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Human Resource Management Major

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Human Resource Management

11,738 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
8,937 Master's Degrees Annually
#8 in Popularity
$70,730 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Human Resource Management Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many human resource management graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 11,757
Master’s Degree 8,943
Basic Certificate 2,611
Graduate Certificate 1,510
Associate’s Degree 1,241
Undergraduate Certificate 444
Doctor’s Degree 317

What Human Resource Management Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, HR majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for HR Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for HR Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to HR:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for HR Majors

A major in HR will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Human Resource Management Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with HR:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compensation and Benefits Managers 5.1% $121,010
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 8.4% $63,000
Human Resources Managers 9.0% $113,300
Human Resources Specialists 7.1% $60,880
Training and Development Managers 10.4% $111,340
Training and Development Specialists 11.5% $60,870

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management?

11,757 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
68% Percent Women
35% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is one of the most frequently chosen business majors. It is the 8th most popular in the country with 11,738 students graduating with a bachelor’s in HR in 2019. This major is dominated by women with about 68% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of HR majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of HR Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 493
Black or African American 1,566
Hispanic or Latino 1,559
White 6,787
International Students 366
Other Races/Ethnicities 986

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in HR. About 3.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Venezuela

How Much Do Human Resource Management Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management made a median starting salary of $42,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $39,900 (25th percentile) and $45,150 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to HR so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

HR majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $66,790 to $121,730 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Human Resource Management Major  ( 66790 to 121730 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with HR may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for HR careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 5.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.1%
Some College Courses 2.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 49.5%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 6.1%
Master’s Degree 17.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.5%
Doctoral Degree 12.0%

Online Human Resource Management Programs

In 2018-2019, 803 schools offered a HR program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 162 60
Certificate (1-2 years) 59 23
Certificate (2-4 Years) 6 1
Associate’s Degree 130 50
Bachelor’s Degree 163 65
Post-Baccalaureate 162 60
Master’s Degree 371 165
Post-Master’s 30 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 32 8
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Human Resource Management Worth It?

The median salary for a HR grad is $70,730 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 77% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $616,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to HR.

Major Number of Grads
Business Administration & Management 410,147
Accounting 105,123
General Business/Commerce 58,451
Finance & Financial Management 56,186
Marketing 51,241
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 23,738
Business Support & Assistant Services 19,483
Hospitality Management 19,042
Management Information Systems 14,747
Entrepreneurial Studies 10,427
International Business 10,181
Business/Managerial Economics 6,345
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 5,873
Other Business, Management & Marketing 5,834
General Sales & Marketing 5,734
Real Estate 5,700
Construction Management 3,664
Insurance 2,218
Taxation 1,783
Business/Corporate Communications 968
Telecommunications Management 71

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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