Bachelors and Masters Programs for a Human Resources Management Career in North Carolina

Through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Projections Management Department, the North Carolina Employment Security Commission released data showing job trends for human resource managers, specialists and assistants through 2026. Between 2016 and 2026:

HR Management Roles

  • Compensation and Benefits Managers5 percent increase for an average of 40 openings per year
  • Human Resources Managers4 percent increase for an average of 370 openings per year
  • Training and Development Managers7 percent increase for an average of 80 openings per year

Non-managerial HR Roles

  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists4 percent increase for an average of 240 openings per year
  • Human Resources Specialists5 percent increase for an average of 1,700 openings per year
  • Training and Development Specialists9 percent increase for an average of 1,100 openings per year
  • Labor Relations Specialists: 9 percent increase for an average of 80 openings per year
  • Human Resources Assistants: No increase, but an average of 550 openings per yearas a result of normal turnover in the workforce
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Pepperdine
Online master's in HR. Aligns with SHRM requirements - No GRE/GMAT required
Rasmussen College
Online Human Resources and Organizational Leadership Associate's/Bachelor's
Capella University
100% online DBA, PhD, MS, and BS degrees in Human Resources Management
Southern New Hampshire University
MS and BS in Human Resource Management
Benedictine University
Online Bachelor of Arts in Management in Human Resources Management
University of Scranton's
Online Master of Science in Human Resources Program
Saint Joseph's University
MS in Strategic Human Resource Management Program

The following list includes North Carolina’s top employers, which are largely responsible for driving the demand for skilled HR professionals in the state:

Between 20,000-32,999 employees:

  • Carolinas HealthCare System
  • Wells Fargo

Between 10,000-19,999 employees:

  • American Airlines
  • Bank of America
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Between 5,000-9,999 employees:

  • North Carolina State Government
  • City of Charlotte

Between 3,000-4,999 employees:

  • AT&T North Carolina
  • Cabarrus County Schools
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Exploring Careers in Human Resources with North Carolina’s Top Employers

Projected job growth for human resource professionals in North Carolina tends to align with key growth industries and major employers. In general, job growth among major employers indicates an inherent need for more human resource professionals to recruit, vet, hire, train and manage a growing number of employees.

Human Resources Positions with the Federal Government

In North Carolina, human resource professionals may be found within the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Commerce, and more (shown for illustrative purposes only):

Human Resource Specialist (Military) with the Department of the Army in Knightdale – This position will review, analyze, and coordinate HR studies, maintain an efficient relationship between employees and headquarters, and conduct periodic special staff visits.

HR jobs with the federal government are typically classified as GS-05 to GS-11:

  • GS-05: Four-year bachelor’s degree
  • GS-07: Four-year bachelor’s degree (with superior academic achievement) OR one academic year of graduate education
  • GS-09: Master’s degree (or equivalent) OR two academic years of progressively higher level graduate education
  • GS-11: PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) OR three academic years of progressively higher education

Human Resources Positions with State and Local Governments

State and local government human resource jobs are found within the North Carolina University system and the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, among other state organizations (shown for illustrative purposes only):

Title IX Coordinator with Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville –In this position, the professional will be the guiding resource for Title IX issues throughout the university, ensuring that discrimination laws and regulations are adhered to. A master’s degree is required.

Administrative Officer III / FNS Employment and Training with North Carolina Office of State Human Resources in Wake County – Working with the Alabama Department of Health and Human Services in the Division of Economic and Family Services, this professional is tasked with removing barriers preventing local partnerships between community partners and employers, while helping clients establish and sustain employment. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Agency Human Resources Director III with the Office of State Human Resources in Wake County – In this position, you will focus on creating strategies and plans to coordinate and administer the human resource programs that influence talent management, employee relations, classification and compensation, recruitment and staffing, EEO diversity and inclusion, benefits, retention, organizational culture enhancement, and more. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Human Resources Manager with the Department of Health and Human Services in Pitt County – In this position, the HR Manager will consult with and manage the professional leadership staff to understand all aspects of the HR program, including workplace safety, employee relations, salary and benefits administration, and more. This professional will also play a role in forecasting staffing needs and developing effective relationships with management and employees. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Human Resources Positions in the Private Sector

There are various jobs for Human Resource professionals within the private sector, ranging from employee services specialist to associate business partner. Job descriptions and requirements from a few private sector human resources job ads placed in North Carolina are shown here as examples (shown for illustrative purposes only):

Human Resources Generalist with Velocitel in Raleigh – Working daily with internal directors, managers, and employees, this person will focus on administering HR processes, policies, and programs, including recruitment and selection, employee onboarding, performance management, benefits, employee relations, and employment law compliance. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Employee Services Specialist with Informatica in Cary – Within the larger Human Resources Operations team, you will work with other HR professionals in the company to ensure excellence in overall quality, efficiency, and strategic service. Specifically, the role will involve being the one-stop-shop for all employees and managers within the company and detailing all important HR matters. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Associate Human Resources Business Partner with Interactive Intelligence Inc. in Durham – This position will focus on providing guidance to employees on important human resources issues such as company guidelines, team member relations, compliance, performance, and training and development. A bachelor’s degree is required.

How to Qualify for Careers in Human Resources with North Carolina’s Top Employers

The biggest employers in North Carolina look to retain management-level HR professionals, who generally have a master’s or MBA with an HR management specialization. However, many start their careers as HR specialists or generalists with a bachelor’s degree in human resources.

Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources

At the undergraduate level, most universities will offer generalist human resources degrees, which include research and study across many different areas within the field, such as recruitment, staffing, training, development, benefits, compensation, etc. This allows students to qualify for a wide variety of careers upon graduation.

Select undergraduate programs will allow students to obtain a specific specialization within the field of human resources, such as concentrating on finance, marketing, or project management.

Students may obtain either a bachelor of science, which will focus on more quantitative issues, such as recruitment and staffing, or a bachelor of arts, which will focus on more theoretical issues, such as employment law or organizational culture.

Although undergraduate degrees in human resources will generally be found under the title, “Human Resources Management,” some programs may label the degree differently, such as “Labor Studies and Employment Relations.”

Human resources undergraduate programs generally include, but are not limited to, the following core courses:

  • Developing a Business Perspective
  • Fundamentals of Management and Leadership
  • Business Law
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Communication
  • Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance

With a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, job candidates may qualify for a wide range of jobs. Some examples taken from job postings in North Carolina include (shown for illustrative purposes only):

  • Human Resources Generalist with Velocitel in Raleigh
  • Employee Services Specialist with Informatica in Cary
  • Human Resources Generalist with Occidental Fire & Casualty in Raleigh
  • Associate Human Resources Business Partner with Interactive Intelligence Inc. in Durham
  • Human Resources Consultant with Laboratory Corporation of America in Burlington
  • Administrative Officer III / FNS Employment and Training with North Carolina Office of State Human Resources in Wake County
  • Human Resources Manager with the Department of Health and Human Services in Pitt County

Earning a Master’s Degree in Human Resources

North Carolina’s HR professionals with a graduate-level education are more likely to find jobs in HR management or consulting.

Though entrance requirements differ by program, in general, a master’s degree program will require applicants to meet these two criteria:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited university (human resources or business management preferred)
  • Have maintained a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate studies

Many master’s programs in human resources offer both on-campus and online curriculums in order to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. Through such programs, professionals may obtain any of the following graduate degrees:

  • Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Human Resources
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with HR Concentration
  • MA or MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • MA in Management (MAM) with HR Concentration
  • MA or MS in Human Capital Development
  • MA or MS in Industrial Relations

Programs generally include 10-12 courses, including, but not limited to, the following coursework:

  • HR Leadership and Ethics
  • Strategic HR and Measurement
  • Recruitment, Selection, and Ret
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Organizational Development
  • Research Methods
  • Finance for HR Leaders
  • Employee and Labor Relations
  • Performance Management
  • Legal Issues and Human Resources
  • Field Experience

With a master’s degree in Human Resources, job candidates may qualify for advanced jobs in the field.

  • Human Resources Business Partner Director with Lenovo Talent in Raleigh
  • Title IX Coordinator with Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville
  • Human Resources Specialist (Military) with the Department of the Army in Knightdale

Professional certification

Employers may require HR professionals in their employ to hold certification, or attain it as they gain experience and advance. Even when this isn’t a stated requirement, employers recognize the credential as denoting a certain level of professional competence. The most widely recognized certification agencies for HR professionals are:

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)

North Carolina’s HR Resources and Employers

State government HR departments, professional associations and staffing firms in North Carolina include.

Professional Organizations in North Carolina

Major Human Resources Departments in North Carolina

North Carolina Human Resources Staffing Firms

 

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.

Job growth projections sourced from the North Carolina Department of Commerce and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

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