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What Can You Do with a Master’s that Focuses On HR Management?

Theresa Schempp
By Theresa Schempp

As industries continue to expand, so does the demand for professionals who specialize in human resource (HR) management to aid in their growth. No matter the industry, there is a need for experts who can organize and manage internal systems to help organizations succeed. Gain practical, management-level experience and develop a skillset you can take anywhere with a master’s that focuses on human resource management.

“Students who obtain a master’s degree with a specialization in human resource management are likely to be more qualified and prepared for upper-level human resource management job opportunities, making them more marketable in today’s competitive workforce,” says Freda Powell-Bell, program director for human resources at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). “With an advanced degree, students will be better positioned to acquire upper-level positions in the field or further advance their current careers.”

Workplace culture continues to evolve, with 2023 trends expected to focus on positive work culture, the normalization of remote work, and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices.1 Managing employees has become more complex, and employers are faced with challenges like organizing a multigenerational and multiculturally diverse workforce. With these dynamics in play, businesses and companies in several industries are looking for HR business partners who are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to help them navigate these challenging times.

Workplace culture continues to evolve, with 2023 trends expected to focus on positive work culture, the normalization of remote work, and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices.1

“Students who choose UMGC to pursue human resources management have the opportunity to participate in a program that looks for innovative ways of applying a project-based curriculum to the program,” says Powell-Bell. “We look for ways to use case study analysis, human resources technology simulators that synthesize real-world scenarios, and virtual reality to provide students with creative ways of managing global and virtual teams, while they build networks and collaborate with their peers.”

What Careers May be Possible with a Master’s that Focuses On HR Management?

A master’s with a focus on HR management could help prepare you for a variety of careers, including chief human resource management officers, human resource managers, compensation and benefits managers, labor relations managers, training and development managers, people analytics and HRIS managers, HR executives, director of DEI, executive coach, executive vice president of human resources, and human resources risk and compliance manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of an HR manager in 2021 was $126,230 and a seven percent employment growth rate was expected from 2021 to 2031.2

“UMGC is an approved education partner with top human resources associations such as SHRM and HRCI so that students can earn recertification credits, take exam prep courses for certifications through the university, and build networks through our student-led virtual SHRM UMGC association chapter,” says Powell-Bell. “These networking opportunities allow our students to interact with peers and establish connections with alumni, industry partners, and hiring managers. Our students leave with real work products that they can add to their portfolios to present to potential hiring managers, showing them in real time the skills and competencies they acquired at UMGC.”

How to Begin a Master’s with a Specialization in HR Management

Before starting the master’s with a specialization in HR management at UMGC, students should see if they can utilize credits through our vertical pathways or credit by exam. UMGC is geared toward helping working adults succeed again and wants to help students in becoming successful in the next step of their career. Students are also taught by outstanding faculty who are working HR professionals. They bring their knowledge and real-world experience to the classroom.

UMGC offers a 15-credit graduate certificate in strategic human resource management for students who want to test the waters before pursuing their degree. All the credits for the certificate can roll right into the 36-credit degree program. UMGC also offers a SHRM certification prep course to help prepare students for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. Students who already earned the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification may be able to earn credit for select undergraduate and graduate programs at UMGC.

“UMGC’s career services team has also been successful in helping students obtain employment once completing their degree,” says Powell-Bell. “In addition, there are also scholarship opportunities through SHRM and other HR associations that students may find helpful. Over the past few years, several of our students were successful in being awarded scholarships through SHRM to go towards helping them pursue their degrees here at UMGC."

The HR industry is an exciting field with a growing demand for HR professionals with advanced degrees. With a master’s that focuses on HR management from UMGC, you can set yourself apart in your career and prepare to advance and succeed in the industry. UMGC also offers a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and undergraduate certificates in HR people analytics and human resource management.

1 Farmiloe, Brett. “The 12 Biggest HR Trends in 2022.”, June 30, 2022.
2Human Resources Managers : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 8, 2022.

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