Human Resource (HR) Degree in Kentucky


Kentucky’s most iconic companies – Yum! Brands and Humana – have a combined workforce of more than 360,000 worldwide. Not surprisingly, these corporations are also the top corporate employers of HR professionals, responsible for recruiting, training, and managing a huge workforce. The private sector is not alone in driving the demand for skilled HR leaders. Since 2009, Fort Knox has been the home of Human Resources Command, the US Army's main HR body.

Kentucky has some unique distinctions when it comes to total employment numbers and concentration of HR professionals. According to the US Department of Labor (2014):

  • The Elizabethtown area had one of the highest concentrations of HR professionals in the nation:
    • Human Resource Specialists – first nationally
    • Payroll and timekeeping clerks – first nationally
    • Human Resource Assistants (except payroll and timekeeping) – first nationally
  • The West Central Kentucky non-metropolitan area had some of the highest total employment numbers for HR professionals in the nation:
    • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists – third nationally
    • Training and Development Specialists – fifth nationally
    • Human Resources Managers – fifth nationally

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HR Degrees Available through State Schools and Private Universities in Kentucky

Human resource degrees available in Kentucky include:

Associate's Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those preparing to become payroll clerks, HR assistants, or timekeeping clerks, among others:

  • Associate of Arts (AA) in Business Administration with a focus in Human Resources
    • Located in Midway
    • Online option
    • 67 semester credits
  • Associate of Applied Science/Business (AAS/AAB) in Human Resources
    • Located in Florence
    • Online option
    • 96 quarter credits
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Human Resources Management
    • Online only
    • 60 semester credits

Bachelor's Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those preparing to become training, development, and hiring professionals, HR managers, and benefits specialists, among others:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Richmond
    • Some online classes
    • 120 semester credits
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Louisville
    • Online option
    • 120 semester credits
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Highland Heights
    • Some online classes
    • 120 semester credits
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with an emphasis in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Owensboro
    • Some online classes
    • 120 semester credits
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Leadership
    • Located in Louisville, Lexington, and Fort Knox
    • Online option
    • 180 quarter credits

Master's Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those preparing to reach towards advanced careers as HR managers, directors, and consultants:

  • Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development
    • Located in Louisville
    • Online option
    • 33-36 semester credits
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Leadership
    • Located in Louisville, Lexington, and Fort Knox
    • Online option
    • 48 quarter credits

Graduate Certificates in Human Resources – Designed for those who already have a base of knowledge in business, and want to expand their qualifications for careers in management:

  • Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Human Resources Management
    • Online only
    • 12 semester credits
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management
    • Online only
    • 18 semester credits

MBAs in Human Resources Management – Designed for those coming from a strong business background that want to expand their skills in HR to become labor relations specialists, managers, directors and more:

  • MBA in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Radcliff
    • 48-60 semester credits
    • Applicants without a background in business will need to complete prerequisites
  • MBA in Human Resource Management
    • Online only
    • 36-48 semester credits
  • MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management
    • Online only
    • 36 semester credits

Doctorate Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those who want to reach their full potential in this field, with careers like HR department managers and directors, as well as professors and academic researchers:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development with a specialization in Human Resources and Organizational Development
    • Located in Louisville
    • 90 semester credits
    • Students with a bachelor's degree can apply to this program
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Management with a concentration in Human Resource Leadership
    • Online only
    • 90 quarter credits
    • Applicants must have completed a relevant master's degree
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management
    • Online only
    • 60 semester credits
    • Applicants must have a graduate degree in a related field

Top Employers of HR Professionals in Kentucky

The following companies are some of the state's other largest employers, listed alongside their wider economic sectors. These statistics are provided by the Forbes 500 list for 2015 and the US Department of Commerce (2013):

  • Humana headquartered in Louisville with 57,000 employees; part of Kentucky's healthcare sector that employs a total of 210,345
  • Kindred Healthcare headquartered in Louisville with 50,100 employees; part of Kentucky's healthcare sector that employs a total of 210,345
  • General Cable headquartered in Highland Heights with 13,000 employees; part of Kentucky's electrical equipment and appliance manufacturing sector that employs a total of 11,015
  • Lexmark International headquartered in Lexington with 12,700 employees; part of Kentucky's computer and electronic product manufacturing sector that employs a total of 5,566
  • Ashland headquartered in Covington with 11,000 employees; part of Kentucky's plastics and rubber products manufacturing sector that employs a total of 15,426
  • Kentucky's restaurant and bar sector employs a total of 152,827
  • Kentucky's federal military sector employs a total of 53,700

Salaries for HR Professionals in Kentucky

The following salary numbers for HR professionals in Kentucky are provided by the US Department of Labor for 2014 and are shown here as the 10th percentile, total average, and the 90th percentile average:

  • Human Resource Managers – $50,200; $89,600; $133,850
  • Training and Development Managers – $50,530; $81,850; $116,100
  • Human Resources Specialists – $30,320; $54,530; $84,760
  • Labor Relations Specialists – $16,590; $45,530; $82,600
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists – $37,560; $56,750; $81,210
  • Training and Development Specialists – $29,970; $81,990
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks – $24,470; $37,030; $50,210
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping – $26,000; $38,410; $49,630

Job Growth Projections for HR Professionals in Kentucky (2012-2022)

The Kentucky Labor Market Information organization reports the following job number growth projections for the decade leading up to 2022:

  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks – 17 percent growth
  • Training and Development Specialists – 16 percent growth
  • Training and Development Managers – 16 percent growth
  • Human Resources Specialists – 15 percent growth
  • Human Resource Managers – 14 percent growth
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists – 9 percent growth

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