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What is an MBA in Human Resources?

An online MBA in human resources provides students with the organizational leadership skills they need to manage office personnel, recruit and hire employees, enhance staff productivity, supervise compensation, and uphold an organization’s legal or ethical standards. Earning a human resources MBA online degree is an outstanding investment that prepares you to work in almost any field. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates human resources management jobs are projected to grow 9% by 2024 — and all while paying median salaries of over $100,000.

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Earning a human resources MBA online degree is an outstanding investment that prepares you to work in almost any field.

An MBA in human resources online can give your salary a significant boost. More specifically, those with a human resources master’s degree online can earn over $10,000 more at the beginning of their careers than those holding a bachelor’s degree.

Comparison of Human Resources Master’s Degrees

When it comes to online master’s human resources degrees, several options exist. Though each degree program listed below readies you for professional success, you should be aware how their concentrations differ. While human resource management focuses on administration and human services employs a social justice lens, a human resources MBA online program provides a flexible overview of the discipline as a whole.

Degree Description Average Salary* Length
Master’s of Human Resource Management (MHRM) A master’s of human resource management prepares you to help businesses meet major goals by optimizing staff management. This degree focuses on an organization’s critical needs and how those needs can be met by effectively managing a company’s employees. This is an ideal track for those interested in working in an administrative role and producing management strategies by collaborating with business executives. $56,625 2 Years
Master’s of Human Services (MHS) The master’s of human services degree is more focused on working with vulnerable populations and diverse, multicultural communities. Often, this degree will prepare graduates to help nonprofit organizations with project management and the development of funding strategies. It can also prepare you to engage with social policy issues, such as welfare, immigration, reproductive rights, or employee assistance programs. The degree places a strong emphasis on fostering community engagement. $31,926 2 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources The online MBA in human resources is a flexible degree with a broad range of applications. This degree covers subjects such as workforce planning, management of employee compensation, organizational behavior, and the recruitment, development, and retention of human capital. Graduates who hold this MBA enjoy a variety of career options in fields like labor relations, training and development, and conflict mediation. $56,625 2 years

Graduates of an online MBA with human resources concentration are expected to master several core competencies before starting their careers. Though the best online schools for human resources may use different curriculum, programs share similar learning outcomes, including the maintenance of professional standards, and managing interactions between staff and administrators. Below, we describe a sample online MBA in human resources curriculum and illustrate how it can help you succeed professionally.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Organizational Development Develop policies to ensure competitive benefits for employees and compliance with legal standards. Maintain organizational professional standards.

TITLE: Human Resources Manager

SALARY: growth of 6%

Performance Management Implement policies to help managers attract, retain, and evaluate an organization’s employees. Understand execution of successful management systems.

TITLE: Human Resources Consultant

SALARY: growth of 7%

Employee Relations Manage organizational labor relations, especially interactions like contract negotiation, dispute mediation, or basic labor law compliance.

TITLE: Human Resources Generalist

SALARY: growth of 2%

Human resources MBA online graduates are prepared to succeed in many different management career settings. The table below describes some of this discipline’s most popular professional options.

Human Resources Manager Median Salary: $63,639
  • Business Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Government Organizations
  • Healthcare/Social Assistance Programs
Human resource managers supervise the policies and procedures relating to their organization’s employees. They oversee staff benefit programs, workplace harassment disputes, and provide guidance for training or discipline initiatives.
Human Resources Consultant Median Salary: $70,931
  • Private Human Resources Consulting Firms
  • Business Management
  • Healthcare Organizations
Human resource consultants provide administrative support for human resources programs. Often, they will be tasked with improving the relationship between an organization and its staff, increasing employee satisfaction, or boosting retention rates.
Director of Human Resources Median Salary: $92,529
  • Business Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, scientific, or technical corporations
Human resource directors plan and oversee their company’s human resources policies. Directors often report to the CEO to ensure human resources procedures are consistent with company goals and legal guidelines. They require strong customer service, communications, leadership, and organizational skills.
School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Albertus Magnus College

Location New Haven, CT Tuition Tuition $40,848 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population School Type Private
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Ashland University

Location Ashland, OH Tuition Tuition $7,584 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population School Type Private
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Averett University

Location Danville, VA Tuition Tuition $29,315 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population School Type Private
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Baker College

Location Flint, MI Tuition Tuition $34,551 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population School Type Private
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Baker University

Location Baldwin City, KS Tuition Tuition $26,130 % Receiving Financial Aid 73% Student Population School Type Private
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Baldwin Wallace University

Location Berea, OH Tuition Tuition $36,024 % Receiving Financial Aid 82% Student Population School Type Private
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Belhaven University

Location Jackson, MS Tuition Tuition $19,080 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population School Type Private
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Bellevue University

Location Bellevue, NE Tuition Tuition $10,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 44% Student Population School Type Private
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Brandman University

Location Irvine, CA Tuition Tuition $29,760 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population School Type Private
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Bryan College

Location Dayton, TN Tuition Tuition $18,720 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population School Type Private
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California State University - Dominguez Hills

Location Carson, CA Tuition Tuition $14,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population School Type Public
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Campbellsville University

Location Campbellsville, KY Tuition Tuition $17,964 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population School Type Private
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Carlow University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $28,836 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population School Type Private
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Central Michigan University

Location Mount Pleasant, MI Tuition Tuition $22,050 % Receiving Financial Aid 78% Student Population School Type Public
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Champlain College

Location Burlington, VT Tuition Tuition $28,620 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population School Type Private
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City University of Seattle

Location Seattle, WA Tuition Tuition $32,544 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population School Type Private
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Columbia College

Location Columbia, MO Tuition Tuition $14,718 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population School Type Private
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Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Location Ann Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $30,360 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population School Type Private
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Concordia University - Wisconsin

Location Mequon, WI Tuition Tuition $26,598 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population School Type Private
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Corban University

Location Salem, OR Tuition Tuition $18,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population School Type Private
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Davenport University

Location Grand Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $26,598 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population School Type Private
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Delta State University

Location Cleveland, MS Tuition Tuition $19,260 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population School Type Public
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DeSales University

Location Center Valley, PA Tuition Tuition $29,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population School Type Private
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Endicott College

Location Beverly, MA Tuition Tuition $31,977 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population School Type Private
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Everglades University

Location Boca Raton, FL Tuition Tuition $25,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 98% Student Population School Type Private
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Excelsior College

Location Albany, NY Tuition Tuition $77,922 % Receiving Financial Aid 8% Student Population School Type Private
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Fitchburg State University

Location Fitchburg, MA Tuition Tuition $29,840 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population School Type Public
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Fort Hays State University

Location Hays, KS Tuition Tuition $13,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population School Type Public
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Franklin Pierce University

Location Rindge, NH Tuition Tuition $30,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 89% Student Population School Type Private
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Gannon University

Location Erie, PA Tuition Tuition $29,850 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population School Type Private
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Gardner-Webb University

Location Boiling Springs, NC Tuition Tuition $18,900 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population School Type Private
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Golden Gate University - San Francisco

Location San Francisco, CA Tuition Tuition $52,650 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population School Type Private
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Greenville College

Location Greenville, IL Tuition Tuition $16,422 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population School Type Private
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Indiana Institute of Technology

Location Fort Wayne, IN Tuition Tuition $20,790 % Receiving Financial Aid 85% Student Population School Type Private
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John Wesley University

Location High Point, NC Tuition Tuition $8,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 42% Student Population School Type Private
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Johnson & Wales University

Location Providence, RI Tuition Tuition $112,482 % Receiving Financial Aid 86% Student Population School Type Private
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King University

Location Bristol, TN Tuition Tuition $21,780 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population School Type Private
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Lakeland College

Location Plymouth, WI Tuition Tuition $21,060 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population School Type Private
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Liberty University

Location Lynchburg, VA Tuition Tuition $25,425 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population School Type Private
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Lindenwood University

Location Saint Charles, MO Tuition Tuition $10,260 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population School Type Private
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Louisiana State University - Shreveport

Location Shreveport, LA Tuition Tuition $45,360 % Receiving Financial Aid 34% Student Population School Type Public
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Lynn University

Location Boca Raton, FL Tuition Tuition $26,825 % Receiving Financial Aid 28% Student Population School Type Private
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Maryville University

Location St. Louis, MO Tuition Tuition $18,564 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population School Type Private
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McKendree University

Location Lebanon, IL Tuition Tuition $19,980 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population School Type Private
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Mercer University

Location Macon, GA Tuition Tuition $26,172 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population School Type Private
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Mercy College

Location Dobbs Ferry, NY Tuition Tuition $40,176 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population School Type Private
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Misericordia University

Location Dallas, PA Tuition Tuition $25,920 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population School Type Private
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Montclair State University

Location Montclair, NJ Tuition Tuition $31,320 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population School Type Public
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Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Location Mount Vernon, OH Tuition Tuition $17,928 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population School Type Private
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National University

Location La Jolla, CA Tuition Tuition $26,208 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population School Type Private
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New England College

Location Henniker, NH Tuition Tuition $21,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population School Type Private
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New Mexico Highlands University

Location Las Vegas, NM Tuition Tuition $4,512 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population School Type Public
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North Greenville University

Location Tigerville, SC Tuition Tuition $16,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population School Type Private
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North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $40,680 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population School Type Private
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Notre Dame de Namur University

Location Belmont, CA Tuition Tuition $32,256 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population School Type Private
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Nova Southeastern University

Location Fort Lauderdale, FL Tuition Tuition $34,320 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population School Type Private
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Ohio Christian University

Location Circleville, OH Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population School Type Private
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Oklahoma Christian University

Location Edmond, OK Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 53% Student Population School Type Private
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Oklahoma State University

Location Stillwater, OK Tuition Tuition $19,305 % Receiving Financial Aid 42% Student Population School Type Public
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Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Location Bartlesville, OK Tuition Tuition $18,540 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population School Type Private
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Ottawa University

Location Ottawa, KS Tuition Tuition $22,320 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population School Type Private
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Park University

Location Parkville, MO Tuition Tuition $13,957 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population School Type Private
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Pfeiffer University

Location Misenheimer, NC Tuition Tuition $23,040 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population School Type Private
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Saint Leo University

Location Saint Leo, FL Tuition Tuition $25,020 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population School Type Private
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Salve Regina University

Location Newport, RI Tuition Tuition $18,360 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population School Type Private
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Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Location Durant, OK Tuition Tuition $11,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population School Type Public
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Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population School Type Private
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Spring Arbor University

Location Spring Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $35,856 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population School Type Private
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Temple University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $59,760 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population School Type Public
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Tennessee Technological University

Location Cookeville, TN Tuition Tuition $18,660 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population School Type Public
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The Sage Colleges

Location Troy, NY Tuition Tuition $69,983 % Receiving Financial Aid 81% Student Population School Type Private
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Thomas Edison State University

Location Trenton, NJ Tuition Tuition $72,048 % Receiving Financial Aid 14% Student Population School Type Public
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Tiffin University

Location Tiffin, OH Tuition Tuition $25,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population School Type Private
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Touro University Worldwide

Location Los Alamitos, CA Tuition Tuition $10,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 13% Student Population School Type Private
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Trevecca Nazarene University

Location Nashville, TN Tuition Tuition $18,720 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population School Type Private
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Union University

Location Jackson, TN Tuition Tuition $19,980 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population School Type Private
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University of Bridgeport

Location Bridgeport, CT Tuition Tuition $24,150 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population School Type Private
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University of Houston - Clear Lake

Location Houston, TX Tuition Tuition $26,926 % Receiving Financial Aid 39% Student Population School Type Public
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University of Houston - Victoria

Location Victoria, TX Tuition Tuition $9,662 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population School Type Public
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University of Illinois - Springfield

Location Springfield, IL Tuition Tuition $11,844 % Receiving Financial Aid 54% Student Population School Type Public
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University of Mary

Location Bismarck, ND Tuition Tuition $20,520 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population School Type Private
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University of North Alabama

Location Florence, AL Tuition Tuition $14,450 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population School Type Public
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University of North Texas

Location Denton, TX Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 53% Student Population School Type Public
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University of Saint Mary

Location Leavenworth, KS Tuition Tuition $21,528 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population School Type Private
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University of Scranton

Location Scranton, PA Tuition Tuition $34,740 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population School Type Private
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University of Southern Indiana

Location Evansville, IN Tuition Tuition $12,510 % Receiving Financial Aid 53% Student Population School Type Public
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University of St. Francis

Location Joliet, IL Tuition Tuition $28,728 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population School Type Private
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University of the Incarnate Word

Location San Antonio, TX Tuition Tuition $26,550 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population School Type Private
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University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Location Oshkosh, WI Tuition Tuition $26,895 % Receiving Financial Aid 54% Student Population School Type Public
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University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Location Whitewater, WI Tuition Tuition $22,947 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population School Type Public
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Upper Iowa University

Location Fayette, IA Tuition Tuition $19,260 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population School Type Private
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Warner University

Location Lake Wales, FL Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 83% Student Population School Type Private
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Wayland Baptist University

Location Plainview, TX Tuition Tuition $17,520 % Receiving Financial Aid 82% Student Population School Type Private
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Webster University

Location Saint Louis, MO Tuition Tuition $9,405 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population School Type Private
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If you’ve decided that an MBA in human resources is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses/hospitals

    The main objective of getting your MBA in Human Resources is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. To that end, attending school that is well connected with local hospitals and businesses can be a fantastic leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Human Resources program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

While a human resources MBA online program provides excellent preparation for a successful career, some positions require additional certification. Usually, further licensure must be obtained outside of a traditional online MBA in human resources degree program. While this process involves effort beyond your degree, keep in mind that certified human resources professionals are more likely to be hired and earn higher salaries than their noncertified peers. Below, we outline certifications commonly required for advanced human resources roles and careers.

Liscense Description
Professional in Human Resources This certification tests your experience in the technical side of human resources management, prioritizing workforce planning, compensation, labor relations, and U.S. legal regulations. PHR certification is commonly required for a career as a benefits administrator, HR coordinator, or payroll management positions.
SHRM Senior Certified Professional This certification tests your leadership abilities and experience developing strategies in human resources settings, focusing on performance metrics, upholding the influence of human resources on the community, and managing organizational goals. SHRM-SCP certification is commonly required to be an HR vice president, HR manager, or talent acquisition manager roles.
Global Professional in Human Resources This certification tests your experience overcoming human resources challenges on a global, multicultural scale, prioritizing global talent acquisition, international organizational growth, and globalization strategies. GPHR certification is commonly required for director of global talent acquisition or global HR advisor roles.

Several quality scholarships can help you finance your human resources master’s degree online program without breaking the bank. These scholarships aim to help undergraduate or graduate students who have demonstrated leadership skills in the field of human resources and who exhibit at least some financial need. These awards are generally single-year scholarships that range from $2,000 to $5,000. Below are some examples of eligibility requirements for the discipline’s most prestigious scholarships.