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Job Outlook for HR Professionals With an MBA in Strategic Human Resources Management

Strategic human resources management (SHRM) is more than managing the payroll and benefits details of a company and its employees. According to Forbes, SHRM is “a process that organizations use to manage their employees. It is a way to ensure that the organization’s human resources are used in a way that supports the organization’s goals.” Examples include guiding progress toward an organization’s goals in areas like performance management, training and development, compensation and benefits, and employee relations.

Avila University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Strategic Human Resources (HR) online program offers a unique opportunity for individuals to optimize their ability to improve organizational performance through advanced HR strategies. This program immerses students in real-world experiences and prepares them to overcome HR challenges innovatively.

With a focus on workforce development, personnel and labor relations management, compensation planning and organizational risk management, the program equips students with the tools needed to thrive in HR management and executive roles.

Gain a Competitive Edge With an MBA in Strategic Human Resources

Advancing from specialist to managerial roles in HR not only elevates one’s responsibilities but also substantially increases compensation. Human resources managers earn a median annual salary of $130,000 as of 2022, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The earnings spectrum for this group is broad, with the lowest 10% making less than $76,610 and the highest 10% surpassing $224,360. In comparison, human resources specialists made a median wage of $64,240 in 2022 per BLS, with the highest 10% reaching up to $116,060. This comparison reveals that top earners in managerial roles significantly outpace their specialist counterparts.

Similarly, the median annual wage in 2022 for compensation and benefits managers was $131,280 according to BLS — which sharply contrasts with the $67,780 median for compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists. The upper echelon of specialists, earning more than $117,060, still falls short of their managerial peers, whose highest 10% can earn over $217,650.

The pattern also holds true in the training and development sector. Training and development managers earn a median annual wage of $120,000 as of BLS 2022 data, with the top earners taking home more than $210,470. On the other hand, training and development specialists earned a median of $63,080 in 2022, with the highest 10% earning above $108,530.

BLS highlights a marked preference among employers for candidates with specialized master’s degrees for managerial roles. Advanced degrees are prized for their ability to impart a deep understanding of business strategy, leadership skills and innovative problem-solving abilities.

Career Advancement Opportunities for Human Resources MBA Graduates

Graduates of Avila’s online MBA in Strategic HR are poised for many leadership opportunities. As BLS notes, human resources managers are instrumental in planning, coordinating and directing administrative functions. They consult with top executives on strategic planning and act as a crucial link between management and its employees. This role demands a comprehensive understanding of how to utilize an organization’s workforce effectively, oversee employee benefit programs and mediate between management and employees on important issues.

The breadth of responsibilities for HR managers also includes coordinating and supervising the work of specialists and support staff, managing the recruitment process and addressing staffing issues. For those looking to specialize further, opportunities abound in roles such as labor relations directors, payroll managers and recruiting managers — each requiring the ability to develop and implement strategic HR initiatives. Similarly, BLS notes that compensation and benefits managers play a critical role in setting an organization’s pay and benefits structure, monitoring wage rates and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Training and development managers focus on enhancing the skills and knowledge of an organization’s staff, aligning training initiatives with goals and managing training budgets. This role involves overseeing training and development staff, assessing employees’ needs for training and selecting appropriate training methods and materials.

For MBA graduates, these roles make comprehensive use of their strategic leadership skills and drive the development and implementation of effective HR policies and programs.

Work Your Way Up to an Executive Level Position

An executive role in HR combines strategic insight with a broad skill set for driving organizational success. At the apex of the HR department, executives are responsible for steering all HR functions and policies, from overarching strategy to the minutiae of daily operations. This encompasses an assortment of responsibilities, including leading the HR department; educating and training employees; ensuring compliance with HR policies across all levels; and overseeing the hiring, training and dismissal processes.

HR executives work closely with CEOs or directors to plan and implement strategic initiatives to enhance efficiency and productivity. They create and maintain a positive organizational culture and climate, fostering an open work environment through dialogue. A specialized MBA in strategic HR equips graduates with the critical skills necessary for these executive-level positions.

Avila’s online program is a strategic step for professionals aiming to reach managerial and executive roles in HR. It offers them the knowledge base required to excel in high-impact positions. This advanced degree lays the foundation for success in navigating the complexities of modern HR challenges, enabling graduates to lead confidently and drive meaningful organizational change.

Learn more about Avila University’s online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Human Resources program.

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