What is the Difference Between a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource and a Master’s in Human Resource?

Pin It

 A human resource degree is an essential step for all those seeking to pursue careers as human resource specialists and HR managers. The career options for human resource professionals are as varied as the professionals available to fill those roles. Some professionals work in local small businesses that only employ a handful of individuals. These professionals typically handle all aspects of human resources, from hiring to training and compensation issues. Other HR professionals are employed by large international corporations that employ thousands of individuals. These professionals tend to specialize in one specific area of practice, from employee development to human resources information and technology. The career possibilities are limited by several factors, including the level of degree earned. Understanding the differences in the requirements and career possibilities between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in human resources is an essential step in planning one’s education and career path.

Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources

A bachelor’s degree in human resources is often the first step towards pursuing a career in the field. Bachelor’s degrees may also be referred to as majors in many college programs. These programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in the human resources field.

A bachelor’s degree in human services is often combined with a minor or even a second major. Oftentimes, these minors and second majors are in business administration, international business or finance. However, some students pursue more unique programs, such as a foreign language minor or a second major in information systems, in order to pursue specialized career paths.

According to career search engine Monster.Com’s human resources site HR People, bachelor’s degree programs typically cover issues such as organizational theory, behavioral science, legal issues in HR management and employee training. Students may also take courses in finance, accounting, marketing and industrial-organizational psychology. A bachelor’s degree program is typically designed to give a well-rounded and solid foundation in the field.

Master’s Degree in Human Resources

Unlike most bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree programs are designed to prepare students for upper-level HR management careers. Master’s-level programs also offer opportunities to specialize in a specific area of human resources, including employee assistance plan, employee development, compensation and recruitment specialists.

Most master’s degree programs offer more in-depth courses than are available in typical bachelor’s degree programs. Coursework is likely to be more rigorous and include advanced theories, practices and research in order to prepare students to manage human resources departments in both small and large corporations. Many master’s degree programs also emphasize global HR issues, international labor laws and workplace diversity. Many programs are also designed to lead to state licensure or certification as a human resources professional.

Like many education paths, human resources offers degree programs at several levels, including the bachelor’s and master’s level. These programs are all designed to prepare students for careers in the field of human resources but the type of career is often dependent on the degree earned. In order to decide on an educational path, students need to consider their ultimate career goals in order to choose the degree program that will offer the best career preparation. For those interested in pursuing specialist, managerial or international positions, pursuing a master’s level human resources degree is important, whereas bachelor’s degrees help prepare students to pursue entry level careers or careers that do not require specialization.

Pin It