Bachelors and Masters Programs for a Human Resources Management Career in Georgia

The human resources field in Georgia is largely defined by the presence of no less than 21 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state, as of 2018. The size and success of these companies have made them major players in job creation, which translates to a consistent need for human resources professionals. Just some of Georgia’s Fortune 500 companies driving demand for HR managers and specialists include the Coca-Cola Corporation, Aflac, Home Depot, UPS, and Delta Airlines.

The following job projections from the Georgia Department of Labor and salary statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveal the many professional opportunities for HR professionals in the Peach State:

Human Resources Management

  • Human Resources Managers Human resources managers in Georgia earn a median salary of $111,470, just slightly below the national median of $113,300.
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers Compensation and benefits managers in Georgia earn a median salary of $118,000, which is just slightly below the national median of $119,120 for this profession.
  • Training and Development Managers The number of training and development managers in Georgia is projected to increase 15.6 percent between 2016 and 2026, rising from 1,090 jobs in 2016 to 1,260 jobs in 2026.

Human Resources Specialists and Assistants

  • Human Resources Specialists The number of Georgia’s human resources specialists is projected to increase 12.6 percent between 2016 and 2026 – that’s much higher than the projected national increase of 7.1 percent during this period.
  • Labor Relations Specialists The median salary for labor relations specialists in Georgia is $61,200.
  • Training and Development Specialists The number of training and development specialists is projected to increase by 15.4 percent between 2016 and 2026, rising from 9,470 jobs to 10,930 jobs during this time.
  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists in Georgia earn a median salary of $61,860, which is just slightly below the national median salary of $63,000.
  • Human Resources Assistants Human resources assistants in Georgia earn a median salary of $38,280, which is just slightly below the national median salary of $40,390 for this profession.

Earning the Right Degree for a Career in Human Resources and HR Management

The future of human resources work in Georgia looks promising for those who complete bachelor’s or master’s degrees programs.

A degree from an accredited university and voluntary certification can prove invaluable for those pursuing a career in human resources.

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Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources

Many aspiring human resources professionals obtain bachelor’s degrees to develop a broad knowledge of the field. A bachelor’s degree in human resources, which may be in the form of a Bachelor of Science (BS), a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), is a common requirement among employers.

Just a few of the human resources topics covered in a bachelor’s programs include:

  • Business Law and Ethics
  • Workforce Recruitment and Retention
  • Leadership and Management
  • Global Business

Recent HR job postings in Georgia help demonstrate the value of a bachelor’s degree in human resources or HR management (Shown for illustrative purposes only):

Talent Acquisition Advisor, American Red Cross – Education requirements include a BS/BA in business management, human resource management or a related field, or equivalent work experience.

Human Resources Representative, Kinder Morgan – Education requirements include a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration or related field.

Master’s Degrees in Human Resources

The following master’s degrees related to human resources are among the most sought after by top human resources employers:

  • Master of Arts in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources
  • Master of Science (MS) in Human Resources Management
  • Master of Human Resources (MHR)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Human Resources
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Typical coursework in an MBA in Human Resource Management includes:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Corporate communications
  • Business Research
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Operations management
  • Managerial accounting
  • Financial management
  • Information technology

Recent job postings show the importance of a master’s degree when pursuing human resources management and executive positions (Shown for illustrative purposes only):

Human Resources Manager, Berry Plastics – A bachelor’s degree in business/human resources or equivalent experience is required, but a master’s degree is preferred.

Human Resources Business Partner, Voith – Business or functionally related bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or MBA in a human resources discipline is preferable.

The Senior Human Resources Professional, RiverMend Health – A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s or MBA is preferred

Regional HR Director – North America, ERM – A bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject is required; a master’s degree or M.B.A. is desirable

Director of Human Resources, Atkore International Inc. – A relevant bachelor’s degree is required, while a master’s degree/JD is strongly preferred

Professional Certification in Human Resources

There are several national organizations that offer professional certification. While certification from these organizations is not usually required, candidates who have completed these programs will often stand out among the pool of job applicants.

Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)

  • SHRM-CP (certified professional)
  • SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)

HR Certification Institute (HRCI)

  • Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)
  • Associate Professional in Human Resources – International (aPHRi)
  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
  • Professional in Human Resources – International (PHRi)
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi)
  • Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)

International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR)

  • Certified Professional (IPMA-CP)
  • Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP)

Several recent job postings list voluntary certification as a preferred qualification for job candidates (Shown for illustrative purposes only):

Human Resources Manager, Emory Conference Center Hotel – In addition to the requirements of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) is preferred.

Quality Resources Coordinator, Gwinnett Medical Center – A bachelor’s degree in nursing, public health, healthcare administration, or related clinical field, is required, while a master’s degree is preferred. The following qualifications are additionally preferred: Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM), Certified Project Manager, Lean/Six Sigma or other relevant certification.

Exploring Georgia’s Human Resources Careers

Human resources degree programs prepare graduates with a variety of skills applicable to current jobs in the field. The following job descriptions demonstrate several types of careers available in the state’s human resources field, as well as just a few of those career’s daily responsibilities (Shown for illustrative purposes only):

Market H&W Director, Walmart – Job duties include implementing service standards for the market; developing strategies to recruit an effective workforce, as well as maintaining that workforce; and developing community outreach programs that match the company’s goals and public image.

Human Resource RepresentativeBehr Process Corporation – Job duties include providing daily assistance to business partners. Working directly with those partners, the representative will teach employee productivity and retention skills, among other workplace improvement skills.

Human Resources Manager, Unisys – Job duties include a variety of workplace management techniques, such as payroll management and unemployment processing. The human resources manager will also advise company management on employment laws and company policies, among other regulations.

Director of Human Resource Operations, Georgia Gwinnett College – The director will lead the human resources staff in the development and implementation of a variety of workplace procedures. Other specific job duties include conducting exit interviews, providing salary data for management review, and providing one-on-one guidance to employees who experience workplace problems.

Georgia’s Human Resources Employers

Some of Georgia’s top employers of HR managers, specialists, and generalists are state government agencies and dedicated staffing firms:

State Government

Human Resources Staffing Companies


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Examples of HR positions were taken from a survey of job listings in the state at the time of this writing and are shown for illustrative purposes only. These examples do not represent job offers or positions that are currently available.

Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018 for human resources managers, specialists, and assistants – The BLS salary data shown here represents median – 90th percentile salary ranges for the state and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. 

 Job growth projections sourced from the Georgia Department of Labor and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – Employment conditions in your area may vary.

All salary and job growth data accessed in September 2019.

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