in human resources will probably take you between one to two years to complete, but that having a master’s will prepare you for higher-level work in the industry. Once you know the prerequisite for master’s degrees in HR, you can prepare your graduate school decisions with confidence.

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