Juan I. Sánchez
We used to call it the personnel department. Known today as human resources (HR), it plays a strategic role in building and guiding a company’s workforce.
The Master of Science in Human Resources Management (MSHRM) program offered by the College of Business Administration provides a twelve-month specialized master’s program that prepares graduates to address the wide spectrum of challenges facing senior HR professionals in this era of global competitive pressure and increased regulations.
Program demonstrates strong growth in five years.
Launched in 2002, the first class drew 32 students. The current class achieved full-capacity enrollment with a total of fifty students.
“So far, we have graduated more than 100 students from the program, many of whom are active professionals pursuing successful HR careers for a variety of small, medium, and large South Florida companies,” said Ana Maria Corredera, MSHRM program manager.
According to Juan I. Sánchez, professor and Knight Ridder Byron Harless Eminent Scholar Chair in Management in the college’s department of Management and International Business who also helped design the original MSHRM curriculum, the program welcomes two kinds of students: those with several years’ professional experience in the HR field, and those who only recently have received a bachelor’s degree and are looking to pursue opportunities in HR.
“I’d say seventy percent of the students enrolled in our MSHRM program are already working in HR, with at least two to three years of experience,” Corredera said. “The other thirty percent are looking to get into HR. We definitely have a more mature student, with 31 being the average age.”
Along with the mix of students, Corredera also explained that the faculty includes a mix of full-time college professors and working professionals in the HR field who have expertise in specialized areas such as employment and labor law.
“Plus, the MSHRM advisory board includes more than thirty prominent HR professionals in the local community,” she said.
Students value MSHRM program—and the skills it’s given them.
“The professors have been really great in providing us with real-world insight into HR,” said Cristine Vidales, set to graduate in August, 2007. “The program clearly positions HR in the business context, emphasizing that a successful HR professional needs to be a strategic partner with other business stakeholders.”
“The program clearly positions HR in the business context.”
—Cristine Vidales, MSHRM program student
Vidales, who currently is a human resource associate at a Miami-based bank, has just taken a new position as assistant HR director with a different company.
“This is an upward career step for me,” she said. “I credit what I’ve learned so far in the MSHRM program with helping me market myself a bit better to secure this new job.”
Victoria Johnson (MSHRM ’05), human resources director for Fellowship House, cites one example of how the MSHRM program provided her with a greater understanding of the management side of HR and gave her better tools for handling HR within a non-profit organization.
“We were dealing with turnover issues with one segment of our staff,” Johnson said. “The knowledge I gathered from the MSHRM program gave me the ability to access the resources I needed to perform a salary analysis that I could then take to our executive staff to present a convincing argument for revising our salary schedule for these positions. As a result, retention within this employee group has greatly improved.”
Program builds strong connections with HR professional group.
Both Vidales and Johnson, like many MSHRM program graduates, are active members of the Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). In addition, Johnson is one of fifteen members on a national SHRM committee focused on bringing corporate social responsibilities into the HR arena. Student involvement also is high. In fact, four of the college’s current MSHRM students are officers in the local student chapter of SHRM.
Sánchez noted how the college’s MSHRM program ties directly into the SHRM certification program and prepares students for the certification exam.
“Our students have an almost perfect SHRM certification passing rate,” he said. “It’s a double whammy—a master’s degree and professional certification—that makes our graduates extremely marketable to HR recruiters.”
To learn more about the MSHRM program, visit: http://business.fiu.edu/chapman/master_of_science_in_hrm.cfm.