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Online Master’s Degree in Labor Relations

Individuals who pursue a masters degree in labor relations will learn about various workplace issues, as well as how to manage these issues. Students will gain an awareness of the political and legal environment in which human resource and labor relations systems function, as well as how to foster interaction between people and organizations in a work setting. They may apply this knowledge to human resource-related careers in a variety of settings, including small businesses, nonprofit museums pertaining to labor and industry, large labor unions, and more. The degree typically requires two years to complete, although online and part-time programs may require longer. The length of the program will depend on the specific requirements of the program students select and the number of classes they take each semester.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Labor Relations

Master of Labor Relations (MLR) students will take a set of core courses and electives. These classes will cover topics such as labor relations, the legal system, human resources, staffing, and statistics. Some programs may allow students to select an area of specialization, such as dispute resolution, labor market policy, or international and comparative labor. Online masters degree programs in labor relations are also available, although they may be coupled with areas such as human resources or industrial relations. MLR students may take classes in the following subjects:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Labor Economics
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Staffing Organizations

A masters degree in labor relations does not require students to complete a thesis. Students will develop their communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills by working on individual and group assignments. In all, the curriculum will provide a comprehensive and contemporary foundation in human resources, industrial relations, and labor relations. While most programs do not require students to complete internships, the opportunities to gain first-hand practical experience will be beneficial.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Labor Relations

Graduates of traditional and online master degree programs in labor relations may enjoy careers in business, union, or government organizations, as well as in the nonprofit sector. The degree allows for tremendous flexibility, and individuals can use it to either begin or advance their careers in human resources and labor relations. As human resource managers, their responsibilities will include making hiring decisions, complying with government regulations, and taking appropriate action against employees who are not performing well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mean annual wages for human resources managers were $108,600 in 2011. Employment in the field is expected to grow 13% from 2010 to 2020, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

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