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Villanova Announces Online Master's in Human Development

Villanova University has moved a little further into the online education mainstream by introducing its first degree program to be made available entirely online: the Masters' of Science in Human Resources Development. It's another example of a respected, traditional school recognizing the shift in higher education delivery and moving to participate in it.

To date Villanova has offered graduate certificate programs online, but no degrees. Their current online certificates are available in Human Resources, Project Management, Contract Management, IS Security, Business Analysis, and Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager. It is with reason that their first choice for an online degree program is in the human resources field.

The definition of HR Development has expanded dramatically over the past twenty years as new business practices in the personnel field have become standard in business operations. Training, for example, has become an important segment of HR development duties. Well run training programs can introduce established employees to new technology, and can also instill a sense of inclusion in the business as a whole.

Personnel communication has become a valuable tool for both productivity purposes and for morale - which contributes to productivity. Personnel outreach has also changed dramatically with the growth of the Internet as a job finding and job recruiting source. HR directors today need to know how to harness online recruiting functions and how to work with the recruiting firms that dominate many industry sectors.

You'll need a baccalaureate to qualify for this program, but your undergraduate major is not critical. According to the Villanova brochure, "Ideal candidates include HR
generalists, staffing specialists, benefits analysts, corporate trainers and others who want to develop the comprehensive knowledge and skills required to excel within the HR function."

What the University is suggesting is that people who are working in one area of human resources development learn how to manage all the HR professional responsibilities. While the HR field is expected to grow faster than general employment over the next several years, the role of HR director that encompasses all of these skill sets will be growing even faster and those that have the academic credentials will be highly sought after.

Villanova's first online degree choice is indicative of how valuable a Masters' in HR is going to be as the economy recovers and hiring begins anew. Even if Villanova isn't your choice of school, opting for a graduate degree in the HR field will serve you well.

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