And that may increase in years to come as the sheer variety of graduate degrees expands. “There are many flavors of an MBA now and schools are adding more all the time,” says Roy Hinton, associate dean for executive programs at George Mason University.
Historically, MBAs have been lengthy, comprehensive general management courses with depth in areas such as operations, finances and HR. But that’s beginning to change as demand expands across the board.
“The trend now is shorter MBAs focusing on more of the general management skills and specific focus programs in other areas,” Hinton says, “and that’s why you see the growth in the wide range of masters.”
So what should an HR professional look for in an MBA? First, see what the alumnae have to say about it, says Hinton. Then, consider your area of specialty.
“Many MBAs are very similar, but some will have additional features and benefits that might be very attractive,” he says. “Is your company global? Then you’ll want one that has a global orientation. Perhaps you’re in healthcare; then you’ll want an MBA that has a healthcare track.”
Best graduate schools for HR (according to FindtheBest)
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- Booth School of Business: Average post-graduation salary of $108,045
- Columbia Business School: Average post-graduation salary of $106,472
- Kellogg School of Management: Average post-graduation salary of $107,067
- Yale School of Management: Average post-graduation salary of $98,324
- UCLA Anderson School of Management: Average post-graduation salary of $97,171
Aiming for the top job in HR? Then learn from the experts: 58% of Fortune 100 CHROs have at least one graduate degree, a Cornell University analysis found.