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PhD in Human Resources

The field of human resource or HR deals with searching, recruitment and retention of highly qualified and skilled individuals within an organization. It also devises various strategies in order to boost productivity, gain maximum benefit from an employee’s abilities and increase profitability.

PhD in human resources

A PhD in human resources degree examines interpersonal relationships in an organization’s vital resources- employees, leadership, and the general business organization. It explores the policies used by organizations to maximize employee productivity and satisfaction. PhD candidates study a variety of core subjects such as organizational management, human capital and labor economics

Students conduct research in the discipline to explore concepts, theories, and methods required for decision making. The program prepares them for careers such as researchers, scholars, managers, and consultants in the field of human resource management.

What are the program requirements?

The PhD program typically requires a master’s degree from an accredited institute. The program may take up to 7 years to complete, depending on the courses taken and credits transferred.

About Online PhD in human resources programs

Online PhD programs in human resources differ from campus-based programs in a number of ways. These programs offer a convenient learning experience, enabling students to continue work while studying. Students also save time and money by avoiding commute to campuses. Finally, online programs are relatively less expensive than campus programs.

Program curriculum

The curriculum usually comprises of the following courses in the first four years:

Year 1

  • Management in Societal and Human Development

This course examines the scope and nature of human knowledge and how it is incorporated into knowledge-based organizations.

  • Research design, theory, and methods

This course prepares students for knowledge and skills for designing and understanding research at doctoral level.

  • Management of organizational systems

In this course students are taught core concepts to examine and execute change within organizations.

Year 2

  • Management for decision making

In this course students are taught tools to make effective and timely decisions for management purposes.

  • Effective human resource management

Students are taught advanced research methods and the implications for effective human resource management.

  • Development of human capital within organizations

In this course students are taught how human capital is developed and managed within organizations.

Year 3

  • Quantitative reasoning and analysis

This course enables students to develop core knowledge and skills for designing qualitative research.

  • Role of human resource management in conflict resolution

This course explores relationships requiring the ability to assess, recognize and negotiate conflict resolutions.

Year 4

  • Doctorial dissertation

In the final dissertation, students examine, and critique scholarly material and develop new ideas to be tested.

The above mentioned coursework is usual for many programs. However, it may vary by different degrees between schools. For exact information, consult your college advisor.

Why should you consider a PhD degree in HR?

The degree is designed to prepare professionals to qualify for top managerial positions or research and academia. These include employment and recruitment specialists, training experts, senior consultants and human resource managers. PhD graduates are also well suited to become professors and researchers in human resource management.

According to the figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities in HR are expected to increase. For instance where jobs for human resource managers will increase by 13 percent during the 2010-2020 period, those for human resource specialists will jump 21 percent. BLS also reports the median salaries of the above mentioned professions as being $102,780 and $57,420 respectively as of May 2014.

According to BLS, the median annual salary of human resource specialists was $57,420 in May 2014.

According to BLS, the median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $62,330 in May 2014.

Human resource Specialists

Human resource specialists perform various activities in the field which include,

  • Consult with employers to determine employment requirements
  • To hire or refer appropriate candidates for employers
  • To inform candidates about job details and conduct orientation sessions

According to BLS, the median annual salary of human resource specialists was $ 55,800 in May 2012.

Post Secondary lecturers

These professors perform various tasks apart from teaching. They develop student curriculum, advise students, and publish research. According to BLS, the median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $68,970 in May 2012.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a PhD in Human Resources?

A PhD in Human Resource Management is for those who want to pursue a career in research & teaching or in management and consultancy. Opting for a full time, on-campus PhD degree versus an online degree depends on the students’ preferences.

There are several universities in the U.S. such as, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University and University of Illinois etc. that offer a PhD degree in Human Resources. A full-time on-campus PhD degree often takes 3 to 5 years to complete whereas, a part time or an online degree can be completed in a span of 7 years.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a PhD in Human Resources?

To complete a PhD degree in Human Resources, students are required to take a combination of lectures, assignments, projects and write at least 2 publish worthy articles each year of their doctorate degree. In addition to that, it is required for students to clear comprehensive exams, a viva and writing a thesis or completing a project in the field. These requirements are subject to variation from university to university.

How Much Can I Make After Completing a PhD in Human Resources?

Every year, many people with a PhD degree in Human Resources choose to become business teachers in a college/university. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (2018), reported $103,330 per year as the mean income for business teachers.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Which institutes are offering doctoral programs in human resources?

A:There are various schools listed on our website that offer doctoral degree programs in human resources. Capella University, Northcentral University, Walden University, The Ohio State University and the Cornell University's ILR School are another few institutes offering doctoral degree in human resources.

Q:Can you tell me how to get PhD in human resources?

A:Admission requirements may vary among different institutes. However there are some general requirements. In order to pursue a PhD in human resources, you will need a master's degree from an institution, which is accredited by US Department of Education. There will also be a certain grade point average requirement to fulfill for a PhD in human resources.

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