HR MBA vs. Traditional Master’s Degree

HR MBA vs. Master's Degree

Managers in human resources today are more regularly seen as strategic business partners expected to not only have specialized human resources knowledge, but also a greater understanding of business requirements and strategies. There are two degrees you could pursue in human resources (more often referred to as human resources management) that strive to help you strengthen your ability to think beyond working boundaries and situate yourself to become a vital member of an HR department.

Both the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in human resources and the traditional master’s degree in human resources will aim to train you to handle HR management positions across industries. Graduates from either program in human resources can go on to accomplish such lofty positions as director or vice president of human resources.

While each path can offer sophisticated training in human resources and managerial concepts and theories, the MBA in human resources allows students to study a broad set of business skills that can easily be transferred to other industries. The prospectus for acquiring a human resources MBA commonly involves studying organizational behavior and design, corporate management and business strategy concepts, ethical leadership, and comprehensive human resources theories as they relate to general management.

In contrast, the decidedly more focused master’s in human resources management gives students the opportunity to concentrate almost completely on issues related to human resources. Coursework for a master’s in human resources management typically involves in-depth studies of human resources components, including recruitment and training, legal issues in the workplace, and compensation and benefits. Classes for students in the master’s program will also likely cover leadership and strategic management concepts, organizational psychology, and organizational design.

Your decision on which degree to seek depends on your long-term goals and short-term options based on your financial situation and your time availability. A master’s degree can take a shorter amount of time and lead you to a more specific career, while an MBA will often take longer but might leave you with more diverse options.

Careers in human resources are obtainable in many disciplines. Jobs in the field of human resources include the human resources manager, labor relation specialist or human resources executive. Whichever you choose, a Masters in Business Administration with a specialization in human resources or a master’s in human resources management, each will work towards providing you with a useful education in human resources strategies, hands-on experience, and a strong credential as you move forward in your career. Choose a program today!