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DePaul Launches New Online Degree for Human Resources Professionals

The Executive Master of Science in Human Resource Management will prepare students for C-suite positions

The 15-month program is geared toward HR professionals with at least seven years of professional experience, giving them the skills needed to lead organizations.
The 15-month online program is geared toward human resources professionals with at least seven years of professional experience, giving them the skills needed to lead organizations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resource professionals with master’s degrees are expected to be more competitive in the job market than other applicants, especially for higher-level positions in the C-suite.

To prepare professionals for these roles, the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business has developed an online Executive Master of Science in Human Resource Management. The new degree program, launching this fall, will be offered entirely online except for three, four-day in-person residencies that will help students develop relationships with their peers, faculty and industry leaders. The 15-month program, which is held in a cohort format, is geared toward HR professionals with at least seven years of experience, giving them the skills needed to lead organizations.

Associate Professor of Management Jaclyn Jensen. | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds
Associate Professor of Management Jaclyn Jensen. | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

“This program is designed to ensure that students walk away with the strategic perspective and technical expertise they need in order to be a senior HR professional,” says Associate Professor of Management Jaclyn Jensen, faculty director of the Master of Science in Human Resources program. “It exposes students to the hallmarks of the field in terms of talent acquisition, talent development, performance management and total rewards,” she adds. “It also complements that with people analytics, global HR, diversity and inclusion, creativity and innovation, and some of the other essential pieces that a senior professional would need to be appropriately skilled, knowledgeable and successful.”

In the last 10 years, the roles of HR professionals have changed dramatically due to technological innovation, the changing economy and the effects of both on the workforce. Unlike Kellstadt’s MS in Human Resources – which is designed for students with little or no professional experience – the new executive degree focuses on skills, such as agile thinking, resource allocation and higher-level strategic planning, needed for experienced HR managers to become effective leaders.

“What allows an HR professional to be successful is not just their HR knowledge, but it’s also their business acumen and their ability to converse with ease with individuals outside of the HR space about other aspects that allows the business to be successful,” Jensen says.

Leadership Development and Immersive Residencies

The program plans to host its first residency for newly admitted students safely in late August. Kellstadt faculty and staff will welcome students by outlining program expectations and giving students the opportunity to connect with their classmates and faculty. Even though the formal coursework all takes place online, Jensen says “it is important for students to be able to feel a connection to each other and to the faculty and institution as they go through the program.”

During the second residency, which will take place in spring quarter, students will be matched with a career coach for the duration of the program. Students will work one-on-one with their coaches to develop self-awareness, growth needs and opportunities, and also examine how they can be successful enterprise leaders.

The final residency will allow students to highlight a capstone project, focused on a hypothetical problem or an issue they may be experiencing in their organization.

Jensen says the ultimate goal of the residencies is to give students – many of whom may be busy with family and work demands – the permission to focus solely on their learning development, even though the courses will be offered remotely.

“This program is being delivered in a format that meets you where you’re at and it gives you optimal flexibility,” she says. “At the same time, you’re learning with people who have the same aspirations that you do, the same commitment to developing themselves and the same commitment of wanting to aspire to a c-suite role in human resources.”

Learn more about the Executive Master of Science in Human Resource Management