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What's the value of earning an advanced degree in HR?

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in The HR Specialist Forum

“I’m weighing how I can best advance my career and have been considering going back to school to study for a master’s degree in HR. For all of you who have done so, would you recommend it? Has it increased your earning power or opened up more job opportunities? Or do you think it would be just as smart to pursue some certification program, such as SHRM’s PHR and SPHR designations?” — Christopher, Boston

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate July 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I’m currently attending classes for ADP Human Resources at Concordia University in Austin (http://discover.concordia.edu). I’ve found my classes thus far to be really helpful, and the staff great – and always available to answer any questions I have. I’d highly recommend them (and the degree program) to anyone!


Angela, Memphis December 6, 2008 at 3:22 pm

I completed a MPA (Masters of Public Administration) with concentrations in non-profit management and human resources. Between that and a nine month HR internship, I was able to secure employment in the HR field and have been with the company for 2 1/2 years. Without the degree, I did not have enough experience to get that initial job. A masters degree would certainly make you more marketable, especially when it came to upper management.


Patty in San Diego December 3, 2008 at 11:40 am

I am also pursuing a Masters Program and feel that it would definitely increase your earning potential. The Certifications will definitely help as a short term addition to your resume. However, the Masters will allow you to move into higher level positions. It may all depend on your career goals. If you have many years of experience in HR including management experience you may be able to move into a higher level position sooner. Many positions will subsitute the Masters degree for a certain number of years of experience. This is not the case for the certification programs (SHRM and etc). Some companies also require a Masters for HR Management positions. Your decision will all depend on your long term goals.


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