New businesses are opening up at a record pace across the country, and within these up-and-coming businesses there is a need for qualified human resource employees. Although a Ph.D. can prepare students for high-level careers in business, it is primarily intended to train for careers as postsecondary teachers and academic researchers in university settings. In a Ph.D. program, students will also have the opportunity to delve into research topics with human resources that interest them. Most of these research topics are centered on current challenges and trends within human resources. Through their research efforts, students have the ability to address and potentially solve many of the problems faced by human resource organizations and departments today.

Why a Ph.D. Degree?

A strong academic background is of the utmost importance for those who want to work as postsecondary teachers. While a bachelor’s degree in human resources, is enough to help individuals find careers in human resources, it does not qualify them to pursue research and academic endeavors. A doctoral degree, however, allows students to take their degree a step further by delving into intensive research and teaching in classrooms. In pursuing doctoral programs, students can enter into postsecondary professor positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) emphasizes that most postsecondary teachers, except those who work in community colleges, are required to have a Ph.D.

Getting Into a Ph.D. Degree Program

The requirements for human resources Ph.D. degree programs are different at each college and university, but most expect a few of the qualifications listed below.

Inside a Human Resources Ph.D. Degree Program

A doctorate in human resources generally takes about six years to complete. Upon being accepted into a Ph.D. degree program, students will be required to delve into intensive research as well as teach college-level classrooms. There are a host of courses students are expected to take as well, such as industrial relations, organizational behavior, and more. Doctoral courses such as these will teach students all they need to know about functioning as teachers and human resource specialists.

Ph.D. candidates sometimes desire to pursue online degrees. Though many schools don’t offer a solely-online human resource Ph.D. program, there are still a few schools out there that do feature one. In their online courses, doctoral students are allowed to complete and submit their assignments through online platforms or emails. Many online colleges require Ph.D. candidates to stay in constant communication with university faculty and staff so their progress and success can be tracked over time.

What’s Next for Ph.D. Holders?

A PhD in HR prepares students to teach their own university classrooms. The average salary of postsecondary teachers is listed at $62,050 a year, with the lowest 10% earning less than $30,720 a year. Those who think this pay is too low are encouraged to look for jobs outside of postsecondary education, since most academic jobs don’t pay over $100,000 a year. That being said, a Ph.D. also allows students to pursue high-level careers in business as well.