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What Is an MBA With an Emphasis in Human Resources?

Almost anyone who has worked for a medium-sized or large company is familiar with the term Human Resources. Regardless of the size of an organization and whether it is public or private, its HR department plays a pivotal role.

HR executives are responsible for finding and recruiting a company's most valuable resource -- its people. Becoming an HR professional can be a rewarding and fascinating career path for anyone who understands the powerful influence of employees on their organization's evolution.

If you enjoy working with people, learning about labor issues and have strong organizational skills, an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources could be the next step in your professional development.

Why Pursue an MBA in HR

Companies thrive when they hire the best and brightest people. Being an HR professional, however, is not limited to finding and retaining the right employees. Given the diverse social, cultural, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds in today's workforce, the role of an HR manager is more important -- and more complex -- than ever before.

To meet the evolving needs of its working citizens, political leaders constantly develop new labor and business strategies. A large part of an HR executive's job involves keeping up with developments in local, state and federal labor laws and policies. HR executives need to fully understand their business's legal and ethical responsibilities concerning employment issues such as unions, compensation, worker pensions and healthcare benefits, overtime, vacation and sick leave, and worker safety.

Human resource professionals conceive and implement strategies to deal with labor disputes as well as issues regarding employee morale and productivity. As skilled communicators, they converse well with senior executives and junior staff members alike. Moreover, HR executives are integral to developing company culture.

The role of an effective HR department cannot be overstated. While the CEO is the face of a corporation, the HR team -- with its capacity for inspiring employees to greatness -- is the heart.

The above skill set may seem like a tall order, but it is well within reach with the right education. You can excel as an HR executive by earning an MBA with an emphasis in HR.

What Are the Topics of Study in an HR MBA?

Today's diverse workplace and constantly changing labor laws and policies necessitate being ready for any HR challenge. And the right education can give you the knowledge and skills you'll need.

When it comes to an HR-focused MBA, you have many universities to choose from. For example, the MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources at Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) prepares individuals for the challenges and opportunities of an HR career. The core courses offer a strong foundation in economic and business fundamentals. Subjects include Financial Management, Research Methods, Accounting, Marketing and Data Analysis.

In addition, HR MBAs take two concentration courses:

  1. Human Resource Management (3 credit hours)
    Students learn about equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulations. The class provides an overview of contemporary approaches to hiring, training and retaining employees. It also looks at ways to deal with personnel problems.
  2. Supervisory Management (3 credit hours)
    This course covers human behavior in organizations. Students learn about the influence of employee behavior and morale on organizational goals and discuss HR best practices.

Graduates of SOSU's HR MBA program can apply the thorough educational grounding in current personnel issues to their careers. The program hones their problem-solving skills to prepare them for leadership roles in HR.

The Benefits of an Online MBA

For those who wish to pursue an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources, SOSU offers an online version. The online program is as academically rigorous and comprehensive as the on-campus MBA, but it offers more flexibility. Professionals who want to continue working and people with demanding family commitments can balance studies with their other responsibilities.

SOSU's online HR MBA consists of a total of 36 credit hours. The quickest possible completion time is 12 months. Students can interact with fellow MBA candidates and professors via online networks and forums. They can also remotely access SOSU's library and a variety of electronic resources and tech support.

How Does an HR MBA Prepare Students to Succeed?

Graduates who hold an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources are ready to enter and eventually lead corporate HR departments. They know what it takes to identify, recruit and retain top talent.

MBA candidates can develop intellectual and interpersonal skills to successfully lead a workforce. They can also understand, implement and stay on top of changes in labor laws.

Furthermore, SOSU's John Massey School of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) and also from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school's accreditation can give you an edge when you're looking for jobs.

With the right MBA, HR executives can steer a company and its employees toward success.

Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources program.


Houston Chronicle: Ten Reasons Why the Human Resources Department Is Important

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