Not everyone can get into MIT or Stanford, but if you want to be a leader in human resources or human resources management, start with your education. Which university you attend doesn’t have to determine whether or not you do well in the field, but having a degree from one of the following five schools can certainly give you a leg up. Besides being renowned for their curricula and high standards, they’re also places where you’ll find that the alum connection is strong. You’ll stand out to others who have had the education that you have had, and that can be the perfect in to start out your career.

All five of these schools are ranked highly for some of the same reasons. First and foremost, they have chosen to focus on the human resources majors. The faculty in human resources at each of these schools represents some of the best in the country and the reputation of these schools is well known in the professional sphere. Any one of these could help you to be not just a human resources employee, but a leader in the field.

Kellogg School of Management, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Northeastern is a great university all around. Kellogg is highly respected as a great place to get a degree in management or business. And they offer one of the most competitive human resource management courses of study in the country.

Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Another very highly regarded business school, the Wharton School offers a broad range of business, management, and HR courses that can help you to understand what it means to be a part of the HR team, as well as a piece of the bigger puzzle at any company or organization.

Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

The mid-west has its own great business school at the University of Chicago. Exceedingly high standards in business and economics pair well with high standards for human resources management.

Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

For all things top level, Stanford is fairly obvious. Their Graduate School of Business is well known as a destination for high achievers. Their program in human resources management is stellar as well.

Sloan Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA

Sloan at MIT is not necessarily an obvious choice to anyone who recognizes MIT. Most people think of the school when they think of technology, but it’s also recognized for very high level academics in HR.

Of course, there are many other colleges and universities that offer majors in human resources and human resource management. If none of these is an option for you, consider other business schools that have the right program. This list is certainly the top of the top, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great start somewhere else. If your goal is to succeed in human resources, then don’t let anything get in your way.