15 Best Bachelor’s Degrees for Future HR Professionals

degree for hr

Do you have the desire to help your organization find the best talent and help employees reach their full potential? Have you been wondering what degree for human resources would work best? Human resource professionals can be found in every industry and sector including:

  • education
  • healthcare
  • business
  • social service
  • government

Human resource management professionals need skills in communication, business, finance, marketing, human services, and management, which can all be developed by earning human resources degrees. Earning a bachelor’s HR degree is perhaps the most direct route toward a career in HR. There are plenty of other majors for human resources that can provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to fulfill specific HR roles. Certifications are also important in the field of HR. Both the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offer professional designations based on a combination of education and experience. Finding a degree program that can lead to, or enhance, a career in human resources can be overwhelming. We came up with this list of the 15 best degrees for human resources (bachelor’s) for future HR professionals. While the possibilities are endless, this list should get you started in your search for the perfect career in human resources. What degree do you need for human resources? Below are our choices for the 15 best bachelor’s degrees for HR majors and some outstanding programs offering these degrees in HR for a human resources college major.

Related Resource: What is Workforce Diversity?

#15 – Bachelor’s in Business Administration

A bachelor’s in business administration provides human resource professionals with a strong understanding of business across a variety of industries. Business administration professionals are usually responsible for:

  • analyzing problems
  • finding solutions
  • improving overall business efficiency

Business administration courses cover areas such as information technology, human resources, marketing, and logistics. It is important to choose a business degree program with a curriculum that includes elective human resource courses that teach employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training. Students without experience in the field should look for a program with an internship to gain valuable hands-on experience in a professional business setting.

Southern New Hampshire University - Human Resources MBA

The BS in Business Administration program with a concentration in HR Management from Southern New Hampshire University is designed for students who want to become HR leaders. This affordable online program is taught by expert instructors who use real-world situations and relevant strategies to prepare students for success after graduation.

Western Governors University - Human Resources MBA

Western Governors University features a bachelor’s in business with a focus on Human Resource Management. This ACBSP accredited program offers a curriculum that aligns with the Society of Human Resource Management Curriculum Guidebook and Templates (SHRM). HR courses cover key subject areas like business law, workforce planning, and management.

Related Resource: What are Some Good Entry Level Human Resources Jobs? 

#14 – Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management

The most direct route to a career in human resources is to major in HR management in college. Human resource specialists are responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. They usually work in an office although HR professionals in a recruiting role may travel extensively. It is important to choose an HR bachelor’s degree program with a curriculum that aligns with the recommendations set by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Coursework usually covers areas like business law and ethics, human relations, leadership and management, and communication. Some programs also prepare students to earn industry certifications like the PHR, SPRH, and SHRM-Certified Professional. These certifications can be a real asset to new grads who are applying for HR positions. Students without experience in the field should look for a program with an internship to gain valuable hands-on experience and training in HR.

Colorado State University Global - Human Resources MBA

The online bachelor’s in HR Management from Colorado State University-Global Campus is a flexible program with monthly class starts and no set login times. Courses are offered in an accelerated format that allows students to finish faster and begin their HR career.

University of Maryland Global Campus - Human Resources MBA

The University of Maryland Global Campus features a top HR management bachelor’s degree designed with input from employers and industry experts to give students the skills needed to be successful in the industry. Students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for industry certifications such as the PHR, SPHR, and GPHR.

#13 – Bachelor’s in Humanities

Humanities is an area of social science that investigates human constructs and social relations. Humanities programs are unique. Most allow students to choose their own course of study that aligns with their personal and professional interests. Earning a bachelor’s in humanities can be helpful for human resource professionals by giving them a strong foundation in communications, problem-solving, and cultural awareness. Courses typically cover areas like psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Most humanities programs take four years to complete. Flexible online programs can shorten that time. Humanities graduates can be found in a variety of human service organizations such as:

  • social and community service managers
  • human service assistants
  • community outreach workers

These positions typically include HR functions such as employee training and performance reviews.

Northwestern University - Human Resources MBA

The Bachelor’s in Humanities program at Northwestern University is an interdisciplinary program that helps students understand and interpret the world. Humanities courses cover art, English, history, and philosophy. Students choose six electives to support their major.

New York University - Human Resources MBA

New York University School of Professional Studies features a BA in Humanities that prepares students for success in globalized business. Students have the freedom to take electives in their area of interest or pursue a concentration in history and visual culture, creative writing, or literature.

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#12 – Bachelor’s in Workforce Development

Workforce development professionals are essential in almost all industries. They support both career and technical education to enhance an organization’s effectiveness. Bachelor’s programs can include coursework in areas such as business communication, office management, information systems, and professional development. These programs are usually four-year programs and many include a work-based experience to gain exposure to the field. These programs are available on-campus or in a convenient online format. Workforce development professionals also work with individuals who are unemployed or underemployed to prepare them for new roles or careers. HR professionals with a bachelor’s degree in workforce development have the skills and expertise to conduct corporate training and career planning.

  • William Woods University-Online Bachelor of Science in Workforce Development
William Woods University - Human Resources MBA

The Online BS in Workforce Development program at William Woods University is an online program that helps students develop their own personal leadership style. Students will learn to evaluate information systems and technology to achieve business goals. Courses cover areas such as project management and business law.

Appalachian State University - Human Resources MBA

Appalachian State University features a Workforce Education & Development bachelor’s degree offered in a convenient online format. Students take 13-15 credits each semester and can complete the program in just four semesters. Students gain valuable skills in areas like corporate training, organizational development, IT, and finance.

#11 – Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing

How does an organization find the right people to hire to meet their core business values and needs? Human resource professionals need to have the marketing skills needed to create, communicate, and deliver clear expectations to find the right people for the job. Marketing can be a great background for individuals seeking human resource positions. Earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing usually takes four years. It takes longer if attending part-time. Many programs are available online. Students can expect to take courses in marketing, social sciences, and business. Some programs may require a practicum or internship experience which is a great opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience and training. Marketing managers are in demand. The job outlook for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to increase by 10% through 2026. Earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing can open the door to jobs working with hiring firms, consulting agencies, and training and development.

Grand Canyon University - Human Resources MBA

The BS in Marketing and Advertising from Grand Canyon University is a flexible program where students learn about digital marketing, advertising campaigns, and general principles of business. Students can complete their degree online or on-campus, allowing them to balance work and family obligations.

Regis University - Human Resources MBA

Regis University features a BS in Marketing available online and on-campus. Students will learn about current trends and contemporary marketing strategies. Regis boasts a 14:1 student to faculty ratio, meaning students will receive the individualized attention needed to be successful throughout the program.

#10 – Bachelor’s in Education

Earning a bachelor’s degree in education can be a great choice for future HR professionals. An education bachelor’s degree usually emphasizes both content and pedagogy. Pedagogy is extremely helpful for HR professionals. It focuses on the art of teaching. Human resource professionals are often responsible for teaching new employees about:

  • benefits
  • corporate rules and regulations
  • organizational culture
  • job expectations

When choosing an education bachelor’s degree program, students should make sure the school holds regional accreditation and accreditation from a professional organization like the CAEP. Programs are available on-campus and online. Several are offered in an accelerated format. Most programs provide student teaching opportunities so students can gain the classroom experience needed for certification or licensure in their state.

Fort Hays University - Human Resources MBA

The Bachelor’s in Education program at Fort Hays University is dedicated to the development of inclusive and resourceful teachers. Students can choose to focus on early childhood, elementary education, secondary education, and even special education. The program uses the latest technology to prepare students to teach in a modern classroom.

Saint Mary of the Woods College - Human Resources MBA

Saint Mary of the Woods College features a bachelor’s in education focused on teaching children in kindergarten through grade six. Students are taught by veteran educators who provide students with a strong curriculum and extracurricular and professional development experience that allow students to seamlessly transfer their knowledge to the classroom.

#9 – Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Psychology remains one of the most popular college majors. It can be a good choice for a human resources major. A bachelor’s in psychology provides students with a broad understanding of the factors that influence behavior and performance. Programs offer courses that develop:

  • critical thinking
  • scientific problem solving
  • research skills
  • technical writing abilities

Future human resource management professionals can use these skills to understand what motivates their staff, create meaningful incentives, and improve employee performance through contemporary theories in psychology. Most programs can be completed in four years including an internship experience or senior project. Graduates are prepared to work as:

  • life skills instructors
  • research associates
  • training and development professionals
  • case managers
  • consultants

Some programs offer a program track or minor in business which can be a great compliment for students planning to pursue management or human resources. Many graduates use this degree as a stepping stone for graduate work in psychology, human resources, healthcare administration, or business. The demand for psychologists is expected to grow by 14% through 2026, or faster than average. While it takes a doctorate degree to become a psychologist, the knowledge and skills acquired through bachelor’s level programs provide students with the ability to work in a variety of areas including human resources and social service.

Stanford University - Human Resources MBA

The BA of Psychology from Stanford University is a rigorous program that offers students the training needed to understand human behavior. A variety of opportunities keep students involved in research and professional development. Psychology course offerings provide a strong foundation for students planning a career in business, education, or social services.

University of Michigan - Human Resources MBA

The University of Michigan features a BS in Psychology focused on a variety of methodological approaches and analysis techniques used to study and understanding human behavior. Students benefit from extensive research, internship, and field experience opportunities that help them focus and achieve their long term professional goals.

#8 – Bachelor’s in Communication

Communication professionals are needed in almost every industry including human resources. There is a need for communication professionals who understand how to interact and communicate their message effectively. Earning a bachelor’s degree in communication can teach students the skills needed to effectively communicate with new hires, share benefits information, conduct performance reviews, and complete on the job training activities. Specialized communication coursework may be offered in organizational communication, mass media, and social media. Internship experiences provide students with valuable hands-on training working with other communication professionals. Most programs take four years to complete. Some are offered online. A bachelor’s degree in communication can help secure management and leadership positions and career advancement opportunities in a variety of settings. These settings can include hiring firms and talent agencies. Communication is an essential part of the human resource industry. Earning a bachelor’s specializing in organizational communication can make you more competitive in the job market. Communication and media occupations are expected to grow by 11% through 2026. That is faster than average for other professions, according to the BLS.

Washington University in St. Louis - Human Resources MBA

Washington University in St. Louis offers a BS in Communications with concentrations available in either integrated marketing or public affairs. Core communications courses give students a strong foundation in communications theory, business, and ethics. Students work closely with an advisor to navigate their path to ensure success.

Arizona State University - Human Resources MBA

Arizona State University features an online BS in communication giving students the skills needed to transform individuals and their workplace. Communication courses cover a variety of areas such as leadership, persuasion, and conflict and negotiation. ASU was named the number one college in the nation for innovation in 2019.

#7 – Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations

Every company needs a public relations team. HR professionals with a public relations background can be a huge asset. PR professionals have the skills and talent needed to:

  • write press releases
  • work closely with the press
  • arrange interviews, manage crises
  • draft internal communications

Courses typically found in PR bachelor’s degree programs including social and legal foundations, strategic relations, effective writing, and business and economic foundations. Students should complete an internship or practicum experience to get a taste for what it is like working in a variety of PR settings. Most programs can be completed in four years of full-time study. Part-time students will take longer. With a bachelor’s degree in public relations, students are able to work in a variety of roles to ensure consistent messaging, maintain positive interactions with current and former employees, and ensure a positive public image. Earning a degree in public relations can be a good fit for human resource professionals working in government, healthcare, or higher education. The public relations industry is expected to grow 9% by the year 2026 according to the BLS.

The University of Texas at Austin - Human Resources MBA

The University of Texas at Austin features a BS in public relations rich with hands-on practice and real-world experiences. Students complete a variety of coursework focused on the use of new public relations tools, professional writing, ethics, and strategic thinking.

University of Southern California - Human Resources MBA

The School for Communication and Journalism USC Annenberg features a bachelor’s degree in public relations among the best in the world. Graduates are highly sought after for their hands-on skills and innovative thinking. Students have access to nine different content creation courses including shooting/editing video, newsletter development, and publication design.

#6 – Bachelor’s Degree in Finance

All HR professionals need a strong understanding of finance. Earning a bachelor’s degree in finance can give students a strong understanding of areas such as risk management, financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance. HR professionals can use these skills when discussing retirement plans with employees, understanding tax withholdings, and administering benefits like insurance. A degree in finance will prepare students for entry-level positions in both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Finance degree programs are available online and on-campus. They usually take four years to complete. To be successful, students should have strong leadership skills and an interest in math or accounting. Students should look for programs holding regional accreditation along with specialized accreditation from the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. The job outlook for financial analysts is expected to grow by 11% through 2026. That is faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pennsylvania State University - Human Resources MBA

Penn State World Campus features an AACSB accredited BS in Finance in a convenient online format. Students gain the skills and knowledge needed for success in any finance-based position. The diverse curriculum prepares students for success in banking, security analysis, corporate finance, or personal financial planning.

University of Denver - Human Resources MBA

The Reiman School of Finance at the University of Denver features a bachelor’s in finance that prepares students to respond to challenges and anticipate change. Students are able to focus on a variety of business areas including investments, corporate finance, and international finance.

#5 – Bachelor’s Degree in Economics

Aspiring HR professionals with an interest in compensation and benefits may be interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. Benefits and compensation administrators work to determine salary and benefits packages for a variety of different jobs across sectors. They need to understand the financial impact of these plans on the organization and make sure they comply with various laws and regulations. Economics graduates are also employed as payroll analysts. This critical role ensures that all employees are being paid when and what they should be paid. They also assist with audits and create reports for the organization. Economics bachelor’s degree programs offer courses in business, finance, and accounting. They are available online and on-campus and take four years to complete. Some programs feature an internship to gain vital industry experience. Through 2026, the demand for economists is expected to grow by 6%. That is as fast as average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

University of Delaware -Human Resources MBA

The Lerner Business and Economics BA program at the University of Delaware allows students to explore the hows and whys of the world’s markets. Students can choose to concentrate in either applied economics or economic theory and econometrics. Graduates have a strong understanding of business, markets, and financial organizations.

Ball State University - Human Resources MBA

The Bachelor of Economics from Ball State University prepares students for a variety of roles across sectors in nonprofit, education, healthcare, and business. This AACSB accredited program allows students to choose to focus on business, financial analyst, or liberal arts depending on their interests and career goals.

#4 – Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship

If you are considering starting your own business, a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship might be a perfect choice! Entrepreneurship degree programs are specialized business programs that give students the skills needed to develop new businesses. Entrepreneurs need to be a jack of all trades when it comes to their own business and often that includes human resource functions. These programs include courses in marketing, business, finance, HR, and project management. Students can expect to learn about business ethics, employee compensation, purchasing, and investment analysis. Programs take four years to complete and students should look for a program with an internship or mentoring component. Graduates should consider joining professional organizations like the National Small Business Association or the Association of Small Business Development Centers to network and develop professional relationships with other entrepreneurs.

University of Illinois Chicago - Human Resources MBA

The University of Illinois Chicago features a BS in Entrepreneurship focused on business planning, financing, IT, and consulting. Core entrepreneurship courses cover areas such as social entrepreneurship, family business management, and international entrepreneurship. Students are encouraged to minor in either managerial skills or business operations to give this degree an edge.

Lindenwood University - Human Resources MBA

Lindenwood University features a Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurial Studies that prepares students to launch a new business or breathe new life into an existing one. Entrepreneurial studies courses cover areas such as operations management, marketing, finance, and HR. Both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science are available to meet students’ professional goals.

#3 – Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership

A bachelor’s degree in leadership can be a great choice for future HR professionals. Leadership bachelor’s degree programs prepare students to lead teams, make effective decisions, and implement change. Courses cover creative areas like communication, negotiation, and change management. They can also cover finance, ethics, and project management. These leadership skills are important for human resource professionals who want to lead departments, work independently, or provide consulting services. Leadership programs may be offered online or on-campus and take four years to complete. Students should look for a program that is regionally accredited to be sure it is a reputable program. The best programs have a capstone course or internship experience that gives students a chance to showcase their knowledge and skills in a professional setting. The occupational outlook for HR leadership roles in development or training is favorable. The job outlook is expected to grow by 10%. This is faster than average, through 2026.

Northeastern University - Human Resources MBA

The College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University features an online BS in Leadership available online to both full and part-time students. Leadership courses prepare students to lead teams, make decisions, and manage change. Almost 50% of students receive some sort of financial aid.

Trident University - Human Resources MBA

Trident University features a BS in Leadership offered in a fully online format. The program uses a leadership model that emphasizes real-world skills to give students an edge after graduation. Concentrations are available in interdisciplinary studies or management.

#2 – Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services

A bachelor’s degree in human services is a great choice for students seeking a career in public service as HR professionals. Students gain valuable hands-on skills in areas such as crisis intervention, communication, instruction, and counseling. Elective coursework focused on human resources can give students additional expertise in areas like benefits administration and workforce development. Most human services programs take four years to complete and are offered at both public and private universities. It may be helpful to choose a program that offers an internship or practicum experience so students can have experience in the field before completing their degree. A bachelor’s in human services can serve as a strong foundation for graduate studies in human resource management.

Southern Wesleyan University - Human Resources MBA

Southern Wesleyan University features an online Bachelor’s in Human Services with concentrations available in administration, counseling, marriage and family services, or another specialized area. The human services program follows a Christian worldview. All students complete an internship or a research project. Graduates meet the requirements to become a Human Services Board-Certified Practitioner.

East Tennessee State University - Human Resources MBA

East Tennessee State University features a BS in Human Services offered in a convenient online format preparing students for success as human services professionals. Human Services courses cover areas such as developmental psychology, research, administration, and interpersonal skills. Students planning to continue on and earn their master’s degree can take advantage of an accelerated BS to MS in Human Services.

#1 – Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management

Organizational management degree programs are interdisciplinary programs that focus on developing future leaders and human resource managers. HR professionals with organizational management skills are in demand by non-profits, businesses, and government organizations. Organizational management courses cover areas like strategic management, conflict resolution, HR management, and communication. Quality organizational management programs expose students to a variety of leadership and communication styles. Most organizational management programs take four years to complete and are available to full and part-time students. Online organizational management programs are becoming increasingly popular and allow working professionals to earn their degrees without traveling to a traditional campus program. HR professionals need organizational management skills in their role as they work with employees to solve problems, conduct employee reviews, and conduct training and professional development activities. Overall, management occupations are expected to grow by 8% through 2026, which is about as fast as average.

Northwest University  - Human Resources MBA

Northwest University features a BA in Organizational Management Degree online that prepares students for a variety of leadership positions. Classes are taught by experienced professionals who share first-hand knowledge through a relevant curriculum. Classes are taught from a worldview that emphasizes ethics and business integrity.

Concordia University Chicago - Human Resources MBA

Concordia University Chicago features a BA in Organizational Management considered one of the best online programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2019. Students learn how to coordinate the work of teams to achieve goals, understand organizational culture, and explore organizational areas including HR.

This concludes our ranking of HR majors for human resources professionals.

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