The Benefits Of Getting An MBA When You Work In Human Resources

By Lucy Wyndham | August 6, 2021

Human resources jobs are in demand, and it is predicted that the job outlook will increase 6 percent faster than average until 2029. This increasing market for human resources professionals has put a premium on skilled labor and qualified applicants, creating upward momentum on salaries for those in the field. Taking full advantage of this market requires applicants to excel and stand out, and more job seekers are beginning to realize that getting an MBA can be a tremendous advantage in the application process.

MBA graduates reap (financial) rewards

It has long been established that getting an MBA increases the earnings potential of the degree holder over their lifetime, with recent studies showing gains of roughly $400,000. This holds equally true for those in the human resources field, but with even more importance. An MBA always shows employers your work ethic, intelligence, and dedication to your field, regardless of position. For HR professionals, however, it also shows your employer that you understand the financial side of the business.
Gone are the days when MBA was thought to be only for the privileged. Nowadays, business schools are embracing neurodiversity and have become more inclusive, so anyone who wants to pursue higher education can do so to further their careers. For those looking to advance to the top levels of their organization, this latter advantage can be critical. Rather than being seen as someone who exclusively understands the HR process, obtaining an MBA shows the business acumen to succeed in other areas of the company if it was desired.

An MBA stands out in a crowd

While the job prospects for qualified human resources candidates remain strong, the true leverage in a salary negotiation comes from standing out as a superiorly qualified candidate. With a better educated and more experienced candidate pool than in years past, that can be difficult to do. Getting an MBA helps significantly in this regard. Studies show that a full 92 percent of corporate recruiters plan to hire an MBA in 2021. With more than nine out of ten corporate hiring managers looking for qualified candidates with an MBA, having one is sure to push applicants to the top of the list for interviews and salary discussions.

Senior management recognizes the value of an MBA

A study shows that 40 percent of executive leaders at the top 100 companies in the United States have an MBA. This makes getting an MBA five times more common among business leaders than in the general population. This is not a coincidence. With so many leadership positions occupied by MBA holders, there is a good chance a job applicant will be reviewed by one such individual. In these cases, not only would the applicant have the additional qualification, but they would have a shared experience and commitment with their hiring manager as well, which is certainly a good first step. The golden standard of a successful career in business would be reaching the C-Suite, defined as the positions of CEO, CFO, COO, CIO or, of course, the CHRM (Chief Human Resources Manager). Having an MBA not only elevates an employee’s resume, but also seems to share a strong correlation with reaching these premier positions.
Human resources is a growing field with a bright outlook for job seekers. Given those already favorable conditions, potential applicants would do well if they took the time and effort necessary to get their MBA and stand out as a truly top-tier candidate.