An MBA in Human Resource Development Brings Big Benefits

Human resources manager smiling and looking confident
Human resources manager smiling and looking confident

With the ever-changing nature of the work world, more and more business professionals are deciding to continue their education with an MBA in Human Resources. Companies, too, are seeking individuals with a master’s degree to guide them in a time of mergers, layoffs, labor laws and other challenges today’s economy brings.

An online MBA in Human Resource Development from Spring Arbor University allows you to grow and thrive in your field, while staying on top of your current professional and personal responsibilities. It can equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to deal with high-stress situations and develop talent within an organization. The benefits of an MBA in Human Resource Development also extends to the potential for increased salary, greater job stability and improved job satisfaction.


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Is a Master’s Degree in HR Worth It?

MBA degrees have always signaled a job candidate’s dedication and value, but they may be more important now than ever.

A Society for Human Resource Management study found that 41 percent of HR professionals expect an increased need for advanced degrees, such as MBAs, in the coming years. Their predictions align with a GMAC study, which indicated that nearly 80 percent of employers plan on hiring an MBA graduate in 2017.

There are several kinds of human resources graduate programs available, and some who end up in management positions in the field arrive there from diverse educational backgrounds. Nonetheless, the two most common degrees they hold are from human resources management (HRM) programs and MBA programs with HR concentrations.

HRM degrees are very focused on core skills. In these bachelor’s degree or certificate programs, you’ll zero in on topics like personnel management, leadership and interpersonal communication. Although these skills are intended to be applied in a business context, these programs aren’t meant to provide an overview of other aspects of business. By contrast, graduates of HR MBA programs have a broader knowledge base.

All Spring Arbor University MBA streams help you develop expertise in accounting, marketing, statistics and the international business world. SAU’s online MBA even offers an optional in-person trip to New York City to study international business in the world’s financial capital. The modern business world is less rigidly segmented than in years past, and the most successful HR managers are those who are able to see past the boundaries of their own department. Personnel policy is affected by the wider ecosystems both within the company and outside of it.

Moreover, we believe HR managers should be able to act as champions for the company’s rank and file. With the knowledge and prestige that comes with holding an MBA, you’ll be prepared to engage with peers and senior management as an equal. This provides you with an opportunity to show how policies benefiting employees also contribute to the health of other aspects of your company.

The MBA in HR Advantage

All things being equal in a competitive environment, the candidate with higher education tends to win out. Your MBA will show employers your understanding of business is comprehensive, while your specialization in HR demonstrates the people-centered outlook their departments need.

What HR Skills Do You Learn Through an MBA?

Selecting an HR concentration doesn’t mean you’re less competent at the human resources-specific functions of your job. Our MBA HR concentration focuses on the following:

  • Workplace Learning & Professional Development: How do employees learn on the job and improve their own skills? And how, as an HR manager, can you best position them to succeed? You’ll develop a firm understanding of theories of adult learning and assessment, wedded to lessons on how to apply these theories on a practical basis.
  • Human Resources Development: Optimize corporate on-boarding, technical training, wellness policies and diversity management, while putting into place pathways for employees to themselves ascend to management positions.
  • Organizational Behavior: Organizations are like people in many ways — they have distinct behaviors, rationales and even, in some senses of the word, psychologies. HR managers thus manage not only individuals but the wellness of the company as a whole. Guiding organizational behavior means learning about motivation, attitude, communication, productivity and more. Understanding the dynamic interplay of these aspects of human resources is what separates a competent manager from an exceptional one.

Key courses in human resource management & development:

The value of our online program includes a detailed understanding of organizational behaviors, with courses that focus on the following skills.

Workplace Learning and Development

This course will help you develop the skills necessary to encourage employee and organizational growth through organizational learning.

Management and Human Resources

This course covers the major issues that relate to human resources and equips you with the skills needed to effectively examine human resource needs for employee development.

Organizational Psychology

This course instructs you on how to manage behavior in organizations using the field of industrial and organizational psychology.

Getting to the heart of effective leadership

Much more than an academic institution, at SAU we are not solely focused on knowledge acquisition. We don’t believe that knowledge and skill acquisition comprise the totality of an educated person. What you will discover is that we are deeply invested in transforming students into becoming people of wisdom, which is achieved when a student is pushed beyond knowledge acquisition into knowledge application.

The convenient, personalized online access to our degree programs will help you gain the confidence to feel more secure in your life and career.


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Six Reasons to Get an MBA in Human Resource Development

With so many MBA concentrations available, why get an MBA in Human Resource Development? Here are the top six reasons.

1. Human Resource Positions are in High Demand

Technology and innovation may be driving change across every industry, but there’s always a need for effectively managing human capital. When asked about their most in-demand roles, one out of eight employers told CareerBuilder that they will be recruiting talent management professionals.

2. Employment Opportunities for HR Managers are Growing Faster Than Average

Another benefit of doing an online MBA in HR is the increasing opportunities for employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment to increase an average of 5 percent across all industries from 2018 to 2028. However, for Human Resource Managers, this projection is above the average, at 7 percent expected employment growth.

3. Every Industry Needs Human Resource Development

When you think of human resource positions, you may picture someone who works to manage a corporation. While it’s true that 15 percent of human resource management positions are within the management of enterprises and corporations, an MBA in human resource development opens the door to opportunities in a whole range of industries. Examples of fields with demand for human resource development include government, hospitals, and manufacturing.

4. There are a Variety of Positions Available

A human resource concentration ensures that MBA graduates can work within a variety of industries in an array of positions. An advanced HR degree opens the door for positions such as executive recruiter and global HR specialist. An MBA in human resource development from Spring Arbor University will also prepare you to take on the position of training and development specialist, which is gaining in popularity and demand.

5. The After-Graduation Positions Offer Good Work-Life Balance

Some MBA concentrations and careers, like investment banking, are notorious for requiring employees to work grueling schedules. However, a benefit of obtaining an MBA in HR is that most HR managers work only during normal business hours and only 1/3rd work more than 40 hours a week.

6. Human Resource Development Is One of the Highest Paying MBA Concentrations

Human resources managers with a master's degree or MBA enjoy a median salary in the range of $98,701 - $105,271 according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a higher median annual salary of $113,300 for human resources managers. While there are benefits specific to choosing human resource development as an MBA concentration, an advanced business degree is in and of itself valuable. The senior vice president of HR at AppSense stated that MBAs provide candidates “a certain amount of credibility” in the job market. Likewise, the SVP of recruitment at 2U notes that MBA grads “tend to have a broader set of skills that enable them to address business needs with a more comprehensive understanding of how their actions will impact the organization”.

An MBA in human resource development also sets candidates apart in a recruiting environment that is becoming more difficult for hiring managers. According to a 2016 SHRM report, 84 percent of HR professionals stated that they had difficulty finding candidates with the appropriate applied skills. The most commonly sought applied skills were problem-solving, critical thinking, written communication, and leadership. Spring Arbor University designs their MBA coursework to cultivate both knowledge acquisition and knowledge application within students.

Available Careers with an MBA in Human Resource Development

Spring Arbor University’s innovative program is designed for the online masters in human resources candidate who wants to reach the upper echelons of the field, and the top positions achievable for future graduates with an MBA in Human Resource Development vary from specialties in recruitment, benefits, labor relations specialties and more.

Recruitment Manager

Recruitment manager positions enable online masters in human resources MBA graduates to use their learned skills to effectively build efficient corporate teams. Professionals in these positions with an MBA in human resources are tasked with seeking and screening potential employees and assessing their fit to the larger company landscape. They gauge a candidate’s current skills while forecasting how those skills might develop during their time with the organization.

Entry-level recruitment managers can grow within the organization. Those starting at the recruitment level might have the opportunity to rise to the status of human resources manager or director, positions that can come with substantially larger salaries.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) reported a median annual salary for human resources managers as $113,300 in 2018. Seasoned recruitment managers with an MBA in HR can evolve in complex realms of international recruitment, wherein candidate screening involves global considerations. For executive level recruitment roles, screened candidates have the potential to become their company’s next CEO.

Labor Relations Specialist

If legal matters and labor unions are to your liking, then using your MBA in Human Resource Development as a labor relations specialist might be ideal. These specialists serve as a liaison between employment unions and larger companies to ensure that stipulations of working agreements and contracts are being satisfied.

For labor relations professionals with an MBA in HR, compliance is key, therefore it is essential that they stay abreast of new mandates they effectively negotiate for and implement regulations to maximize benefits for employees and executives.

Learning and Development Manager

Roles as learning, training, or development managers allow those with an online masters in human resources to explore the world of corporate education. A training manager can be tasked with creating professional development or continuing education courses and materials that ensure skills development for employees.

The dedication to these training opportunities can result in long hours and extensive face time with colleagues, and job indicators relay both a strong salary and signs of growth. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) reports a 2018 median annual salary for training and development managers as $111,340 and also projects an 8 percent growth – meaning 3,100 more jobs – in the field by 2028.

Compensation and Benefits Manager

Master negotiators who receive their online MBA in Human Resource Development can also look to roles as compensation or benefits managers. These professionals facilitate various elements of the benefits package offered by employers to their employees.

Benefits managers must be well-versed in negotiating insurance policies and retirement plan options while staying on top of competitors’ packages that could lure away quality employees. The USBLS reports that the median annual wage for such professionals totaled $121,010 in 2018.

Learn more now.

You can complete our online MBA in Human Resource Development in as few as 18 months. You are not required to take the GRE/GMAT or have prior business school experience to apply. Find out more now.


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