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

Indiana’s thriving economy and low unemployment rate translate into exciting opportunities as human resources for assistants, specialists, managers, and high-ranking executives.

Thanks to a low unemployment rate of just 3.3 percent in August 2019, a record-breaking 2.8 million employed in the private sector in 2019, and the creation of more than 400,000 private sector jobs in the last ten years, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Indiana is becoming a leader in economic growth and vitality. It’s now the second largest auto manufacturer in the country and owes much of its economic growth to expanding industries like pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and petroleum and coal products.

Indiana’s human resources professionals are a major player in this state’s success, with their expertise needed to manage a growing workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development provide a closer look at the opportunities awaiting HR professionals in Indiana:

Human Resources Management

  • Human Resources Managers The number of HR managers in Indiana is projected to increase by 10.5 percent between 2016 and 2026 – that’s higher than the projected national growth rate of 9 percent for this profession during this time.
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers Compensation and benefits managers in Indiana earn a median salary of $103,840 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $159,210.
  • Training and Development Managers The number of training and development managers in Indiana is projected to increase by 11.4 percent between 2016 and 2026, beating out the national projected growth rate of 10.4 percent for this profession during this time.

Human Resources Specialists and Assistants

  • Human Resources Specialists The largest number of HR professionals in Indiana are human resources specialists, at 11,550. This number is projected to increase by 8.1 percent between 2016 and 2026, to 12,490.
  • Labor Relations Specialists The median salary for labor relations specialists in Indiana is $69,770, which is about $6,000 more than the national median salary for these professionals.
  • Training and Development Specialists Training and development specialists earn a median salary of $54,160 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $87,790 in Indiana.
  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists earn a median salary of $50,050 in Indiana.
  • Human Resources Assistants HR assistants in Indiana earn a median salary of $38,590 and a top (90thpercentile) salary of $50,400.

A Closer Look at Careers in Human Resources with Some of Indiana’s Top Employers

With Indiana’s healthcare industry representing the state’s single biggest employer, major hospital systems throughout the state rely heavily on the talented professionals that make up their substantial HR departments.

Some of the largest employers in Indiana, according to the BLS, include:

  • Community Health Network: 16,000 employees
  • Purdue University West Lafayette: 15,304 employees
  • IU Health University Hospital: 13,479 employees
  • Parkview Birthing Center: 10,000 employees
  • Vincent Medical Group: 10,000 employees
  • Vincent Hospital Emergency: 10,000 employees

Job descriptions found in vacancy announcements for HR professionals provide a better understanding of what’s involved in working as an HR generalist, coordinator, or specialist with some of Indiana’s top employers (Shown for illustrative purposes only): 

HR Generalist, Apollo Security  Job duties include the development of department goals, administering the company compensation program, and recruiting volunteers, students, and other nonexempt personnel

Human Resources Coordinator, Ryder  Job duties include organizing company activities, coordinating the annual wage survey data processes, conducting employee orientations, and supporting employees in their Annual Benefits Enrollment

Benefits and Wellness Specialist, Finish Line  Job duties include working with injured workers and ensuring those workers understand their benefits, working towards federal compliance on a number of workplace issues including worker’s compensation and leaves of absence and assisting the benefits team with annual open enrollment.

Preparing for a Career in Human Resources with the Right Degree

HR training specialists, compensation and benefits managers, labor relations specialists, and other HR professionals often hold undergraduate or graduate degrees in any one of a number of majors related to human resources and human resource management:

  • Human Resources
  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Administration
  • Industrial Relations
  • Industrial Organizational Relations/Psychology

A bachelor’s degree is appropriate for most positions, including those in lower-to-mid-level management. Upper-level management and executive positions are generally reserved for those with a master’s degree or specialized MBA.

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Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Human Resources and Human Resource Management

Human resources programs at the undergraduate level can be structured as conventional BA/BS programs with a major in human resources, BA/BA programs in business management with a minor in human resources, or as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs with a concentration in human resource management:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Human Resources concentration
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management with a Human Resources Specialization
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management

Typical coursework can depend largely on the way the program is structured and the choice of major:

Bachelor of Science or Arts in Human Resources

  • Workforce planning and development
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employee training
  • Employee health and safety
  • Human resource management
  • Labor law

Bachelor of Science or Arts in Human Resource Management

  • Staffing
  • Training and development
  • Compensation and rewards
  • Global human resource management
  • Career management
  • Benefits
  • Corporate governance
  • Conflict management
  • Diversity

Master’s Degree Programs in Human Resource Management (HRM)

Professionals with a master’s or specialized MBA in human resources management are well-qualified for corporate and public sector leadership positions.

Graduate programs don’t always require a specific undergraduate major when enrolling new students, making them ideal for everyone from recent college grads to career changers.

However, these programs do typically stipulate specific prerequisites that include coursework in general business topics.

Typical master’s degrees in HRM include:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Human Resources specialization
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • 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 Science (MS) in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Human Resource Management

Typical coursework can depend largely on the way the program is structured:

Master of Science or Arts in Human Resource Management

  • Law, Ethics, and Politics in Human Relations
  • Business Foundations
  • Change Leadership
  • Human Resources Global Contexts
  • Corporate Communication
  • Business Research
  • Human Resource Information Systems

Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Human Resource Management

  • Economics, Mathematics, and Statistics for Business
  • Business Finances
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Responsible Corporate Leadership
  • Strategic Management
  • Strategic HR Management
  • Business Law

Voluntary Certification Programs

While the state’s top employers often require that job candidates for key HR positions hold an undergraduate or graduate degree, voluntary certification through a national certifying body is also often preferred:

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)

What Some of Indiana’s Top Employers Look for When Hiring HR Managers and Specialists

The education requirements shown in the following job postings help illustrate the value of holding the right kind of degree (Shown for illustrative purposes only): 

Human Resources Manager, Lowe’s – Preferred qualifications: Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification or equivalent

Human Resources Specialist, Indiana University  A bachelor’s degree is required, but preference will be given to HR practitioners with experience in a university setting and who are involved with hiring faculty and staff; PHR/SPHR/SHRM-CP/SCP preferred

Human Resources Manager, Artemis  Educational requirements include a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business, organizational behavior/development, or human resource management; PHR or SPHR Certifications is preferred

Executive Talent Acquisition Professional, Fifth Third Bank  A bachelor’s degree in HR or a business-related field is required

Director of Recruiting, Titus – A bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related business degree is required, but a master’s degree or MBA is preferred

Manager of Learning and Leadership Development, Angie’s List  An undergraduate degree in human resources, education, or a related field is required; an M.B.A. or graduate degree in education is a plus

Top HR Employers and Professional Associations in Indiana

Shown here are Indiana’s top public sector HR employers, staffing firms, and professional associations:

State Government

Professional Associations

Private Staffing Firms


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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 Indiana Department of Workforce Development 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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