Master’s in Human Resources vs. an MSOL Degree: Which is Right for You?

Human resources (HR) is an integral part of many businesses and organizations. HR professionals play a strategic role in managing the people of an organization and the culture of the workplace. The truth is, there are many ways to succeed and advance your career in human resources. Many aspiring professionals will consider pursuing a Master’s in Human Resources to do this. While this degree path is certainly a practical option for someone looking to advance in the HR field, a Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree is also a viable degree path – covering not only the HR aspect of business management, but also the skills needed to hire, motivate, and develop efficient and effective workers.

Here are a couple of reasons you might want to consider obtaining an MSOL degree over a Master’s in Human Resources.

Expanded Curriculum:

With a highly specialized Master’s in Human Resources degree, you will gain a concrete educational foundation in evolving, strategic, and global HR issues and theories. Some of the important topics you may cover in this degree path are human resource planning and compensation, international HR, as well as organizational project management and training for Human Resources professionals.

An MSOL degree, on the other hand, explores many of these same topics, however, does not solely focus on human resources. Instead, it covers many varying sectors of business, to provide different perspectives of the leadership skills needed within the workplace. The MSOL program at Goodwin College goes beyond just human resources, and teaches the skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing, competitive business arena.

One key piece of any human resources department is talent and performance management. Goodwin’s MSOL program has a course specifically designed around this topic called “Talent and Performance Management.” This course is designed to explore relevant strategies and tactics for employee development, starting from onboarding through career placement and mapping. While a Master’s in Human Resources may look at this important topic from an HR perspective, the MSOL course explores this topic from all levels of management.

Career Options:

A Master’s in Human Resources is a great path for those looking to advance their careers in HR. Human Resources is a major part of Organizational Leadership & Management, and is a very popular career choice among those with their master’s degree. With a Master’s in Human Resources, one can obtain a job as a human resources manager or director, compensation and benefits manager, labor relations manager, or a director of industrial relations.

An MSOL degree can also successfully land you any of the HR jobs you will achieve with a Master’s in Human Resources. Furthermore, an MSOL degree will prepare you to lead not only a human resources department, but also an entire organization.

With an MSOL degree, you can qualify for careers and positions in a variety of sectors and environments, including corporate, manufacturing, nonprofit, education state & federal and many more. You’ll be qualified to obtain many different job titles within those industries, such as a school principal, training manager, IT manager, executive director, or top-level executive. Therefore, an Master’s in Organizational Leadership will help you qualify for advanced positions beyond just human resources, should you choose another path.

Both a Master’s in Human Resources and an MSOL degree are great options for those looking to gain the leadership and management skills needed to further their careers. Contact Goodwin College at 800-889-3283 or visit to learn more about how you can earn your MSOL degree.