Bachelor’s in Human Resources Program Guide

Curious about earning a degree in human resources? Learn more about human resources programs and career paths with a bachelor’s in HR.
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From tech to healthcare, every business relies on human resources. That’s one reason human resources is a popular major. Studying employee relations, organizational development, and talent management can land you a job in any industry.

Human resources majors are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projects entry-level HR roles such as HR specialist and job analysis specialist will grow faster than average between 2022 and 2032. And the field offers many HR specializations and advancement opportunities.

Take one example: HR specialists reported a median salary of $64,240 in May 2022, according to BLS data. With work experience or a master’s degree, you can become an HR manager — these professionals earned a median of $130,000 during the same year.

Is a bachelor’s in human resources right for you? If you’re interested in how companies operate, including recruiting, retention, and workforce development, HR could be a good fit. And if you have solid communication and analytical skills, you might thrive in HR. Our program guide can help you decide if a degree in human resources aligns with your career goals.

Should I Get a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources?

Students with strong interpersonal and organizational skills are well-suited to a career in HR. Bachelor's degrees in human resources help prepare emerging professionals for careers that combine management, psychology, and advocacy. This degree qualifies graduates for entry- to executive-level HR roles.

Students can launch their careers in just four years by earning a traditional bachelor's degree. For students seeking an accelerated path to graduation, many online bachelor's in human resources programs offer perks, such as competency-based coursework, flexible enrollment, and set or in-state tuition rates. Students may choose to supplement their online or on-campus coursework with an internship in human resources.

Though not typically required for employment, optional professional certifications are available. Most human resources bachelor's degrees introduce students to broad business, accounting, and communication skills, with a focus on a particular concentration of HR. Graduates can pursue positions in nonprofit or corporate HR management.

Featured Online HR Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Will I Learn in a Human Resources Bachelor's Program?

Earning a bachelor's degree in human resources can lead to widespread opportunities in nonprofit, healthcare, and corporate management. Human resources programs emphasize core communication, business, and accounting skills, with specialized coursework in team building, organizational psychology, and conflict resolution techniques.

Many programs offer concentrations in specialized fields like healthcare, data science, and accounting. Schools may offer a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science in human resources. A business administration bachelor's is an especially popular program, preparing students for general leadership positions or further study, such as an MBA in human resources.

Human Resources Concentrations

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    Business Administration

    A concentration in business administration typically covers broad skills, including upper-level HR management, financial management, and corporate training and recruitment. Graduates may qualify for HR management positions. They can also pursue an MBA in human resources.
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    Healthcare

    Students in this concentration learn skills unique to managing human resources in healthcare occupations. Coursework covers topics such as patient records management, HIPAA regulations and patient confidentiality, and administrative and clinical staff training.
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    Accounting

    Studying human resources accounting prepares graduates to take on a dual role as human resources manager and finance manager within an organization. Students in this concentration learn to consider a business's finances when making decisions that affect personnel.
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    Data Science

    This concentration suits students interested in the science behind effective personnel management and how it affects business. Students learn to research employee satisfaction and incentives, appropriate compensation, and commensurate benefits.
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    Organizational Leadership

    An organizational leadership concentration enables students to delve into the psychosocial components of group dynamics in personnel management. Covered topics include conflict management, team building, and self-enrichment opportunities for employees.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources?

Successful human resources professionals possess excellent communication, problem-solving, and mediation abilities. These professionals thrive in a setting that involves high social interaction among employers and employees. Human resources experts are sought after in any industry or business that involves recruiting, hiring, and training staff and applying for benefits.

Human resources programs prepare students for managerial and specialist positions. Students often aspire to manage or direct human resources in a particular field or industry, such as healthcare or government. Graduates with a bachelor's in human resources may also become corporate recruiters, compensation and benefits managers, and training and development specialists.

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Human Resources?

HR jobs offer widespread opportunity, positive job growth, and high wages for qualified candidates. While students may specialize in an area like healthcare, organizational management, or corporate training and development, graduates with a bachelor's in human resources are prepared for management jobs in many industries.

Graduates often pursue positions as human resources managers, earning a median annual salary of more than $130,000 a year.

Human Resources Careers & Salaries
Job Title Salary
Human Resources Manager/Director $130,000 (median, 2022)
Corporate Recruiter $66,000 (average, 2024)
Compensation and Benefits Manager $131,280 (median, 2022)
Healthcare HR Administrator $69,000 (average, 2023)
Human Resources Specialist $64,240 (median, 2022)
Labor Relations Specialist $82,010 (median, 2022)
Training and Development Specialist $63,080 (median, 2022)
Source: Payscale or BLS

Featured Online HR Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Continuing Education in Human Resources

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you can pursue a master’s to increase your job opportunities and compensation. For example, many of the highest-paying HR careers require applicants to have a master’s degree.

A master’s degree program can help you build valuable knowledge and skills to add to your resume. The degree can also help you stand out for management roles.

During a master’s in human resources program, you’ll take graduate courses in organizational behavior, business strategy, and HR analytics. You can also concentrate in areas such as talent management, training and development, or HR leadership.

You’ll have several options for graduate programs. With a master’s in human resources management, you’ll explore advanced HR concepts. An MBA in human resources management incorporates core business classes with concentration courses in HR. Or consider a master’s in organizational management, training and development, or human capital management for a more specialized degree.

Many top-ranked universities offer graduate programs in human resources online. The flexibility of an online format can make it easier to work while advancing your education.

Common Questions About Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources

Is a bachelor's degree in human resources worth it?

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A bachelor's degree in human resources can pay off. By studying labor relations, organizational development, and compensation management, you'll qualify for entry-level human resources careers. For example, the BLS projects that positions for HR specialists are growing faster than average, and these professionals earned a median pay of over $64,000 in 2022.

Is HR a stressful job?

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Working in human resources can be stressful, depending on your role. Managing an organization's compensation and benefits programs can require strong interpersonal and organizational skills. Recruiting, training, and negotiation can also require a fast-paced, intense environment.

What are the seven main functions of HR?

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The seven main functions of HR are 1) recruitment and hiring, 2) training and development, 3) employee relations, 4) compensation and benefits, 5) assessment and performance management, 6) risk management, and 7) employment law and compliance.

What do you learn with a human resources degree?

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During a human resources degree program, you'll study organizational development, performance management, employment law, and hiring. You'll learn how to recruit and retain top talent while also exploring workforce development and conflict resolution. These skills prepare you for careers in human resources.

Which degree is best for HR?

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The best degrees for working in HR include human resources, business administration, or management. You can also work in HR with a degree in psychology, social science, communications, or a related field. For management-level roles, a master's in human resources or an MBA in human resources can help you advance.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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