Human Resource (HR) Degree in West Virginia


A 2015 economic analysis conducted by the Bureau of Business & Economic Research at West Virginia University revealed that employment growth is expected to be much stronger in the state during the next five years than it has over the previous decade.  The authors also noted that West Virginia’s real GDP expanded 5.1% during 2013.  This increase was the third highest in the country.

An increasing employment rate bodes well for HR professionals in West Virginia who are needed to retain top talent and manage a growing number of employees.  In addition to employment at large corporations, educational institutions, healthcare providers, and the government, HR professionals in West Virginia also work as consultants for small businesses.  Prominent HR consulting firms in West Virginia include DeemHR, Your HR Office, LLC, and Fred M Ellis Enterprises. Additional avenues of employment for HR professionals in West Virginia include consulting for legal firms that pursue HR claims. 

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HR Degrees Available Through Private Universities and State Schools in West Virginia

HR management degree programs in West Virginia tend to be concentrated in business schools that offer a broad foundational training in best business practices in addition to specialized HR training.

Business professionals in West Virginia who are seeking high-level HR training have a wealth of options through the state’s many private universities and state schools.  Additional options include out of state schools that offer online HR management degrees.

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

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—HR Management specialization—Salem (Online option)

  • 15 credits in HR specialization

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—HR Management specialization—Morgantown

  • 39 credit hours in business core curriculum plus 5 HR courses

Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Development—Wheeling

  • Accelerated Bachelor of Arts program (BOLD)
  • Designed for working adults who have previous college credit (60+ credits or an associate’s degree)
  • 30 credit hour program over 15 months

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

Master of Science in HR Management—South Charleston

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 30-36 credit hour program
  • Full-time program that normally takes 2 years to complete

Master of Science in HR and Industrial Relations—Morgantown

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Internships available

Master of Science in Strategic Leadership—Charleston (Online option)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Designed for working professionals
  • 12 course program
  • Program can be completed in about 18 months
  • Program research project

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership—Wheeling (Online option)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Designed for working professionals
  • Campus classes met one evening a week for 22 months

MBA with a Concentration in Human Resource Management – Designed for those preparing to become HR Directors or VPs

MBA—MS in HR and Industrial Relations—Morgantown

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Dual degree program
  • International trip is required for domestic students
  • 66 credit hour program for both degrees

The Largest Employers of Human Resources Professionals in West Virginia

While West Virginia’s economy is heavily dependent on the volatile energy industry, a number of other sectors are expanding in the state. Shown below are the major employers of HR professionals in West Virginia for 2014 according to the US Department of Labor (shown here with total number of employees):

  • Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown - 7,000
  • Ruby Day Surgery Center in Morgantown - 6,700
  • Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston - 5,700
  • CAMA General Hospital in Charleston - 4,200
  • Student Affairs in Morgantown - 4,000
  • Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington - 2,700
  • Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg - 2,500
  • Ruby Hospital in Morgantown - 2,500
  • Du Pont Washington Works (R&D) in Washington - 2,400
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington - 2,200                                                                                   

Salary Ranges for HR Professional in West Virginia

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the salaries for a number of HR positions in West Virginia as of 2014. The values shown here range from the average for the bottom ten percent to the average for the top ten percent:

  • Human Resource Managers: $41,210 - $127,860
  • Training and Development Managers: $47,060 - $93,840
  • Human Resources Specialists: $30,270 - $90,900
  • Labor Relations Specialists: $16,620 - $82,390
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: $27,350 - $89,180
  • Training and Development Specialists: $27,220 - $73,970
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: $21,010 - $48,610
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping: $23,780 - $49,520

Job Growth Projections for HR Positions in West Virginia

Job growth is expected to be particularly high in the Morgantown metropolitan area in 2015 according to the Morgantown Area Economic Partnership.  The West Virginia Department of Commerce predicts strong job growth in a number of HR positions in the state as a whole between 2012 and 2022:

  • Human Resource Managers: 11%
  • Training and Development Managers: 3.6%                       
  • Human Resources Specialists: 1.6%           
  • Training and Development Specialists: 7.7%           
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: 7.2%

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