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Master of Arts (Human Resource) vs MBA majoring in Human Resource


A Master of Arts (MA) in Human Resource (HR) and an MBA majoring in Human Resource Management are both graduate-level degrees that focus on HR-related topics, but they have some key differences in terms of their approach and curriculum.


Focus and Orientation:

MA in HR: This degree typically emphasizes the theoretical and practical aspects of human resource management. It may provide a deeper understanding of HR concepts, policies, and strategies, and often includes coursework related to organizational behavior, employee relations, training and development, compensation, and employment law.

MBA majoring in HR: An MBA program with a specialization in HR management combines general management education with a specific focus on HR topics. It covers various business disciplines such as finance, marketing, operations, and strategy, while also offering HR-specific coursework. The emphasis is on developing a broader business perspective and leadership skills, with an understanding of HR as a strategic function within organizations.



MA in HR: The curriculum of an MA in HR often delves into topics like talent acquisition and retention, performance management, HR analytics, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, and labor relations. It may also include research methods and opportunities for students to explore HR issues through research projects or a thesis.

MBA majoring in HR: An MBA program with an HR specialization typically covers core business subjects such as finance, marketing, operations, and strategy. In addition, students take HR-focused courses, which may include talent management, organizational development, strategic HR planning, negotiation, and conflict resolution. The curriculum may also involve case studies, group projects, and internships to develop practical skills.


Career Focus:

MA in HR: This degree is often chosen by individuals seeking specialized HR roles within organizations, such as HR managers, HR consultants, talent acquisition specialists, or learning and development professionals. It provides a solid foundation in HR practices and prepares graduates for operational and strategic HR positions.

MBA majoring in HR: An MBA with an HR specialization offers a broader skill set that allows graduates to pursue various career paths. It can lead to executive-level positions, such as HR director or chief human resources officer (CHRO), as well as roles in general management, consulting, or entrepreneurship.


Overall, the main difference between an MA in HR and an MBA majoring in HR lies in their focus and orientation. The MA in HR offers a specialized and in-depth understanding of HR concepts and practices, while an MBA majoring in HR combines HR knowledge with a broader business education, preparing graduates for strategic HR roles and leadership positions within organizations.