Human Resources MBA Online

Human resources is a top priority for businesses. Companies understand that attracting and retaining real talent is of vital importance. In doing so, they increase operational and production efficiency. It is the workforce that gives a business its competitive advantage. This is why when you hold an MBA in Human Resources, you are able to give the business you work for that competitive advantage.

What We Do

Individuals with an MBA in Human Resources work on bringing human beings into business operations. Essentially, they intersect policy and people. Hence, they have a lot of knowledge around various fields of social science, including communication, psychology, system theory, business strategy, law and education. They are able to apply critical thinking on developing new methods of recruitment and retaining and ensuring that a workforce is fully qualified, investing in talent.

Why It’s Hot

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that there is going to be a 13% rise in demand in human resource managers between 2012 and 2022. There is a particular demand for people who have knowledge of benefits and compensation, recruitment and training and development. Additionally, demand for HR professionals is rising in different types of companies and organizations, including HR outsourcing and management consulting. Average salaries stand at $99,720 per year, as of 2012.

Work Environment

The field of HR is incredibly wide, which means you can also get to work in a huge variety of different organizations. Most HR professionals work in offices, behind a desk and the majority work during normal office hours. Some of the main areas of focus include:

  • Training and development
  • Staffing and recruitment
  • Compensation and benefits administration
  • Performance assessment
  • Cultural diversity policy
  • Strategic human resource planning
  • International human resource management
  • Negotiating, bargaining and dispute settlement

In addition, there are also very different specializations that still fit within human resources. These include:

  • Labor law
  • Organizational behavior
  • Employee productivity
  • Labor and employee relations
  • Corporate communications
  • Management

Finally, those with an MBA in HR sometimes focus more strongly on information technology. This is particularly true for those who have taken specialization courses in HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems).

How to Do It

In order to obtain an MBA in Human Resources, they first step would be to complete a bachelor’s degree. This generally takes four years to complete. You have a choice of various undergraduate majors, such as business, human resource, communication, sociology and more. Admission to MBA programs is incredibly competitive. Most students will be required to pass the GMAT exam, and this will weigh heavily on whether or not someone will be accepted. It is often advisable to apply to a number of different schools to increase one’s chances of being accepted.

One on campus program you may want to consider is Tiffin University’s MBA in Human Resource Management. This course combines business administration and the particular challenges faced through human resources. Students will learn about theories and specific applications, as well how to develop policies and practices. Graduates are true strategic leaders.

MBA in Human Resources Online

The availability of online MBA programs today gives business professionals access to plenty of reputable programs for earning a specialized degree like this. Many programs have alternatives to GMAT requirements or waivers for certain situations or circumstances, as well, making it much easier for professionals to get the education that they need to advance their careers in the business world. The world of human resources is constantly changing, providing both new opportunities and new challenges for professionals. Getting the right training and education can make all the difference.

Some of the best online MBA Human Resources Management programs include:

  1. *Online MBA in Human Resource Management – Southern New Hampshire University – (Editor’s Pick!) – This program provides you with the fundamentals in business administration and management. You can review topics in accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, economics, operations and information technology. The GMAT is not required for this program.
  2. *Online MBA Human Resource Management– Colorado Technical University – (Editor’s Pick!) – Colorado Tech has some of the best MBA programs available online, including the Human Resource Management degree program that focuses on various aspects of human resources such as ethics, scheduling, conflict management, employee relations, and other issues for advanced human resources careers and positions.
  3. *Human Resources Management Online MBA – Northcentral University – (Editor’s Pick!) – This MBA degree with a specialization in Human Resources Management focuses on the interrelationships between the organization’s most important resources – its employees, its leadership, and the business organization in general.
  4. *Masters of Business Administration MBA – Northeastern University – (Editor’s Pick!) – Earn your Online MBA from a highly-ranked university that was one of the first to offer its MBA in an online format. The Financial Times ranks Northeastern University’s Online MBA #1 in the U.S. (2014). Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business is AACSB accredited.
  5. MBA Human Resource Management– Capella University – (Editor’s Pick!) –  Capella University is one of the best graduate schools for working professionals today. The programs cover all of the necessary aspects of human resources and management principles for advanced business operation and management at the executive or managerial level.
  6. MBA Strategic Human Resource Management– Grand Canyon University  – (Editor’s Pick!) – GCU’s MBA programs can be customized to the business needs of today, including leadership and executive management roles that are in growing demand within the world of human resources.
  7. MPA- Human Resources Management– Notre Dame de Namur University– This is a basic MPA program, or Master of Public Administration, so it has more of a public focus and less of a business outlook. However, it does offer all of the similar necessary skills and knowledge for mid-career professionals seeking advancement in their careers within the HR industry and various business organizations.
  8. MBA Human Resources– Kaplan University– Distance learning is exactly what Kaplan does, and it does it well for business professionals who need an MBA in human resources and related areas of study. The training courses focus on employee relations, conflict management, advanced human resource principles, and more.
  9. MBA Human Resource Management– Columbia Southern University– Columbia Southern has MBA courses and training programs to help career professionals move up in their leadership roles. This program focuses on various areas of human resources to provide the skills necessary for career success.
  10. MBA Human Resource Management– Baker College Online–  Baker is a reputable online program that connects users with the best MBA programs. It’s all about getting more education for mid-career professionals and this program is designed to give workers that and more.
  11. MBA Human Resource Management– Upper Iowa University– Upper Iowa might not be a leading business school, but it is among the most popular online programs that you can find. This MBA program is perfect for mid-career managers and workers who want to move up to executive management or upper-level leadership roles.
  12. MBA Human Resource Management– Bellevue University– This is for mid-career professionals who are looking to further their career. The HR MBA program is going to provide people with the opportunity to learn about employee relations, conflict resolution, scheduling management, and other HR issues that will keep a business on track and allow the human resources department to function properly.
  13. MBA Human Resource Management– University of St. Mary– Although this school isn’t common in the lists of online schools, it does offer the MBA in human resource management that provides mid-career workers with the opportunity to train in advanced human resource principles to further their career options and move up in their industry.
  14. MBA Human Resource Management– Brandman University– Brandman has a selection of MBA programs for their students, including plenty of options for mid-career professionals who want to advance their work in human resources throughout the business world.
  15. MBA Human Resource Management– Brenau University– Brenau has a wide selection of business courses and programs for students to choose from, including Human Resources degrees and programs. These classes will focus on areas like schedule coordination, employee communications and relations, payroll, conflict resolution, and other areas. This degree is for mid-career professionals seeking advancement opportunities.
  16. MBA Human Resource Management– Gannon University– Gannon has an MBA program with easy scheduling and flexible learning options. There are many specializations to choose from, providing students with the chance to get more out of their training, including career students who need to advance their existing professional career.
  17. MBA Human Resource Management– St. Leo University– St. Leo University has the training programs and degrees that career professionals seek for convenient education online. The HR management MBA is all about employee management and human resources at the executive level, and includes a variety of courses that cover this information.
  18. MBA Human Resource Management– Hawaii Pacific University Online– This degree program will provide the necessary courses for career advancement for mid-career professionals who want to specialize in human resources or get executive-level career positions within this field. The degree is focused on training career professionals, however, so undergraduate business degrees and work experience are a must.
  19. MBA Human Resource Management– Utah State University -The Master of Science in Human Resources (MSHR) degree program elevates Human Resources to a dynamic, strategic perspective. A comprehensive, competency-based curriculum goes well beyond traditional to identifying, evaluating and understanding endemic human traits specific to individuals. Essential to the process is the ability to learn how to align characteristics best suited for a particular role within an organization. Utah State is featured in the America’s Best Online MBA degree ranking report.

Pros & Cons

As with any degree, there are pros and cons to take into consideration.


  • You will have the skills that allow you to work in any type of organization, be that private, public or not for profit.
  • You can also work in consultancy, effectively making your own business decisions, setting your own hours and your own salary.
  • You can work all over the world.
  • You will have the opportunity to shape policy and make a difference both to the efficiency of the company you work for, and to the lives, happiness and overall well being of people.


  • It can be costly to obtain an MBA, both in terms of time and money.
  • Jobs are highly competitive and many people stay in their jobs for life, which means it can be quite difficult to find work, although demand is high.
  • A lot of your work will be in relation to conflict management and resolution, which can be highly stressful.
  • You will often have to make difficult decisions involving firing people and making them redundant, effectively causing them immediate financial hardship.
  • The job is stressful and chances of burnout are high.

Financial Aid

  • Northeast Human Resources Association – A scholarship of $2,500 for students who are trying to enter into an HR career. They must have completed a minimum of one HR course in college and they must have a GPA of 3.0 minimum. Additionally, applicants must have taken part in extracurricular activities and they must show they have true leadership capabilities.
  • Society for Human Resource Management Scholarships – Scholarships for members of the Society who are studying towards a degree supported by the group, including business and HR. 20 students are given $2,000 each year. Those who have been awarded the scholarship can reapply again for each year of their study. The scholarship is also available to both full and part time students. Deciding which 20 students will be awarded the scholarship depends on merit.
  • $3,000 MBA Career Advancer Scholarship – A scholarship for students who have just started their program and passed their initial course. Up to $3,000 is awarded, which is then distributed over seven consecutive academic quarters. Students must be enrolled with Capella University and they must apply for the scholarship before the start of their first course. Additionally, it cannot be combined with any other scholarship, grant or discount Capella offers that exceeds 15% of total costs.
  • Stanford Business School MBA Scholarships – This scholarship is provided by Standford Business School and is based on proven need. Students must demonstrate they have insufficient assets or income to afford their degree. Minimum award is $10,000 and can go up to full tuition as well as a living stipend.
  • Wharton Business School MBA Scholarships – This scholarship is provided by students of Wharton Business School taking part in an MBA program. Students of any background can apply for it and awards are from $20,000 up to full tuition, as well as living expenses.

Career Paths

There are many different career options for someone with an MBA in Human Resources. Each of these jobs are true leadership roles, generally a senior level, providing supervision for others, for instance as a Director of Human Resources. Someone with this degree can also apply more specialized skills, in roles such as:

  • Compensation and benefits manager
  • Recruitment and placement manager
  • Training and development manager
  • Executive compensation manager
  • Mediator or arbitrator
  • Director of labor relations
  • International human resource manager
  • Labor relations manager
  • HRIS specialist

Further Reading

Suggested Websites

Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Human Resources