Is a Degree in Human Resource Management Worth It?
If you want to change or advance your career, you might also be considering continuing your education. No matter what your professional goal is, the return on your investment - in time and tuition - is probably a top concern.
You can make a more informed decision by researching earning potential, job demand in your region, growth opportunities, and even more qualitative factors such as career satisfaction and work-life balance.
In this blog post, we’ll address some of these factors as they relate to HR careers and ultimately help you answer, “is a degree in human resource management worth it?”
Is HR Management a Good Career?
With its salary and growth potential - not to mention the chance to help others reach their professional goals - many people would agree that HR management is a good career choice.
U.S. News & World Report listed several HR-related positions on its "2021 Best Jobs" list. This annual report takes salary details, job satisfaction, growth rate, and other factors into consideration. Here’s a look at how a few human resource management and adjacent professions ranked:
- Compliance officer ranked #7 in Best Business Jobs and #50 in the Top 100 Jobs
- Management analyst ranked #10 in Best Business Jobs
- Business operations analyst ranked #11 in Best Business Jobs and #21 in Best Paying Jobs
- HR specialist ranked #14 in Best Business Jobs
Additionally, Glassdoor ranked HR manager #12 on its "50 Best Jobs in America for 2020" list.
High Job Satisfaction
Having a job you love is essential to your well-being. The good news is HR professionals are happy in their positions:
- A Payscale.com study found that human resource managers are typically highly satisfied with their jobs, earning a score of 4.1 out of 5 on its scale.
- Indeed listed “human resource manager” #10 on its "20 of the Most Rewarding Careers in 2020" list.
- On Glassdoor’s "50 Best Jobs in America for 2020" list, corporate recruiter ranked #1 for overall job satisfaction.
To add to job satisfaction, consider how you can align your human resource management career with a field that has always fascinated you, a cause you’re passionate about, or even a company whose values match your own.
Variety of Opportunities
One of the most appealing things about working in human resources is you can do so in just about any industry and at companies and organizations of all sizes. With the prevalence of remote companies, you're also open to opportunities that were once limited by geography. As an HR manager, you can work in government, healthcare, education, manufacturing, arts and entertainment, financial services, and recruiting firms, just to name a few.
Room for Growth & Specialization
As HR departments grow in size and offerings, existing employees can advance within their organizations in many ways. This could mean taking on a management role, moving laterally into a newly created position, or being promoted in your current job with a “senior” designation.
Human resource functions within many companies are expanding to include training and development; diversity, equity and inclusion; and data intelligence. This gives human resource managers the potential to specialize and even help their organizations usher in new programs and resources. So keep an eye open for emerging areas within the HR sector!
When pondering if human resource management is a good career choice, salary is also something to consider.
Human Resource Management Jobs and Salaries
Depending on the size of the company and HR team, human resource managers might focus on a specific area. For instance, they could serve as payroll managers, benefits coordinators, or lead orientation and training efforts. While positions and salaries vary between industries, companies, geographic location, and experience level, looking at national averages can give you a good idea of what to expect.
According to PayScale.com, the average human resource manager salary in the United States in December 2021 is $67,226. Directors of human resources earn an average of $90,004. And, for HR generalists, the average annual salary is $55,859.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also provides a high-level salary outlook for a range of human resource-related occupations. In May 2020, the BLS reported the median annual salary for human resource managers as $121,220. The HR field is broad and encompasses several specialized positions suitable for someone with a human resources management degree. Here’s a look at BLS salary data for some related roles:
- Human resource specialists: $63,490
- Training and development specialists: $62,700
- Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists: $67,190
- Business operation specialists: $71,450
- Management analysts: $87,660
- Training and development managers: $115,640
- Compensation and benefits manager: $125,130
Looking at these starting salaries - and knowing there’s room for advancement - demonstrates how a degree in human resources management could potentially offer a high ROI.
Should I Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management?
Is earning a degree in human resource management worth it? Only you can answer that question for sure; however, if you’re looking for a career working with people that offers a competitive salary and upward mobility, a specialized degree can open you up to more - and better - opportunities.
Champlain College Online’s new bachelor’s degree in HR management equips current HR professionals with limited entry-level expertise and those looking to enter the field with the skills needed to work in today’s growing and evolving HR landscape. Today’s HR professionals need to not only understand how to acquire, onboard, and retain new employees but also how to use HR data to make informed and strategic decisions, prioritize the health, safety, and wellness of employees, and solve complex HR-related issues to successfully fulfill an organization’s talent vision.
Earning an HR degree not only demonstrates to potential employers that you have specialized knowledge in the field but also a fundamental understanding of the terminology and nuances of all things employment-related, which will set you up for success as a human resource manager.
To learn more about earning your bachelor’s degree in human resource management at Champlain College Online, visit our program page.
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