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Human Resource Management

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Human Resource Management Major

Human resource management is a major that typically falls into the Business, Management & Marketing category.

There are 141 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in HR, 497 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 378 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 33 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a HR Degree?

Human resource management runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #42 out of all the majors we track. In 2017, about 12,200 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this major. This major is dominated by women with about 68.4% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 4.1%
  • Black or African American: 13.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 13.8%
  • White: 57.7%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.8%
  • Other Races: 7.8%
Human Resource Management Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in HR. About 2.8% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending HR majors to the U.S. are China, India and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as a Human Resource Management Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to HR to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for HR Majors

A major in HR should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Human Resource Management Majors

Skills for HR Majors

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

Important Skills for Human Resource Management Majors

Abilities for HR Majors

HR majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for HR Majors

What Can You Do With a HR Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with HR:

Careers Related to Human Resource Management
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists



Labor Relations Specialists



Human Resources Managers



Business Professors



Human Resources Specialists



Training and Development Specialists



Compensation and Benefits Managers



Training and Development Managers



Human Resource Management Major Salary

HR majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $67,000 to $122,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a HR Major  ( 67000 to 122000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Human Resource Management Major Jobs

Some careers associated with HR may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to HR have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Human Resource Management
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Human Resource Management Programs

There are 497 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, with 149 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Human Resource Management Major Worth It?

The median salary for a HR grad is $71,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 82% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $636,600 after 20 years!

human resource management salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Arunkumar Umapathy via License

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