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Bachelors and Masters Programs for a Human Resources Management Career in New York

With more than 29,000 human resource specialists and more than 9,500 human resource managers largely concentrated in the global business and financial center of NYC, it is no surprise that New York is among the top five states in the nation when it comes to employment in the field of human resources.

In even better news, New York is also one of the top-paying states in the nation for professionals in the field, with HR specialists earning an average of more than $69,000 and HR managers earning an average of $135,300 according to data released by the US Department of Labor in 2014.

The New York State Department of Labor reveals that between 2012 and 2022, HR managers and specialists have very favorable employment prospects, with:

  • The number of HR manager jobs increasing by 11.1 percent
  • The number of HR specialist jobs increasing by 10.2 percent

Because HR professionals are responsible for recruiting, screening, training, and managing the workforce within all companies, the overall growth of New York’s job market inherently reflects the growing demand for HR professionals at every level – from recruiters and hiring managers, to benefits specialists and labor relations managers.

In April 2015, the unemployment rate in New York dropped to the lowest it has been since 2008, reaching a low 5.5 percent. Top corporations and other employers contributing to the state’s growing workforce and the increasing demand for HR professionals include municipal government, healthcare providers, the finance industry and more:

  • The City of New York
  • New York City Department of Education
  • S. Government
  • State of New York
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.
  • Mount Sinai Health System
  • Macy’s Inc.
  • Citigroup Inc.
  • Bank of America
  • Montefiore Medical Center

These organizations, listed among the top twenty-five largest employers by Crain’s New York Business in 2013, have a growing need for skilled HR professionals to manage labor relations, benefits, compensation and payroll, employee training, and more.

What Top Employers Look for When Hiring and Promoting HR Professionals

From recruitment specialists and hiring managers, to benefits managers and training specialists, among many others, a career in human resources provides opportunities to specialize in a number of distinct areas.

A survey of job ads helps reveal what employers are looking for in human resource professionals when it comes to education, experience and certification (from a survey of job ads taken in May 2015 and shown for illustrative purposes only):

Human Resources Jobs in New York with the Federal Government

To illustrate the type of qualifications the federal government is looking for in human resource professionals, the GS requirements associated with HR jobs are listed here:

  • GS-05: Requires four-year bachelor’s degree
  • GS-07: Requires four-year bachelor’s degree with superior academic achievement OR one academic year of graduate education
  • GS-09: Requires master’s degree (or equivalent) OR two years of progressively higher education
  • GS-11: Requires PhD (or equivalent) OR three years of progressively higher education
  • GS-12: Requires completed PhD

Examples of human resources jobs in New York with the Federal government include:

Human Resources Specialist (Military) for the Army National Guard in Watervliet – Applicants for this position should be in the national guard and meet GS-09 qualification criteria.

Human Resources Assistant (Military) for the Air National Guard in Syracuse – Applicants for this position must be part of the New York national guard and meet GS-07 criteria.

Human Resources Jobs in New York with the State and Local Government

Human resource job openings for the city of New York may be found through state and municipal resources like Public Service Careers with the City of New York and State Jobs NY.

To illustrate the type of qualifications New York State and city employers are looking for, job titles and associated requirements are included in the descriptions shown here:

HR Director of Special Projects for the New York City Department of Correction in Queens – To apply for this position, applicants should have a master’s degree in human resources management, management science, economics, finance, accounting, business, public administration, operations research, organizational behavior, industrial psychology, labor relations, HR development, or another related fiend.

This professional will support recruitment, contribute to marketing, manage and develop career partnerships with schools, colleges, and other institutions, and more.

Senior Director of Labor Relations for the Bureau of Human Resources Department of Health in Queens – Applicants for this position should hold a master’s degree in human resources, labor or industrial relations, business or public administration, economics, or statistics, plus have four years of full-time HR experience.

This professional will provide HR management by developing and implementing policies and serving as a representative to the NYC Office of Labor Relations.

Human Resources Jobs in New York’s Private Sector

Job descriptions and associated requirements for HR professionals in New York’s private sector are shown in this survey of job postings from May 2015:

Human Resources Manager with Corporate Recruiting/Confidential Company in Hauppauge – Applicants for this position should have either a bachelor’s degree in HR management, business, or a related field with eight years of experience, or they should have a master’s degree in HR management, business or a related field with six years of experience.

This position focuses on overseeing all HR functions and responsibilities, as well as designing, planning, and implementing all training programs.

Payroll and Benefits Manager for Medical Knowledge Group in New York – Applicants for this position should have a bachelor’s degree in human resources (or a related field) and five to seven years of experience in payroll and benefits administration.

Primary responsibilities for this position include ensuring the smooth administration of payroll, analyzing company policies, and leading new hires through orientation.

Human Resource Coordinator for KPMG in New York – Applicants for this position should have a bachelor’s degree in human resources and one year of HR administrative experience.

This professional will foster a high-performance culture by responding to payroll, new hire, and termination needs and processing transfers, promotions, and leaves of absence.

Getting the Right Qualifications for a Career in Human Resources

Although advancing to a master’s degree allows human resource professionals to be qualified for more advanced job opportunities, many HR professionals begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree.

When it comes to choosing a major, HR professionals have a wide range to choose from, including degrees in human resources, business, industrial relations, and more. While the general human resources major will prepare students to serve as generalists and specialists with limited authority, other majors can tailor the education to more specific roles in areas such as management or labor relations.

Degrees in human resources are offered at schools throughout New York, as well as online and through blended programs that combine both distance and classroom learning.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree have quite a few options, including, but not limited to:

  • Bachelor’s in Human Resources
  • Bachelor’s in Human Resources Management
  • Bachelor’s in Business, with a concentration in human resources
  • Bachelor’s in Business Management, with a concentration in human resources
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), with a concentration in human resources

Obtaining a degree in human resources will provide students with an education relevant to all human resources-related duties. Degree programs such as these will include, but not be limited to, courses in:

  • Federal and State Employment Law
  • Management-Labor Relations
  • American Labor Movement
  • Collective Bargaining
  • HR Information Systems
  • Strategic Staffing
  • Compensation, Payroll, and Benefits
  • HR Management Training
  • Education and Development

On the other hand, a degree in business with a concentration in human resources is more likely to have a thorough blend of business and HR courses, including:

  • Accounting
  • Business Information Systems
  • Operations Management
  • HR Management
  • Security Management
  • Sustainability
  • Small Business Management
  • Finance
  • Principals of Marketing
  • E-commerce

With a bachelor’s degree, students will be qualified to perform duties related to such HR jobs as:

  • Payroll and Benefits Manager
  • HR Coordinator
  • HR Specialist

Master’s Degrees in Human Resources

Advancing to a master’s degree shows employers a deep level of dedication to professional excellence. Obtaining a master’s degree allows HR professionals to more easily advance to upper-level management and executive positions.

Graduate students may choose from a number of options including, but not limited to:

  • Master’s in Human Resources
  • Master’s in Human Resources Management
  • Master of Management (MAM) in Human Resources
  • Master’s in Industrial Organizational Development
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources
  • Master’s in Human Resources and Industrial Relations

A master’s in human resources will provide in-depth education on such topics as:

  • Human Resources Research and Analysis
  • Employee Relations and Labor Relations
  • Compensation, Rewards, and Benefits
  • HR Management and Leadership
  • Organizational Change
  • Employment and Labor Laws
  • Education, Training, and Development

A master’s in business administration with a concentration in human resources management will focus more broadly on business leadership in the context of managing human resources. An MBA in Human Resource Management will include, but will not be limited to, courses such as these:

  • Strategic Marketing
  • Accounting Management
  • Economic Management
  • Corporate Leadership and Management
  • HR Management
  • HR and Business in Global, Multinational Contexts
  • Human Behavioral Analysis in Organizations
  • Change Leadership

With a master’s degree, HR professionals will be qualified to perform duties related to such HR roles as:

  • HR Manager
  • HR Director
  • HR Supervisor

Human Resources Professional Certifications

Obtaining a professional certification from either the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) or the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) is a great way to stand out as a dedicated and qualified HR professional.

Among the best recognized certifications are:



New York’s HR Professional Resources, Employers, and Associations

Professional human resources associations, major employers, and staffing firms throughout New York include, but are not limited to:

New York HR Associations

Major HR Departments in New York

New York HR Staffing Firms

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