Is a Capstone Project Required for a Human Resources MBA?

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Human Resource MBA (Master of Business Administration) students must complete many requirements to earn this graduate degree, and many are concerned as to if a capstone project is one of the requirements. Typically, a student must either complete capstones or complete a thesis, but this depends a lot on the college and the program. Candidates who successfully complete the courses and a capstone project are prepared to work in high-level positions in human resource management.

Resource: Top 10 Best HR MBA Programs

What Capstone Projects Are

Also known as capstone experience or just capstones, these projects are a way for a student to demonstrate to instructors the knowledge gained in the program. They generally involve picking a current problem in a real-life setting and applying learned methods and skills to solve the problem. Capstones are not always geared towards solving a program. Sometimes, they may be focused on research.

The student may have to perform research on a problem and a solution and give a presentation on the findings. Capstones are a big part of graduate programs and can take from 10 weeks to a couple of semesters to complete. They’re typically completed at the end of the program.

Goals of Capstones

There are various reasons why colleges and business programs require capstones, but the main reason is to allow the students to show what they have learned in the program and to demonstrate readiness for their career. In every program or field, there are certain topics that interest students more than others. Capstones give students the opportunity to choose a topic that truly motivates them. They also allow students to make a positive difference in an organization by creating solutions to different problems.

The biggest goals or purposes of capstones is that they help students learn which techniques are best used to determine the best solutions to the problem. As much as the student learns through coursework, they learn even more through capstones. The capstones also prepare the student for what will be required of them should they complete an internship.

Suggestions for Possible Capstones

Human resource MBA students looking for topics for their project can choose from many areas or topics. Here are a few.

  • How to Objectively Assess Employees – Identify the most effective methods to evaluate employees.
  • Theories in Human Resources – How different HR theories and techniques are used in different organizations.
  • How Employee Training Affects Profits – How having employees properly trained can add to the value of an organization.
  • Dealing with Workplace Diversity – Describe the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
  • Value of a Strong HR Department – Evaluation of a highly-effective HR department and the value added to a company.

Career Outlook For Human Resource Professionals

The growing economy is contributing to more professionals being hired, which puts human resources professionals in demand. During the decade of 2016-2026, human resources managers are expected to see a job growth of 9% while human resources specialists should see a growth of 7 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Earnings for HR managers ranged from $63,140 to $193,550, and HR specialist wages ranged from $35,810 to $103,570.

Candidates pursuing a human resource MBA are usually individuals who have an interest in leadership positions within a business. Completing a capstone project is the best way for a student to demonstrate what he or she has learned and how they’re adequately prepared for the position.

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