Human Resource (HR) Degree in Pennsylvania


Jim Glassman, the head economist at Chase Commercial Banking, predicted strong growth for Pennsylvania’s economy for 2015 in an interview with Smart Business.  Glassman pointed out that long-term gross GDP growth trends show momentum in the state’s economy.  In addition, Pennsylvania’s labor market saw steady gains in 2014.

As Pennsylvania-based companies increase hiring, HR professionals will be in demand to ensure that businesses retain top talent.  The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry projects strong demand for HR managers, with the number of jobs for these professionals increasing 1.3 times faster than the national average for this profession between 2012 and 2022. 

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HR Degrees Available Through Private Universities and State Schools in Pennsylvania

The variety of options in Pennsylvania’s HR management degree programs enable both high school graduates and experienced business professionals to choose the educational program that is best suited to their personal career path.

Associate’s Degree in Human Resources - Designed for those preparing to become HR assistants, payroll assistants, and compensation specialists, among others:

Associate of Applied Business in HR Management—Forty Fort (Online)

Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources - Designed for those preparing to become HR managers, recruiters and labor relations specialists:

Bachelor of Science in HR Management—Gwynedd Valley

  • 111 credit hours of coursework
  • Internship option for 14 credit hours

Bachelor of Science in HR Management

  • 120 credit hour program
  • 60 credit hours must be in non-business coursework
  • Candidates must be able to converse in a foreign language and have spent one semester abroad

Bachelor of Business Administration in HR Management—Philadelphia

  • Society for Human Resource Management chapter
  • Accelerated three-year option available
  • 18 credit hours in HR for the major

Bachelor of Science in Business with a minor in HR Management—La Plume (Online option)

  • 120 credit hour program
  • At least 18 credits in HR management
  • Part-time study is an option           

Master’s Degrees in Human Resources - Designed for those preparing to become HR managers or training and development managers, among others:

Master of Science in HR Management—Pittsburgh (Online)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Requires MAT, GRE, or GMAT within the past five years
  • 30 credit hours
  • Part-time program
  • Strategic focus

Master of Science in HR Management—Philadelphia

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 30 credit hour program
  • Can earn the degree in one year as a full-time student
  • Classes are offered during evenings and weekends

MBA with a Concentration in Human Resources Management - Designed for those preparing to become HR Directors or VPs, among others:

MBA with HR Management Concentration—Philadelphia (Hybrid online)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Full-time, two-year program
  • Limited number of scholarships and graduate externships available

MBA with an HR Management Concentration—Philadelphia (Online)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 48 credit hour minimum

4+1 MBA in HR Management—Gwynedd Valley

  • Students earning a BS in HR Management can earn an MBA by taking up to 12 graduate courses in their senior year and then spending an additional year taking graduate-level courses
  • 30 credit hour program

Doctoral Degrees in Human Resources Management – Designed for those preparing to become academic researchers in the HR field:

Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in HR Management and Organizational Behavior—Philadelphia

  • Seven-year time limit for completion
  • Typically students are funded for work as Research Assistants or Teaching Assistants

Ph.D. in Management with a specialization in HR Management

  • 16 graduate level course units
  • 3 management courses in the first year
  • At least 4 credit units in the HR specialization

Pennsylvania’s Largest Employers

As Pennsylvania’s economy continues to grow during 2015, economists predict strong growth in the health care sectors.  Along with the state’s major airport and large universities, health care entities in Pennsylvania are among the state’s largest employers.  The US Department of Labor provided a ranking of Pennsylvania’s major employers of HR professionals in 2014 along with their total number of employees:

  • Philadelphia International (Philadelphia) - 38,000
  • University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh) - 30,000
  • Pennsylvania State University (University Park) - 25,000
  • Highmark Health (Pittsburgh) - 11,746
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown) - 10,001
  • Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (Hershey) - 9,000
  • Temple University Physicians (Philadelphia) - 8,000
  • Vanguard Group, Inc.- Corporate HQ (Malvern) - 8,000
  • Lancaster General Family (Lancaster) - 7,001
  • Melton Client Service Center (Pittsburgh) - 7,000  

Salary Ranges for HR Professionals in Pennsylvania

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the salaries for a number of HR positions in Pennsylvania as of 2014.  The values shown range from the starting salaries at the bottom 10% (typically entry-level professionals) to the salaries of the top 10% (typically experienced professionals):

  • Human Resource Managers: $68,300 - <$187,199
  • Training and Development Managers: $71,730 - <$187,199
  • Human Resources Specialists: $36,450 - $96,900
  • Labor Relations Specialists: $16,780 - $94,680
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: $37,630 - $95,210
  • Training and Development Specialists: $31,970 - $95,890
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: $26,680 - $56,580
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping: $25,160 - $51,490

Job Growth Projections for HR Positions in Pennsylvania

Staffing companies in eastern and central Pennsylvania reported increases in hiring for both temporary and permanent positions in the fourth quarter of 2014 according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book.  Long-term predictions from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry indicate increased growth for a number of HR positions between 2012 and 2022:

  • Human Resource Managers: 17%                                               
  • Training and Development Managers: 11%           
  • Human Resources Specialists: 8%           
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: 4%           
  • Training and Development Specialists: 12%                       
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: 8%

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