Online HR master’s degree: Is it worth it? Which school is best?

If you want to pursue an HR master’s degree but the nearest accredited program is too far away, consider earning your degree online.

The quality of such programs has improved dramatically in recent years. Also, online programs allow you to earn the degree from anywhere at your own pace, which is especially convenient for solo practitioners at small companies who want to land a job with a larger organization.

Pros: On the plus side, online programs make it easier to pursue the degree without taking time off from work. You also can usually access the college’s library online, too.

Get a master’s degree if you aspire to be a corporate HR vice president or HR executive vice president. Those jobs generally require an advanced degree.

Cons. Some employers are hesitant when it comes to online programs. They may ask questions about the school and course of study. Be prepared to supply information about accreditation and copies of assignments and required reading materials.

Where to turn? Find a list of the top 15 ranked Best Buys in online HR master’s programs at Then enter “human resources” in the search box.

Find other listings of online HR master’s programs at and The lists include a range of HR master’s programs, including HR development, HR management, HR management and labor relations, and an MBA with a concentration in HR.    

Final tips: Make sure the school’s accreditation is current before you sign up. Talk to former students who completed the program. Ask: Did the degree help your career? What questions did potential employers ask about earning an HR degree online?

An HR master’s degree ranks higher than PHR or SPHR certification. A combination is obviously the most attractive. Practitioners with master’s degrees are more likely to pass certification exams, according to the Human Resource Certificate Institute, the leading HR certification organization.