Human Resource (HR) Degree in Rhode Island


In an August 2015 Bloomberg Business feature piece, Rhode Island’s Governor Raimondo stated her commitment to building a robust economy that produces high-paying jobs.  She is actively enlisting the help of local CEOs, forgiving student-loan debt, and is in the process of fixing Rhode Island’s decaying transportation infrastructure. 

In particular, Providence is showing signs of recovering from the economic downturn of recent years according to the Boston Globe.  A small but active tech sector is one of the city’s bright spots, and companies are making substantial real estate investments in the city.  As of June 2015, two developers proposed investing about $500 million in offices, labs, retail, and housing near the waterfront.  In addition, the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox proposed building an $85 million stadium in Providence.

Plans such as these indicate that companies will be hiring in Rhode Island’s largest city.  The Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training predicts strong growth in a number of HR positions.  In fact, it projects that the level of increase in the number of HR manager positions in Rhode Island will be 50% greater than what is expected nationally according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Rhode Island’s business professionals have several options when it comes to obtaining high-level HR training from state schools and private universities.  Additional options include out-of-state schools that offer national online HR management programs.

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HR Degrees Available Through Private Universities and State Schools in Rhode Island

Business professionals in Rhode Island have a choice of bachelor’s degrees that provide a strong grounding in general business practices along with specific HR management training.  Prospective students seeking higher-level training in Rhode Island can obtain a master’s degree with a Juris Doctor dual degree option.

Rhode Island’s HR management options allow business professionals to choose the type of degree that is best suited to their career goals. 

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

Bachelor in Management—Concentration in HR Management—Smithfield

  • 122 credit hour program
  • Internship required

Bachelor of Science in Management with a Concentration in HR Management—Providence

  • 72-73 credit hours in HR courses

Master’s Degree in Human Resources - Designed for those preparing to become upper-level HR managers, directors or training and development managers, among others.

Master of Science in Labor Relations and HR

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 39 credit hours
  • Capstone course is a professional seminar program
  • Dual degree option to earn a JD

Graduate Certificate in Human Resources – Designed for graduate students in other fields seeking to enhance their HR knowledge

Graduate Certificate in Labor Relations and HR—Providence

  • Series of four graduate-level courses
  • Can be taken either independently or in conjunction with another master’s degree program such as MBA, MPA, or nursing

Rhode Island’s Largest Employers of HR Professionals

Rhode Island is home to a number of high-profile companies such as CVS Health Corp, Hasbro Inc, and Textron Inc.  According to Bloomberg Business, the total return on the stocks of companies based in Rhode Island outperformed those of any other state in 2015. 

The US Department of Labor ranked the largest employers of HR professionals in Rhode Island as of 2014:

  • Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence - 6,000 total employees
  • Sika Corporation (Manufacturing) in North Scituate - 6,000 total employees
  • Brown University in Providence - 4,629 total employees
  • Met Life in Warwick - 3,200 total employees
  • CVS Health Corporation (Corporate HQ) in Woonsocket - 3,000 total employees
  • Women & Infants Hospital in Providence - 3,000 total employees
  • University of Rhode Island in Kingston - 2,500 total employees
  • Kent Hospital Acute Rehab in Warwick - 2,301 total employees
  • Dave’s Corporate Marketplace (Corporate HQ) in East Greenwich - 2,000 total employees
  • Miriam Hospital in Providence - 2,000 total employees                                                                                               

Salary Ranges for HR Professionals in Rhode Island

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the salaries for a number of HR positions in Rhode Island as of 2014.  The values shown range from the starting salaries (average for the bottom 10%) to the salaries of experienced professionals (average for the top 10%):

  • Human Resource Managers: $85,770 - $187,199*
  • Training and Development Managers: $82,640 - $141,040
  • Human Resources Specialists: $40,820 - $94,660
  • Labor Relations Specialists: $18,050 - $118,790
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: $45,330 - $93,280
  • Training and Development Specialists: $44,280 - $93,450
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: $27,970 - $60,170
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping: $23,610 - $54,230

* This value is at or above $187,199 a year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salaries beyond $187,199 a year.

Job Growth Projections for HR Positions in Rhode Island

The category of professional and business services had the highest rate of growth of any sector in Rhode Island according to a 2014 job growth study conducted by Arizona State University (cited in the Providence Business News).  A strong increase in this sector bodes well for HR jobs in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training expects a substantial rate of increase in the number of HR jobs over the ten-year period ending in 2022:

  • Human Resource Managers: 19.48%                                   
  • Training and Development Managers: 14.66%           
  • Human Resources Specialists: 9.47%           
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: 6.31%
  • Training and Development Specialists: 14.68%                       
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: 11.99%

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