Is an MBA necessary for a career in HR?

Every functional business, company and organization benefits from an experienced human resources manager. Their role can be seen as a key lynchpin in defining a company’s culture and ensuring fairness, diversity and transparency for all employees.

But is an MBA necessary for a career as an HR practitioner?

A globalized workforce

A good HR manager is like a good shepherd, capable of wrangling different personalities and characters onto a universal path that works towards the company’s objectives in as seamless a manner as possible.

Consider the skill, tenacity and resilience it takes to manage hundreds of employees that may be scattered around the world, each with their own unique set of attributes, strengths and weaknesses.

An MBA isn’t just an accreditation, it’s a credibility check that reassures management and staff that the HR manager is capable of managing a workplace that is constantly being transformed by advancements in digital technology and business practices.

Experience and learning-on-the-job has much to recommend it, but it’s difficult to overlook the merits of a traditional MBA when it comes to HR. Modules will typically cover a range of topics like talent acquisition and development – a tricky subject that requires deep theoretical foundations – interview techniques, workforce planning, people analytics and conflict resolution. All topics which call for a comprehensive delve into case studies, historical precedents and expert training to boost soft and hard skills.

The human touch

Even as technology evolves and AI becomes commonplace, the value of the human touch in managing teams will never depreciate as a skill and essential component of business success. At GBSB Global, the Master in Management with Human Resources and Talent Development specifically speaks to this need.

For instance, an MBA in HR will demystify a concept such as employee data gathering, which is an important facet of managing employees and using data analysis to understand and improve the employee experience. This is no small feat in the current globalized workplace as organizations take the learnings from Covid and apply these to a more human-centric company experience that works for the benefit of all in the company. There is no one-size-fits-all model, every company is different and so every HR practitioner has to think differently, a fundamental teaching of an MBA.

An MBA curriculum values critical thinking and empowers students to apply themselves to analyzing situations in a realistic and practical manner while using their skills to find innovative solutions to common problems. It also teaches essential negotiation tactics and strategic thinking models that are very necessary in navigating a diverse workspace with many conflicting personalities.

The traditional MBA will not shy away from modern concepts either. DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion – are the latest buzzwords around human resources, and many MBAs will adequately cover these subjects. A necessary cornerstone, after all, of any HR foundation.

And if one wants to progress even further in their career, an MBA can be the crucial deciding factor. According to HR Exchange Network, “Human Resources leaders can benefit from this sort of education, especially if they want to impress other C-suite executives. By understanding financial statements, marketing, and taxes, they can better understand how talent fits into the overall vision of a place. They can communicate in the same language with other leaders like the CEO. They truly break away from the outdated perception of HR as an administrative arm.”

Icon of webform success



The admissions department at GBSB Global Business School will be happy to answer all of your questions. This online form is the first step you have to take if you want more information.

By sending this form, you confirm that you have read and agreed to our Privacy Policy
I give my consent to receive informative emails about GBSB Global´s programs