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Human resource management degrees are available at associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels and cover a variety of topics in general business and human resources. These degrees prepare students to select, interview, train and manage employees in many industries, and students can either work in a specific subfield of human resource management or become generalists. Although associate's degrees may lead to entry-level positions as human resource assistants, potential managers will likely need a bachelor's degree and experience in the field. A master's degree in human resource management can lead to more advanced management positions in large companies and also is an option for career changers.
An associate's degree in human resources is an entry-level degree that introduces students to the basics of business and human resource management concepts. The human resource courses in this degree are usually general and introduce the student to personnel selection, labor laws, employee training and benefit systems. Introductory classes in management, business law, business statistics, economics and management also are usually included. Although many employers want a bachelor's degree for management positions, an associate's degree may help one to get an entry-level job in the human resources field.
Two common bachelor's degrees in human resource management are a degree in human resource management or a general business management degree with a concentration in human resource management. Human resource management degrees at the bachelor's level go deeper with both advanced business classes and more specific human resources courses. The advanced courses teach students techniques for recruiting and maintaining employees, providing benefit packages, using various training practices, following laws related to human resource management and managing human resources at the enterprise level. General business classes may include courses in marketing, business ethics, finance, international business, change leadership and project management. These human resource management degrees typically end with an internship, final exam or capstone project.
There are various human resource management degrees at the graduate level, including the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in human resources and the master's degree in human resource management. Both degrees include many of the classes offered in undergraduate programs but usually require more research and in-depth study. An MBA program usually has more general business courses than human resource management courses, and a master's in human resource management mostly includes human resource management courses. Either program usually requires an internship, final project, comprehensive exam or a combination of these.
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