Human Resource (HR) Degree in Wisconsin


The Wisconsin economy grew at a steady pace and added 37,200 jobs in 2014 according to the May 2015 economic analysis released by the state’s Department of Revenue.  The agency predicts this trend to continue with an improvement of the labor market through 2016 and beyond.  Industry sectors across the board are expected to see increased hiring in the coming years, driving the demand for skilled human resources professionals. 

Wisconsin’s increasing levels of employment indicate that HR professionals will be needed to shepherd the hiring of new employees and to ensure that companies retain their top talent. 

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HR Degrees Available Through Private Universities and State Schools in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s HR management programs are generally concentrated in business colleges that offer both specialized HR training and education in a broad array of best business practices. 

Professionals seeking formal training in HR management have a number of educational options available through Wisconsin’s many state schools and private universities offering online and classroom-based programs.

The options available at Wisconsin’s private universities and state schools enable new students and business professionals alike to tailor their education to career goals.

Associate’s Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those preparing to become either HR generalists or HR specialists in areas such as compensation benefits and job analysis:

Associate of Applied Science in HR—Janesville

  • 70 credit hour program

Associate of Applied Science in HR—Appleton

  • 67 credit hour program
  • Admission requires an academic skills assessment

Associate of Applied Science in HR Administration—Cleveland

  • 66 credit hour program
  • Accuplacer/ACT scores required for admission

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

Bachelor of Business Administration in HR Management—Milwaukee

  • 21 credit hours in HR Management
  • Business foundation and core courses also required

Bachelor of Business Administration in HR Management—Whitewater (Online option)

  • At least 120 credit hours required

Bachelor of Business Administration—HR Management major—Fond Du Lac

  • 40-41 credits of business program core required
  • 21-24 credits in HR

Graduate Certificate in Human Resources – Designed for those seeking to augment their management skills with human resource training:

Graduate Certificate in International HR and Labor Relations—Milwaukee

  • Does not require an undergraduate HR degree
  • Designed for full-time and part-time students
  • 12 credit hour program

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

Masters in HR and Labor Relations—Milwaukee

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Designed for full-time and part-time students
  • 15 credit hours in core courses plus 2 additional courses

Master of Science in HR—Milwaukee

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Full-time or part-time study
  • Designed for working adults
  • Minimum of 30 credit hours

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership—Appleton, Plymouth, West Allis, and Fond Du Lac (Online option)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • Designed for working adults with evening classes
  • 30 credit hour program

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

MBA—HR Management Emphasis—Whitewater (Online option)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 36 credit hour program
  • May require prerequisite courses

MBA specialization in Strategic HR Management—Madison

  • Does not require an HR undergrad degree
  • Full-time program
  • Students can pick from electives in their second year to focus on specific areas
  • Capstone project

The Largest Employers of Human Resources Professionals in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to corporate headquarters that house HR departments for some of the nation’s most recognizable companies.  In fact, Milwaukee had the largest number of corporations headquartered there on a per capita basis of any city in the country in 2012 according to an analysis conducted by Citylab. 

The major employers of HR professionals in Wisconsin as provided by the US Department of Labor for 2014 included (Shown here with total number of employees):

  • University of Wisconsin—Madison - 14,464
  • Menard Inc. (Corporate HQ) in Eau Claire - 10,000
  • Epic Systems Corporation (Corporate HQ) in Verona - 7,400
  • Thedacare, Inc. (Corporate HQ) in Appleton - 6,000
  • Kohl’s Corporation (Corporate HQ) in Menomonee Falls - 5,500
  • Custom Adhesive Products LLC (Corporate HQ) in Racine - 5,001
  • General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee - 5,000
  • Kraft Foods (HQ and Manufacturing) in Madison - 5,000
  • River Woods Urgent Care Center in Milwaukee - 5,000
  • Rockwell Automation (Corporate HQ) in Mequon - 5,000

Salary Ranges for HR Professional in Wisconsin

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the salaries for a number of HR positions in Wisconsin as of 2014.  The values shown range from the bottom 10% average to the top ten percent average:

  • Human Resource Managers: $57,100 - $147,220
  • Training and Development Managers: $50,370 - $139,760
  • Human Resources Specialists: $33,400 - $79,880
  • Labor Relations Specialists: $16,100 - $63,040
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: $35,510 - $78,760
  • Training and Development Specialists: $30,260 - $79,300
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: $26,920 - $52,070
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping: $25,190 - $50,300

Job Growth Projections for HR Positions in Wisconsin

The number of jobs in professional and business services in Wisconsin surpassed previous peak levels in 2013 and 2014 according to the May 2015 economic analysis conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.  This agency predicts 2.4% growth in this category for 2015 and 4.6% in 2016.  HR positions are among those expected to increase according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (job growth projections for 2012 through 2022):

  • Human Resource Managers: 13.46%                                   
  • Training and Development Managers: 9.24%           
  • Human Resources Specialists: 2.83%
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: 4.02%                                               
  • Training and Development Specialists: 10.34%           
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: 6.99%           

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