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

In May 2019, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released Louisiana’s highest GDP on record – $255.5 billion. Growth has been rapid and unprecedented here for the last two years, growing at a rate of 5.1% and outpacing the U.S. rate of 4.7%. Economic growth in the Bayou State is diverse, with GDP growth strong among many different business sectors.

Add to that an unemployment rate of just 4.3 percent in August 2019 and it’s clear that Louisiana has set the foundation for exceptional professional opportunities in the human resources field. In short, a dynamic economy highlighted by a low unemployment rate and strong job growth translates into a greater demand for HR managers, specialists, and assistants tasked with managing a growing workforce.

Job projections from the Louisiana Workforce Commission and salary statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide a glimpse into the exciting opportunities awaiting HR professionals in Kentucky:

Human Resources Management

  • Human Resources Managers The number of human resources managers in Louisiana is expected to grow by 11.2 percent between 2016 and 2016, rising from 1,520 to 1,690.
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers The median salary for Louisiana’s compensation and benefits managers is $77,070, with the top 10% here earning an average salary of $125,710.
  • Training and Development Managers The number of training and development managers in Louisiana is projected to grow by 12.5 percent between 2016 and 2026 – that’s higher than the national projected growth rate of 10.5 percent for these professionals.

Human Resources Specialists and Assistants

  • Human Resources Specialists Human resources specialists in Louisiana earn a median salary of $51,880 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $82,200.
  • Labor Relations Specialists The median salary for labor relations specialists in Louisiana is $39,270.
  • Training and Development Specialists The number of training and development specialists is projected to increase by 13.5 percent between 2016 and 2026, rising from 2,150 to 2,440.
  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists in Louisiana earn a median salary of $44,250.
  • Human Resources Assistants Louisiana’s HR assistants earn a median salary of $38,070, which is slightly lower than the national median salary of $40,390 for these professionals.

Louisiana’s largest employers drive both the economy and the demand for human resources professionals in all areas of specialization. The BLS recognizes the following as the largest employers in the state, as of September 2019:

  • Ochsner Medical Center: 8,049 employees
  • University Health Shreveport: 7,000 employees
  • Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health: 6,105 employees
  • Ingalls Shipbuilding: 6,000 employees
  • Tulane University: 5,000 employees
  • Hilton – New Orleans Riverside: 5,000 employees

What Louisiana’s Employers Look for When Hiring Human Resources Managers and Specialists

A sampling of recent job postings offers a glimpse into the type of education that is either required or preferred by some Louisiana’s top employers (Shown for illustrative purposes only): 

Senior Manager/Director, HR Operations – Albemarle – A bachelor’s degree in business, human resources or other relevant degree is preferred.

Corporate Human Resources Recruiter – eQHealth Solutions – Education requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a related field or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

Human Resources Manager – CenturyLink – A bachelor’s degree is required, but a master’s degree is preferred.

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

A Bachelor of Science/Arts (BS/BA) or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) related to human resources is often a minimum requirement for human resources specialists and other lower-to-mid-level management jobs:

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

All bachelor’s-level programs in human resources will include courses on core HR functions, such as:

  • Recruiting
  • Employment law
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Labor relations
  • Training and development
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Degrees in business administration with a specialized concentration in human resource management include a full suite of courses related to business management:

  • Accounting
  • Statistical techniques
  • Business skills and environment
  • Human resource management in a market economy
  • Operations management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Business policy
  • Staffing organizations
  • Employee benefits and compensation administration
  • Negotiation and conflict management

Master’s Degrees in Human Resource Management (HRM)

Master’s degree programs in human resource management are well suited for advancement to upper-level management and executive positions.

Although admission criteria for HRM graduate programs don’t always stipulate a specific undergraduate major, prerequisite courses in areas such as business law and are often required. Master’s degree programs in HR are often ideal pursuits for career changers, as they accommodate candidates with a variety of undergraduate degrees.

The following are among the graduate degree options available to HR managers in Louisiana:

  • 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 Arts (MA) in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Human Resource Management
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Management with a Human Resources concentration

A master’s (MA or MS) in HRM typically includes such specialized courses, such as:

  • Diversity management
  • Legal environment
  • Career development and management
  • Strategic management for the MAM
  • Foundation of management theory
  • Management information systems

An MBA with a specialized concentration in HRM features additional business-related courses, such as:

  • Accounting and finance: managerial use and analysis
  • Applied managerial statistics
  • Leadership and organizational behavior
  • Marketing management
  • Managerial finance
  • Business economics

Professional Certification in Human Resources

Upon graduation from human resources undergraduate and graduate degree programs, some HR professionals choose to obtain certification from a nationally recognized organization:

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)

Job Descriptions for Human Resource Positions Found in Louisiana

Louisiana’s human resources managers and specialists are employed largely with state and municipal government agencies, healthcare providers, and academic institutions with substantial human resources departments.

Job descriptions from vacancy announcements offer a glimpse into the daily duties of HR managers and specialists working for some of Louisiana’s top employers (Shown for illustrative purposes only): 

Sr. Human Resources Manager, The Bayou Companies, LLC – Job duties include:

  • Developing and implementing strategies to link the human resources agenda to the company’s business plan
  • Working with regional management on staffing
  • Ensuring that employees receive fair, unbiased treatment

Human Resources Specialist, OWCP, Department of Veterans Affairs – The specialist will:

  • Review compensation claims filed under the Worker’s Compensation Program
  • Serve as an advisor for the Federal employee retirement, group life insurance, health benefits, and the Thrift Savings Plan programs
  • Counsel injured workers on their entitlements/responsibilities

Human Resources Employers and Professional Associations in Louisiana

The following list shows some of Louisiana’s staffing companies, state government HR departments, and professional associations dedicated to advocacy for human resources professionals in the state:

Staffing and Recruiting Companies


Professional Associations


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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 Louisiana Workforce Commission 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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