Lead with an MBA in HR Online
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HR today looks nothing like the HR of yesterday, when human resources basically served one purpose: organizational support.
Social media, healthcare reform, data analytics, the Great Recession and the gig economy changed all that. Today’s human resources professional is all about people and strategic partnership – not pushing paper or creating policy.
SNHU’s MBA in Human Resources prepares you to take on this increasingly important role. And because it’s an MBA, its approach to the HR discipline is to enhance your business acumen first and foremost, along with your ability to drive change.
"Everything is business as you progress up the ranks of leadership,” said Kate Noor, an MBA academic advisor at SNHU.
If you're an HR professional looking to manage at a more strategic level, the MBA in HR is your degree. You’ll enrich your understanding of the business implications of a volatile economy. Become more adept at using technology to solve management issues. Learn to make ethical, economically responsible decisions. And gain a deeper appreciation for the strategic role of the HR manager in recruitment, hiring, training and career development.
Two major economic forces have made HR’s strategic role more valuable than ever – the U.S. skills gap and the 2020 global pandemic. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the growing skills gap could have long-term economic consequences for the U.S.2
Coupled with the economic fallout from the pandemic, many employers now confront one of the biggest business challenges of our time. SHRM’s COVID-19 Business Index highlights the magnitude of the post-pandemic workforce and operational issues facing the business world,3 specifically:
For HR professionals, these problems offer a unique opportunity to more fully grasp – and address – major organizational pain points. The MBA in Human Resources online at SNHU provides the skills you’ll need to step up to the challenge.
The program’s curriculum lays a foundation in standard business administration topics, especially those at the intersection of human resources and business, including:
Human resource courses in the MBA in HR delve into real-world HR applications. Through these courses, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge of employee and labor relations, legal and ethical issues, recruitment, compensation and benefits, human resource information systems (HRIS) and other critical competencies identified by SHRM.
With a focus on HR management, your MBA HR concentration coursework explores how these issues impact both organizations and employees. The coursework was designed to include competencies found in the SHRM Book of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™), which forms the basis for SHRM-issued HR credentialing opportunities. The SHRM BoCK covers the 8 behavioral competencies and HR knowledge human resources professionals need to do their best work.2
As with all of our HR programs, the MBA in Human Resources aligns with SHRM’s guiding principle – that human resource professionals must be prepared to play a key role in the success of today's agile companies. SHRM is considered the industry standard in HR credentialing.
Melanie Rowe ’18G says her MBA in HR prepared her on many levels. “The classes at SNHU have taught me a lot about change management, people management, group dynamics, company culture and leadership,” she said. “I’ve used this knowledge in my relationship management and to position myself as an informal leader, which makes it easier for me to recommend and implement change.”
Learn how to:
The HR role will continue to evolve as companies in every industry adjust to the long-term effects of events like the 2020 pandemic.
But whether the workforce expands or contracts as organizations retool, there could always be demand for strong human resource leadership. An MBA in Human Resources degree can furnish you with both the strategic and soft skills to take on that role.
Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, describes the role this way. “HR professionals need to understand business and think business first before they think people,” she said. “They also need to recognize that almost everything they need to do is to be done through other people – line managers, employees and their colleagues. Hence, they need to be able to build effective influencing and relationship skills.”
Earning your MBA in Human Resources can prepare you to pursue a variety of positions, including:
The outlook is good for these roles. Whether you’re entering the HR field or looking to step up into management with your current employer, the MBA in HR can take you in a number of directions.
While these roles are among the most common, you’ll find your MBA HR degree opens doors in managerial and executive positions across a diverse range of industries. According to the BLS,4 those industries include:
The beauty of an MBA in Human Resources is its versatility to cut across industries and areas of interest.
“A student’s decision to be in one industry or another has to do with their passions,” said Gogliettino. “I like mission-driven organizations. I like the multi-layers of complex issues you get in healthcare. But a student who’s adept at HR can work in any industry.”
The Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) bodes well for MBA human resource management students. Over 60% of respondents said they planned to hire recent graduates from a variety of specialized business master’s programs. Of those surveyed, 16% of U.S., 22% of European and 26% of Asia Pacific employers plan to hire graduates with a master’s in human resources.5
If the C-suite is in your sights, an MBA in HR can help you get there faster. While every business values people management skills, many employers place greater emphasis on the ability to manage programs that affect their entire workforce. And, according to the BLS, employers generally compensate better for these skill sets.4
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 12 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
Extensive Business Alumni Network
Since our first MBA graduate class in 1974, we’ve welcomed over 17,000 MBA graduates to our alumni network. For current students, that means an extensive business networking group, an opportunity to seek out college mentorship opportunities and learn from students who have already walked the path.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.6 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality, higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials — with no GRE or GMAT required.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions, and walk you through the application process, which includes:
The business world needs well-educated human resource professionals more than ever.
SNHU's MBA in Human Resources online was designed to expand your expertise on a wide range of human resource management topics. Like all of our online MBA programs, it explores today’s most relevant themes, including ethics and corporate social responsibility. And because it’s an online program, it allows you to build relationships with a diverse group of students while enhancing the “soft skills” so essential to success in business.
“An MBA is great for those in a ‘traditional’ business setting, but every industry has room for an MBA in some capacity. What you learn is beyond just crunching numbers," said SNHU Academic Advisor Kate Noor.
The MBA in HR consists of 9 core MBA courses and 3 human resource courses. Depending on your academic background, you may need to supplement the core courses with business foundation coursework. However, those with a bachelor’s in business administration, human resources or a related area may be able to waive one or more foundations – and jump into the core more quickly.
Melanie Rowe ’18G offers strong rationale for pursuing her MBA in human resource management online at SNHU. “As a director, it’s important to have a good business foundation in addition to expertise in your field,” she said. “SNHU’s MBA program allows me to take the core business classes I need to be a director in addition to the HR classes I would take if I was just pursuing a master’s degree in HR.”
The MBA HR program follows the same structure as our other MBA programs, allowing you to:
The MBA human resource management concentration stresses the strategic nature of the HR role. You’ll learn how the HR system helps drive the overall organizational mission and see its impact from both a human resource and business perspective. Broad themes include:
The human resource courses that make up SNHU’s concentration align with the guiding principles of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the industry standard in HR credentialing. Coursework emphasizes competencies in the SHRM Book of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™), which forms the basis for SHRM credentials.1
As you progress through the MBA in HR program, you’ll take these 3 concentration courses:
As you complete your MBA in Human Resources concentration courses, you’ll learn to lead and operate within cross-functional teams by effectively navigating the complexities of HR management.
“HR is complex, because it has a lot of different variables to it,” said Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources. “It’s not something you can wing. You have to know the business plus employment laws, federal and state. You answer questions every day in your work.”
Rowe works for a nonprofit and believes “it’s important to have a good business foundation in addition to expertise in your field.”
Rowe focused her MBA in HR on compliance, because she likes “being involved in the action."
“Compliance lets me get involved in every department in the organization,” she said. “I get to learn how everything functions, help fix things that aren’t working and ensure that our process and programs are supporting the organization’s sustainability.”
SNHU also offers a graduate certificate in human resource management, which MBA in HR students can take as a standalone or fold into their program with minimal additional courses. Taking advantage of this opportunity lets you walk away with not one but two in-demand credentials. Together, these two credentials provide robust competency in multiple areas of business as well as HR, an ideal way to increase your knowledge, skills and marketability.
Total Credits: 36
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Whether you’re entering the HR field or looking to step up into a management position, the MBA in Human Resources can take you in a number of directions. Common roles to consider include:
While you have many options for a master's in human resources, start by ensuring the program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the industry's leading accreditation council. You’ll also want to make sure it aligns with standards set by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which is considered the industry standard in HR credentialing.
In addition to the MBA in Human Resources, SNHU offers a MS in Human Resource Management. Both programs are accredited by ACBSP and align with SHRM’s guiding principle – that human resource professionals must be prepared to play a key role in the success of today's agile companies.
Yes, HR continues to be an excellent career choice. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7% job growth for human resource managers through 2028 and a 2019 median salary of $113,300.4
Related roles, such as compensation and benefits managers, also show steady demand and high income potential. The BLS projects 3% job growth for this specialized human resources role through 2028 and a 2019 median salary of $122,270.5
The Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) backs up the bureau’s projections. More than 60% of survey respondents said their hiring plans include recent graduates from a variety of specialized business programs. Probing further, the survey revealed 16% of U.S., 22% of European and 26% of Asia Pacific employers plan to hire graduates with a master’s in human resources.5
Of course, if you're not ready for a master's degree, you can still get your foot in the door with an undergraduate human resources degree online, or boost your professional credentials with an online HR certification.
Two key workforce trends are fueling demands for HR managers: human resource information systems (HRIS) and financial wellness. SNHU’s MBA in Human Resources addresses both areas.
With the growing use of cloud-based human resources technology, HR professionals need to develop fluency in this area. Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, says a business student with IT skills can get into HR systems or analysis within a couple of years – and command a higher salary.
Gogliettino says change in employee wellness has fueled the financial wellness trend. “There’s still a focus on work/life balance, but now there’s a heightened focus in upcoming generations interested in financial literacy.”
Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, advises anyone with higher aspirations in HR to “go get your master’s in HR…When you start to move forward, you can start to see how your ideas can take shape.”
You have many options when it comes to pursuing a master’s in HR. The difference comes down to where and how you pursue your degree. Generally, the price tag for online programs runs lower than traditional on campus programs.
At $627 per credit, SNHU’s 36-credit MBA in Human Resources costs a little more than $22,000. However, keep in mind that SNHU accepts up to 12 graduate transfer credits. If you factor in transfer credits, you may see savings of up to $7,500, bringing your total cost under $15,000.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
1Society for HR Management (SHRM), on the internet, at: https://www.shrm.org/certification/about/body-of-competency-and-knowledge/Pages/default.aspx (viewed May 29, 2020).
2Society for HR Management (SHRM), “The Global Skills Shortage: Bridging the Talent Gap with Education, Training and Sourcing,” on the internet, at: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/documents/shrm%20skills%20gap%202019.pdf (viewed May 29, 2020).
3Society for HR Management (SHRM), “COVID-19 Business Index: A Bi-Weekly Report on the State of Business in the U.S.,” on the internet, at: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/documents/20-0993%20next%20chapter%20covid-19.pdf (viewed May 29, 2020).
4Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
5Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), Business School Hiring Report: Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019, on the internet, at https://www.gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/research/employment-outlook/business-school-hiring-report_corporate-recruiters-survey-2019_may-2019.pdf (viewed June 2, 2020)
6According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.