So you want to take the next step in your career, but you don’t know where to start. You’re thinking about a degree, but what kind do you really need?
While many HR professionals look to MBAs, that’s not always necessary, said Micah Muldowney, enrollment counselor at Drexel University Online. “When someone’s working on an MBA,” he said, “they’re probably going to be working with transactional processes like budgets, marketing, finance, management of processes, management of product.”
He advised on the sort of degrees that would be best for particular career paths, noting that many options allow for specializations within the degrees themselves.
: A masters in human resource development is best to prepare yourself for this path.
: Particularly for performance management consulting, said Muldowney, the masters in human resources is best.
Learning & Development
: A masters in human resource development with a training oriented specialization will do the job.
: While it depends on the company and direction of an individual career, the emphasis on strategy means a masters in HR would be appropriate, but an MBA could also fit.
: A masters in HR development is best, unless your company is in the education field, in which Drexel’s educational doctorate with a specialization in HR development is best.
Compensation & benefits:
Muldowney recommends the master of legal studies with a specialization in HR compliance. “If you’re working with benefits, there’s the issue of compliance that the masters would cover that’s not necessarily in the MBA,” he said.
An MBA is best suited to this career path, giving you a better background on the financial side.
Most importantly, Muldowney noted that HR professionals should consult an enrollment counselor when tossing up their educational options. “I often see people coming to us having an idea that they believe fits them that doesn’t fit as well as they think,” he said.
And when choosing an educational establishment, it’s also important to consult alumnae, said George Mason University’s associate dean for executive programs, Roy Hinton. He also recommended considering aligning your company’s industry with an educational institute’s specialty. “Many MBAs are very similar, but some will have additional features and benefits that might be very attractive. Is your company global? Then you’ll want one that has a global orientation,” he said. “Perhaps you’re in healthcare; then you’ll want an MBA that has a healthcare track.”