In their infancy, corporate Human Resources departments hired and fired, and made sure employees got their paychecks on time.
But the profession has taken on much greater importance in recent years, with the HR executive becoming an essential strategic leader, recruiting, hiring and developing personnel that will shape the destiny of a company.
“HR has become more of a strategic function, with increased demands on professionals. They have a powerful voice in the intentional direction and the growth of an organization,’’ says Meghan Hanrahan, Executive Director of MS Programs at the School of Business.
“They need additional skills to rise to the challenge,’’ she says. “Certainly, they need to be strategic thinkers, but also must be able to rise to the challenges presented by the pandemic and the changing nature of work today. The field of HR is now at the forefront of societal changes that are impacting how people work. More than ever, HR is the heartbeat of business.’’
As the profession has grown, so has the demand for graduate education. The School of Business is now preparing to launch a fully online graduate degree in Human Resources Management, starting in Fall 2023. Applications are available now.
This will be the fourth offering in the highly successful program, in which about two-thirds of the students receive a significant raise or a promotion before they even complete their degree.
Students also have the option of a hybrid program with a monthly in-person component; a shorter, certificate program, and a dual MBA/HRM degree.
“Our Human Resources program is now in its eighth year in the School of Business and we’ve had a great deal of success,’’ says Professor Travis Grosser, who is the academic director. “We want to increase the scope of our impact. Even if you don’t live in Connecticut, you’ll be able to access this highly regarded program. We’re excited to share our expertise with a wider audience.’’
Not all business schools offer advanced human resources degrees, Grosser says.
“We have an innovative, top-tier program that has grown stronger as a result of listening to our corporate partners and their needs,’’ he says. “We have a deep understanding of business, and our faculty have the research and evidence to guide our instruction. In addition, we have senior practitioners in the field rounding out a premier education.’’’
The program’s esteemed faculty include professor John Mathieu, a national expert on team effectiveness and professor Greg Reilly, the head of the School’s Management & Entrepreneurship department. Adjunct faculty have come from corporate giants including Merck, Microsoft, and Raytheon Technologies.
The program serves a range of candidates from those aspiring to make a career change to mid-level managers looking to become senior executives. Typically, each year the program welcomes about 40 students. Admission is only offered for the Fall semester. The national median salary for an HR manager is over $120,000.
“Students today are looking for flexible, viable, and relevant degrees in business,’’ Hanrahan says. “This is an exciting program and very much in line with the forward-looking direction of the School of Business.’’
For more information about the Online HRM graduate degree program and/or the in-person option, please visit https://hrm.business.uconn.edu.