5 Key Courses in a Master’s in Human Resources Program

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Updated October 2, 2020

Important Master's in Human Resources Courses

  • Employee Recruitment
  • Employee Training
  • Motivating Employees
  • Incentive Packages
  • Arbitrating Disputes

As long as people will be hiring, firing, and managing employees, human resources (HR) will be a lucrative field to enter. It is important to understand which key courses should be completed during a master's program. These 5 are the most common, and therefore the most important to prepare for.

Related Resource: Most Affordable Top Master's in Human Resources Online Degree Programs 2020

1. Employee Recruitment

In chronological order, the first role of HR is to recruit new employees. This course will teach students how to advertise positions and find talent. They will learn how to look for appropriate qualifications among the various application documents. They will gain an understanding of how to properly interact with potential candidates, and what to look for in these interactions.

2. Employee Training

Upon completion of hiring desired candidates, part of the HR role is to organize and execute new hire trainings. This is a dynamic process to grasp, as each role within the organization requires unique training procedures. Each new hire will have unique sets of existing knowledge and experience. This course will teach students how to navigate the process. It will provide them with tools for becoming effective instructors and interacting with a wide variety of new hire personalities.

3. Motivating Employees

Since the training process consumes time, energy, and financial resources, it is beneficial for organizations to retain trained employees for as long as possible. It falls on the shoulders of HR to motivate seasoned employees to stay with the organization and continue putting forth their best efforts. This course will teach students how to motivate employees without being overly punitive or sacrificing the integrity of the organization. Students will also learn methods for identifying and addressing issues of employee motivation early, before it becomes a matter of dispute.

4. Incentive Packages

Part of how those in HR positions carry out employee motivation is through incentive packages. This includes, but is not limited to, base salary, bonuses, paid sick leave, paid vacation time, healthcare benefits, and travel reimbursement. This course will guide students through the various aspects of incentive packages, which types of organizations utilize each, how to present them, and how to complete the paperwork for them. It will also cover how and when to approach and negotiate the topic of incentive packages in the hiring process, as well as how to mediate communication about incentive packages between employees and the officials who make final decisions about incentive package offers.

5. Arbitrating Disputes

A major portion of the HR role is arbitration of disputes among employees and between the employees and the employer. HR is usually the first point of contact, and this course will teach students how to triage disputes. HR usually delivers the message to employees when those in leadership positions initiate disputes. This includes termination of employment. Since these tasks are sensitive and require excellent interpersonal skills, this course is highly important.

Careers in human resources are multifaceted. This means that the work will always be challenging and interesting. While there are great entry-level positions in human resources, as described by the US News & World Report, additional training through a master's degree is crucial for advanced careers. These are the 5 courses that will be most influential throughout the academic preparation for an advanced career in human resources.

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