After getting a master’s degree in human resources (HR), one will usually wonder if they should prolong their education a bit and go for a Ph.D. Doing so is certainly going to yield in higher starting salary and more opportunities. The downside, however, is the fact that it will cost a fair amount of money and require another two to three years of studying.

Many professionals decide to postpone their Ph.D. pursuits until they reach the peak of their career. As far as the HR field is concerned, that peak normally comes with executive leadership positions that become open to highly successful senior managers. For them, having a doctorate degree is very important and often mandatory. So, is it fair to say that executives are the only group of HR operatives who need to get a doctorate? Absolutely not. A better way to put it is to say how executives are the ones who will just benefit from it the most.

Related Resource: 10 Most Affordable Online PhD in Human Resources

Academic Careers

A perfect example of a very common career path that tends to demand a Ph.D. in human resources is teaching. Someone who strives to become a professor at a university will usually need to spend those few years and build their knowledge and credentials. Only then will they become eligible for high-profile teaching positions. A lot of professors who go this route have extremely high job satisfaction rates and tend to switch employers much less. The reason why is that an academic job is usually only pursued by those who are truly passionate about teaching. Once they attain that role, they are practically fulfilling a dream and things like high pay and lucrative benefits will take a backseat.

Independent Consulting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HR specialists’ first job duty is to consult with employers to determine employment needs. Whilst that is just one of the many responsibilities that these professionals have in the corporate world, they can choose to make their entire career revolve around consulting. Doing so often requires them to pursue independent or freelancing projects where they will work as third-party advisors for companies that may be experiencing HR problems. Having a doctorate degree is very favorable here as it will open more doors and allow one to penetrate the highly competitive spheres of independent work.

Public Speaking, Research, and Writing

Ultimately, anyone who wants to stay close to the academic circles without having to teach can do so through public speaking, research, and writing. Professionals who select this career will definitely need to consider sacrificing the time and money to get the doctorate degree. The reason why is that most employers or publishers will seldom even consider working with a person who lacks a proven track record that is showcased by the completion of a Ph.D. The main perk of selecting any of these three alternatives is the fact that they each carry unprecedented flexibility.

Due to the fact that there are quite a few HR jobs that almost mandate a doctorate degree, it seems that executives are in good company when it comes to additional studying. As said, however, they are undoubtedly the ones that will find their Ph.D. to be the most lucrative over the entirety of their human resource career.