How an MBA Degree Complements a Role in HR Management


Florida Gulf Coast University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) online program offers an elective in Human Resource Management which provides broad exposure to the policies, functions and current issues involved in managing a firm’s employees. The course also emphasizes the strategic role of human resources management, given how HR leaders increasingly influence high-level organizational decision-making in financial management, organizational training and other areas within a business.


Today’s HR leaders possess diverse skill sets, including management fundamentals from MBA core courses like managerial economics and data-driven decision-making. Because human resources leaders are routinely involved in critical business initiatives, Fortune 500 companies pay a premium for the best educated and most skilled talent. Thus, an MBA is a wise career investment for working professionals considering a future in HR leadership.


Employers Seek a Comprehensive Skill Set


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a healthy employment outlook for aspiring HR leaders. It suggests that “Candidates with certification or a master’s degree — particularly those with a concentration in human resources management — should have the best job prospects.”


The FGCU online MBA with the HR management elective provides the comprehensive skill set that leading employers across industries seek. Some of the specific abilities the program helps students develop include the following:


Core Business Management Skills: Stakeholders consult HR managers and executives in all areas of business, including operations, finance, accounting and marketing. Top HR leaders use their expertise to combine human resources and other organizational objectives.


Managing Compensation and Benefits: HR professionals develop compensation and benefit structures that fit organizational budgets and projected revenue. This process enables companies to attract and retain the talent they need.


Decision-Making: Few teams in an organization make as many important decisions affecting the future of the business as HR. These professionals do the actual vetting and hiring of a workforce, while business school graduates can handle policymaking, strategy and implementation for initiatives, including employee selection criteria, recruiting, training and succession planning.


Analysis and Negotiation: Getting the most value from benefit providers requires high-level analysis and negotiation skills. Many of FCGU’s online MBA program courses emphasize these abilities, including courses such as Organizational Development & Change, Managerial Economics and Data Driven Decision-Making.


Employee Training: From onboarding to ongoing professional development, the HR function ensures that staff members are on the cutting edge of industry expertise. Training and development are necessary to support succession planning as well as corporate initiatives.


Communication: MBA graduates are highly effective communicators with the soft skills necessary to facilitate productive collaboration and teamwork. Top MBA programs provide training in verbal and written communication, as well as coaching and motivation.


Business Ethics: HR is highly involved in areas that require ethics and discretion, such as legal compliance and handling sensitive information about current and former employees. Business ethics are a theme interwoven throughout the FGCU MBA curriculum, and students get the intensive training required to make responsible decisions, even under pressure.


HR Leadership Careers


A career in HR leadership is ideal for professionals with innate and trained people-skills and problem-solving capabilities. Major employers and HR leaders have provided input to help develop the FGCU MBA online program in order to prepare professionals to be significant contributors to their organizations’ ongoing personnel and business strategies.


These are just a few of the rewarding HR roles for which this degree can prepare you, with median compensation data from as of October 2021:


  • Human Resources Manager ($113,511): These individuals evaluate HR processes and strategies, determine improvements and report to top management. According to the BLS, about 14,800 openings for human resources managers are projected each year, on average, between 2020 and 2030.
  • Regional Human Resources Manager ($115,596): Plan and implement HR programs for compensation, benefits, employee relations, training and other initiatives.
  • Human Resources Supervisor ($92,651): Develop and administer HR programs and policies and ensure HR strategies align with business objectives.
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager ($117,602): Develop and administer compensation and benefits programs and policies to ensure they remain competitive.
  • Training Manager ($107,996): Research new training techniques and design and implement training programs and policies.


HR professionals use many skill sets and are crucial individuals for top corporate executives. However, another reason many FGCU graduates pursue leadership careers in human resources is the flexibility to work in nearly any industry. Well-educated HR professionals can explore many fields throughout their careers, going wherever their interests take them. They are relatively recession-resistant and can maximize employment and earnings potential regardless of economic cycles.


If this combination of dynamic leadership opportunities and career stability appeal to you, an MBA may be a smart investment in your future.


Learn more about Florida Gulf Coast University’s online MBA program.

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