Earning a human resources certification online will strengthen your expertise in recruiting talent for organizations. The best online human resources certificate programs also equip you with the skills to design and coordinate training for professionals to improve their on-the-job performance. Furthermore, a certificate program can deepen your understanding of employment law, which helps ensure organizational compliance with federal and state regulations.
As new kinds of jobs emerge, organizations need human resources professionals who can identify, vet, and help onboard the best persons to fill these roles. The human resources field continues to grow as start-ups launch and existing corporations increase their global footprints. Nonprofits also rely on human resources experts to help them hire, develop, and support employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 9% employment growth for human resources managers by 2026, though that career requires a bachelor’s degree. The BLS also shows that human resources managers earn a median income of $113,300 per year.
Graduates of online human resources certificate programs can find an array of career options. These include compensation manager, labor relations specialist, and training manager. Regardless of your job, completing this certificate provides the confidence necessary to perform your required duties. More importantly, it demonstrates your skills in sourcing and supporting the talent organizations need for success.
Human Resources Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected these accredited online human resources certificate programs based on the quality of the program, types of courses provided, faculty strength, school awards, rankings and reputation, including the reputation for providing online degree programs.
The Best Online Certificate in Human Resources Degree Programs
1. University of Virginia
A public research university located in Charlottesville, the University of Virginia offers an online certificate in human resource management through its School of Continuing and Professional Studies. This program benefits working professionals who wish to advance their current knowledge, increase their credentials, or make the transition from another field into human resources.
UVA’s human resources certificate online program requires 18 credits and takes a year to complete on a part-time schedule. The curriculum consists of five core courses and one elective course. Core courses include management of organizations; human resource management; organizational change and development; legal and ethical issues in human resources; and employee relations, engagement, and advocacy
For an elective, students choose a course on compensation and benefits or a course on strategic workforce planning. Each course holds approval from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for 45 professional development credits, which contribute to a student’s eligibility to sit for the SHRM certificate. Certificates can enhance a graduate’s candidacy for a human resource management position and may increase earning potential
Applicants need a high school diploma or its equivalent to apply. Prospective students should also submit all previous transcripts, a letter of recommendation from an individual familiar with the candidate’s academic or professional abilities, a statement of purpose, and a resume. The program offers start dates in August, January, and May. Tuition is the same for in- and out-of-state residents. This certificate program is not eligible for financial aid
University of Virginia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
2. Golden Gate University
San Francisco, California
A private, nonprofit, sectarian university located in San Francisco, Golden Gate University offers an online certificate in human resource management that provides students with knowledge of management techniques and organizational structures. GGU presents the program entirely online, on campus, and in a hybrid format. Learners can choose to pursue the certificate alone or combine it with a degree.
GGU’s online human resource management certificate program requires 15 units and takes one year. Core courses include human resource management, labor-management relations, personnel recruitment, compensation decision-making, and training methods and administration. Students may choose to substitute one required course for a course on management principles, special topics in management, or an internship in management. With the internship option, learners must arrange their own placement in a job related to human resources with approval from the department chair
To apply to the certificate program, candidates must submit an application form and fee. Prospective students must also satisfy any prerequisite course requirements. Learners may enroll in courses as an open-enrollment student even before they receive formal admission. Transfer credits do not count toward a certificate program, but students may apply credits they earn through a certificate program toward a degree program at GGU
Golden Gate University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
3. Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis
The result of a merger in 1969, Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis is a public research university encompassing the core campus of Indiana University that also offers Purdue University degrees. The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI provides an online human resource management certificate focused on showing how organizing, allocating, and developing staff can facilitate an organization’s success. The program also prepares students for the Professional in HR (PHR) Certificate Exam and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Assurance of Learning Exam.
IUPUI’s online human management certificate program requires 18 credits comprising three core courses and seven electives. Core courses include employment law, human resource management, and staffing organizations. IUPUI offers many certificate tracks for students to follow based on their areas of interest, such as a generalist HR track, a compensation and benefits track, and industry and manufacturing track. Learners can also create their own customized track from the offered electives. Students must maintain at least a C in all coursework to complete the program.
Certificate students do not need to pass specific departmental or program admission requirements in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. To gain admission to the university, applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students should contact the certificate program advisor to determine which credits transfer into the program.
Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
4. Judson University
An evangelical Christian liberal arts college, Judson University offers an online certificate program in human resource management for students who want to take a concentrated block of courses related to human resource management or advance their career in human resources
Learners who have obtained or are obtaining a degree in organizational leadership cannot also earn a certificate in management, but they can apply credits from the certificate toward a related degree. Students also cannot earn a certificate in the same area they have pursued or are pursuing a concentration in as a part of another degree. Judson provides certificate options in business and leadership and the human sciences
Full-time students can complete the 12 credits Judson requires for its certificate program in as little as one semester. Required courses include theory and practice of training and development, human resource management, legal aspects of human resource development, and employee benefits and compensation management. Judson offers start dates in August, January, and May
Program applicants must have graduated from high school or completed a GED equivalent and hold at least one year of work experience beyond high school. Prospective students with fewer than three college courses need a minimum 2.0 high school GPA. Judson accepts transfer students and allows learners to earn credits for informal learning experiences, such as work history, personal study, community service, or other training
Judson University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
5. Thomas Edison State University
Trenton, New Jersey
A primarily online public university serving working professionals, Thomas Edison State University offers an online certificate in human resources management with a foundation in organizational behavior and management strategies. The certificate program transfers easily into the human resources management degree at TESU
Earning a human resources management certificate online requires 18 credits and can be done within a year as a full-time student. Core courses include human resources management, change management, organizational behavior, sociology of work, interpersonal communications, and business law
For students completing the certificate program without enrolling in a degree, 50% of credits must come from TESU. The other 50% may consist of transfer credits if approved by the dean. Up to nine credits can be older than seven years from the most recent application. A currency review determines if older credits can apply toward certificate completion
Applicants must possess a high school degree or its GED equivalent and be 21 years of age or older. Students 18 and older in the military may apply before age 21. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 20 who are not in the military may apply for special admission if they hold a high school degree or its equivalent. They must have completed a minimum of 24 credits from a regionally accredited college/university with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Individuals under 18 may not enroll in courses or matriculate into programs at the university
Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
6. DeSales University
Center Valley, Pennsylvania
A private Catholic university located in Central Valley, Pennsylvania, DeSales University offers a human resource management certificate for working professionals through the ACCESS program. Classes occur in an accelerated format that meets in the evenings once a week for six- to eight-week sessions or completely online to accommodate working professionals and family obligations. ACCESS provides special tuition rates more affordable than DeSales’s traditional day classes and programs. Tuition deferment is also available.
DeSales’s online human resource management certificate program requires five courses and an elective. Required courses include principles of management, strategic compensation and benefits, practical scenarios, human resource management, and organizational behavior. Students select their elective course with the consultation of their ACCESS advisor
Admission requirements include a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. ACCESS program applicants must be nontraditional students with a full-time career or other nonacademic responsibilities, be out of high school for at least five years or have a two- to four-year break in their undergraduate career, or be an active-duty service member or veteran
DeSales accepts transfer students and allows up to 75 transferable credits from regionally accredited universities and colleges. ACCESS programs also allow transfer credits from noncollege sources, such as work experience, military training, and other training programs. Students can take a prior learning assessment to determine which types of informal learning can transfer into course credit at DeSales. Learners may also receive credit through examination, such as through the CLEP exam.
DeSales University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
7. Hampton University
A private university located in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton University offers an online certificate in human resources management for students seeking to enter the job market, working professionals looking to advance their careers or make a career change, and individuals who wish to prepare for human resource management certificate exams. All credits from the certificate program can apply to a degree in human resources management from HU
The program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for human resource management careers and qualifies graduates to sit for licensure examinations in all U.S. states and territories
Earning a human resources certificate online at HU requires 24 credits and takes 32 weeks to complete. Required courses include aspects of human resource management, training and development in organizations, compensation and benefits administration, a human resource management seminar, personnel/human resources management, business communication, organizational behavior, and labor management relations. Instead of aspects of human resource management, students may also choose to take employment law for business or legal professions, which also satisfies the curriculum requirements
Program applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. As part of the application process, prospective students must complete the online application form, pay an application fee, and submit an essay on their professional and educational goals. Transfer students should demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA in previous college coursework. Veterans and active-duty military personnel may receive academic credit for military experience and training if they have served for at least two years
Hampton University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
8. Cedar Crest College
A private, liberal arts women’s college located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Cedar Crest College offers an online human resource management certificate through the School of Graduate and Adult Education. The program benefits professionals looking to advance their careers in human resources or begin a new career. Program graduates can pursue careers as compensation and benefits managers, human resource managers, training and development managers, or labor relations specialists. Pennsylvania does not maintain licensure requirements for human resource management professionals.
Obtaining a human resources certificate online at Cedar Crest College requires 12 credits and takes one year. Student learning outcomes include analyzing market and social conditions and determining how they may affect the organization; demonstrating working knowledge of the way compensation and benefits affect organizational behavior; understanding how management decisions affect recruitment and retention; and utilizing political, legal, and economic tools to help make strategic decisions in regard to human resource management. Learners must complete 75% of their coursework through Cedar Crest College.
Applicants to the program should possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent and some work experience. Cedar Crest College’s School of Graduate and Adult Education allows students to transfer up to 68 credits from a community college and up to 90 credits from a four-year college or university toward program completion. Transfer students can also receive up to 12 credits for experiential learning from work experience and up to 12 credits for military service training.
Cedar Crest College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
9. Champlain College
A private college located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain College offers a human resource management certificate online for human resources professionals who wish to advance their careers or others who want to make a career change. The program prepares students to manage the human resources department of organizations including corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies. Students gain an understanding of employee rights, compensation and benefits packages, and appraisals. They learn how to effectively recruit, hire, develop, and retain employees.
Champlain College’s online human resources certificate program requires 15 credits. Required courses include employment law, conflict management, managing talent, strategic human resources management, and compensation and benefits. Some of these courses feature prerequisites. For instance, the conflict management course requires students to have previously taken an introductory communications course
This undergraduate certificate program tuition costs $318 per credit. Military students qualify for a tuition discount. Learners should note that federal financial aid does not cover certificate programs
Program applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent with a minimum 2.5 GPA. As a part of the application process, prospective students are also required to submit an application form with short-answer questions, all previous transcripts, and their resume with previous work experience. Champlain College accepts transfer students and offers credit transfer opportunities for professional development training, prior knowledge, and military experience
Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
10. Benedictine University
A private Roman Catholic university in Lisle, Illinois, Benedictine University offers an online certificate in human resources management for working professionals. Students analyze, evaluate, and manage workplace relationships to optimize performance and create an ideal work environment. Learners may complete the certificate on its own or as a concentration in a bachelor of arts in organizational leadership or management
Benedictine University’s online certificate in human resources management requires 18 credits and takes less than 8 months to complete. Required courses include the fundamentals of human resource management, employee recruitment strategies, employee performance and appraisal management, and employment law and risk management. Students must earn a C grade or higher in each class to obtain the certificate
Tuition for the certificate program costs $660 per credit. Benedictine University also offers tuition payment plans and interest-free monthly payment options.
Program applicants must submit a personal statement, a reference letter from an academic or professional contact, high school transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. Benedictine University accepts transfer students with two online systems for evaluating course equivalencies with courses from community colleges and other four-year universities. The school also considers credit for unofficial or informal learning experiences
Benedictine University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. Ferris State University
Big Rapids, Michigan
Located in Big Rapids, Michigan, Ferris State University (FSU) originally opened its doors in the 1880s thanks to the efforts of Woodbridge Nathan Ferris, who would go on to become the governor of the Great Lakes State. Originally named the Big Rapids Industrial School, FSU continues its tradition of educating working professionals to this day -- primarily through distance learning.
FSU offers a wide range of distance learning programs, including an online human resources certificate. Each student must complete a 12-credit curriculum, and full-time students can complete the program in a single semester. The required coursework covers employment law and human resources management. Enrollees can also complete elective options like labor economics and labor relations, cross-cultural business, or employee benefits
To meet the needs of working professionals, FSU delivers all of the program’s coursework asynchronously and never requires students to visit campus. Each applicant need a minimum 2.35 GPA and must submit ACT scores (minimum 19 math, 16 English). Transfer students may bring up to six approved credits with them when they enroll at FSU
Ferris State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
12. Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Based in the city of Rome, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) operates five campuses throughout the eponymous northwestern Georgia area. Since its inception in 1962, the college has focused on providing career training and workforce development to its community. Today, GNTC offers several of its programs through distance learning, including an online human resources certification
The human resources program at GNTC requires students to complete an 18-credit curriculum before graduating. Most full-time students complete the program in two semesters. Notable courses include organizational behavior, human resource management, employee training and development, and performance management. The program does not include any capstone, thesis, or on-campus requirements, though students may opt to take some on-campus courses.
GNTC provides flexibility for working professionals by delivering all of the program’s coursework asynchronously. As a community college, GNTC runs on open enrollment, meaning that the program does not list any admissions requirements beyond a high school diploma or GED. Proud of its service to students of the Peach State, GNTC provides a tuition discount to Georgia residents compared to out-of-state online students
Georgia Northwestern Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
13. Northwest Technical College
Based out of the city of Bemidji, Minnesota, Northwest Technical College (NTC) is a member of the 37-member Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Originally opening its doors in 1965, NTC remains true to its original mission of providing career-focused educational opportunities to the local populace. NTC has also made several of its programs available through distance learning, including one of the best online human resources certificate programs in the nation.
The human resources certificate at NTC requires students to complete an 18-credit curriculum before they can graduate. Enrollees explore six required courses: principles of management, computerized business applications, supervisory leadership, legal environment, payroll, and human resources management. The program delivers all of its coursework asynchronously and without any in-person requirements, making it accessible to individuals with a wide range of schedules
As a community college, NTC runs on open enrollment and does not list minimum GPA or standardized test requirements for admission, though each student needs to show proof of a high school diploma or GED. Applicants may also need to take ACCUPLACER exams to demonstrate college readiness. Candidates who do not achieve the required scores on these exams must enroll in college readiness courses at NTC alongside their human resources coursework
Northwest Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Based in both Manchester and Hooksett, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) originally opened its doors in the 1930s as a for-profit business school. It went through several iterations over the years, eventually taking its current name at the turn of the 21st century. Since then, SNHU has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing schools. Today, SNHU caters to students around the country, thanks to its diverse catalog of distance learning programs, which now includes an online human resource management certificate
The human resource certificate at SNHU requires students to complete an 18-credit curriculum before they graduate. The curriculum consists of six required courses: human resource management, organizational behavior, total rewards, human resource strategy and development, employee and labor relations, and human relations in administration
As veterans in the distance learning space, SNHU delivers all of its online coursework asynchronously to allow for maximum schedule flexibility. The curriculum does not include in-person requirements.
Notably, SNHU runs on open enrollment, a common policy at community colleges. As such, students only need to show proof of a GED or high school diploma to earn admission to SNHU’s distance learning programs
Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
15. Southeastern Technical College
Operating its central campus in Vidalia, in addition to several satellite campuses throughout the southeastern portion of the Peach State, Southeastern Technical College (STC) belongs to the 22-member Technical College System of Georgia. STC began in the 1960s and took its current form in 2009 after a merger between multiple schools. In modern times, STC offers several of its programs through distance learning, including an online human resources management certificate
The human resources management program at STC requires students to complete a 21-credit curriculum. Most full-time enrollees can graduate in 2-3 semesters. The curriculum includes six required courses: organizational behavior, employee training and development, performance management, human resource management, and elective courses in management and employment rules/labor management. Keeping working professionals in mind, STC delivers all program coursework asynchronously and eliminates in-person requirements.
Applicants to the program must be at least 16 and needs to submit high school transcripts. As a community college, STC does not list any minimum GPA or standardized test admission requirements. Once accepted, students complete placement tests to determine if they need to complete any college readiness courses.
Southeastern Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
16. Riverland Community College
Originally opening its doors in 1940, Riverland Community College caters primarily to the local population around its three campuses in southeast Minnesota. Riverland belongs to the 31-school Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System and mainly provides technical and career-focused programs. Recently, Riverland has expanded its service area by offering several of its stronger programs through distance learning, including one of the region’s best online human resources certificate programs.
The human resources program at Riverland consists of 15 credits and 14 courses. Required courses explore employee training and coaching, stress management, safety and compliance management, and employment law. The curriculum does not include any capstone, thesis, internship, or on-campus requirements. Hoping to keep the program accessible for working professionals, Riverland delivers all of the program’s coursework asynchronously
As a community college, Riverland runs on open enrollment and accepts all students who submit proof of a high school diploma or GED. After admission, full-time students can complete the program within a single calendar year. Riverland charges all online students the same base tuition rate regardless of their residency. Students who complete the certificate program in human resources can choose to transition into Riverland’s associate of applied science program.
Riverland Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
17. Cardinal Stritch University
A private, Roman Catholic-affiliated school based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cardinal Stritch University originally began operations in the 1930s thanks to the efforts of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. The original Stritch included a reading clinic that served the needs of the local population in South Milwaukee. The school evolved over the years, adding graduate and doctoral programs, moving to a suburban area, and beginning to offer distance learning options, including an online human resources certification
The human resources program at Stritch requires students to complete 18 credits before graduation. Students take one course every six weeks, which allows them to earn their certifications within a calendar year. The curriculum consists of six courses: the role of human resource management; staffing: selection and placement; employee and labor relations; wages and salary/benefits administration; safety and health; and employee development
Students can complete the program without ever visiting Milwaukee, or they may opt for a hybrid or blended learning track. In both cases, Stritch delivers all program coursework asynchronously. Applicant need a GED or high school diploma and two years of full-time work experience. Prospective students can apply for five different start dates, with two in the fall, two in the spring, and one in the summer
Cardinal Stritch University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
18. Dickinson State University
Dickinson, North Dakota
Dickinson State University (DSU) is a member of the public North Dakota University system. Originally conceived as a normal school in 1918, DSU evolved over the years, becoming a full university in the 1980s. Now, DSU features programs in 75 different fields, including various online offerings. DSU has expanded its distance learning programs in recent years and now offers a human resources certification online
The human resources program at DSU asks each student to complete a 16-credit curriculum before graduating. That curriculum consists of five required courses: human resource development, business ethics and critical thinking, organizational behavior, human resource management, and management and leadership. Each enrollee can also complete research in human resources through an independent study project. The curriculum does not include any in-person requirements, and the program delivers all of its coursework asynchronously
DSU offers prospective students a variety of ways to earn admission. Applicants who have already earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree need a minimum 2.5 GPA and a completed course in accounting. Applicants without degrees can submit a portfolio of their professional experience to earn consideration for admission
Dickinson State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
19. Central Carolina Community College
Sanford, North Carolina
Operating campuses in Lee County, Harnett County, and Chatham County, North Carolina, Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) broke ground in 1961 to provide career-focused education to the surrounding population. In recent years, CCCC has expanded its service area by expanding its distance learning programs. As a result, CCCC now offers a human resources certification online
The human resources program at CCCC falls under the department of business administration. The program requires students to complete 18 credits before they graduate. That 18-credit curriculum includes five required courses: training and development; recruiting, selecting, and personnel planning; compensation and benefits; principles of management; and employment law and regulations. Students complete the remaining credits through an elective course. CCCC delivers all of the program’s coursework asynchronously.
The human resources program at CCCC is designed for working professionals and does not include in-person or on-campus requirements. Full-time students typically complete the program in two semesters by taking three courses per semester. As a community college, CCCC runs on open enrollment, and each applicant only needs to submit proof of a high school diploma or GED to earn admission
Central Carolina Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
20. Central Georgia Technical College
Warner Robins, Georgia
With its central campus in Warner Robins, Georgia, Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) serves 11 counties throughout the Peach State. CGTC originally opened its doors in the 1960s as a vocational-technical school with the goal of providing career education and workforce development to the local populace. In modern times, CGTC is part of the Technical College System of Georgia and offers several of its strongest programs through distance learning, including an online human resources certification
The human resources program at CGTC is a subset of the business management program. To earn the certificate, students must complete a 16-credit curriculum that includes four required courses: organizational behavior, human resource management, performance management, and employee training and development. The program does not include internship, thesis, capstone, in-person, or on-campus requirements. CGTC delivers all of the human resources program’s coursework asynchronously
Like most of its peer community and technical colleges, CGTC runs on open enrollment; each applicant only needs to submit proof of a high school diploma or GED to earn admission. Students may apply in the fall, spring, or summer terms. Once admitted, most full-time students can complete the program and earn their certificates in 1-2 semesters
Central Georgia Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
21. South Texas College
A community college based out of the Rio Grande Valley city of McAllen, Texas, South Texas College is relatively young as institutions of higher education go. It offered its first class in 1993. The college is nationally acclaimed for the diversity of its student population and its dual-enrollment programs. Though the college primarily focuses on students in Starr and Hidalgo Counties, it also caters to remote students through a slate of distance learning options, including its online human resources certification
The human resources assistant program at South Texas College includes a heftier curriculum than most of its peers, requiring 33 credits. A full-time student typically finishes in two semesters. Notable required courses include human relations, employment practices, human resources information systems, and organizational behavior. Each student can complete a cooperative, work-based experience as a capstone course.
The human resources curriculum does not include any in-person requirements, and all coursework is asynchronous. As a community college, South Texas College runs on open enrollment, admitting all students who submit proof of a high school diploma or GED
South Texas College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
22. Great Basin College
Based out of the city of Elko, Nevada, Great Basin College (GBC) enrolls nearly 4,000 students annually as a member of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Founded with a large gift from an eccentric and reclusive billionaire, GBC became part of the University of Nevada system two years after offering its first course in the 1960s. Nowadays, GBC caters to students from all 50 states by making several of its programs available through distance learning -- among them an online human resources certification
GBC’s human resources certificate of achievement prepares graduates for a wide range of entry-level positions. Students must complete 30.5 credits before graduating, and most full-time students earn their certificates in two semesters by taking five courses each semester. The human resources certificate at GBC also includes general education requirements, such as composition and mathematics.
Notable human resources-specific courses in the program include principles of management, psychology of human relations, introduction to human resource management, and introduction to small business management. GBC delivers all of the program’s coursework asynchronously and eliminates in-person and on-campus requirements to fit the needs of working professionals. Like many of its peers, GBC operates under a policy of open enrollment and provides admission to any student with a high school diploma or GED
Great Basin College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
23. Dakota County Technical College
Based in Rosemount, Minnesota, Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) sits just inside of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. DCTC is one of five members of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Opening its hallways to a mere 50 students in 1970, DCTC has since evolved into a 3,000-student community college offering many programs, including an online human resource management certificate
The human resource management program at DCTC requires students to complete a 17-credit curriculum consisting of 14 credits of human resources-related coursework and a three-credit general education course in interpersonal communication. Notable human resource management courses include risk management, human resource development, compensation and benefits, workforce planning, and employee and labor relations. DCTC keeps working professionals at the forefront and delivers all coursework asynchronously.
Students never need to visit campus to earn their human resources certificates from DCTC. Like most community colleges, DCTC runs on open enrollment and accepts all students who provide proof of a high school diploma or a GED. Students may apply for admission in the fall, spring, or summer terms, and most full-time students in the human resource management program earn their certificates within two semesters
Dakota County Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
24. Davidson County Community College
Thomasville, North Carolina
Based in Lexington and Thomasville, North Carolina, Davidson County Community College (DCCC) began operations in the 1950s. The college has evolved over the years, adding a satellite campus in Mocksville in the 1990s and greatly expanding its distance learning offerings over the past decade. As a result, DCCC now offers a human resource management certificate online.
The human resources diploma at DCCC is part of its business administration program. The 37-credit curriculum combines foundational business studies with human resources-focused coursework. Notable courses include human resource management; training and development; employment law and regulations; compensation and benefits; and recruiting, selection, and personnel planning. Most full-time students complete the program in 15 months.
DCCC strives for flexibility, delivering all coursework asynchronously and eliminating in-person, on-campus, thesis, and capstone requirements. DCCC does not list any admission requirements for its human resources program beyond the typical open enrollment prerequisite of a high school diploma or GED. DCCC offers a per-credit tuition discount to North Carolina residents compared with out-of-state students
Davidson County Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
25. National University
La Jolla, California
Based in the sunny San Diego community of La Jolla, National University (NU) began operations in the 1970s thanks to the efforts of David Chigos, a former Navy lieutenant commander. Chigos saw a need for alternative programs for working professionals and created NU to fill that void. As a result, NU excels particularly in distance learning programs that cater to individuals who have full-time jobs or familial obligations while earning their degrees. Those programs include an online human resources certification
The human resource management program at NU requires students to complete a 21-credit curriculum before they can graduate. Most students finish the program in 1-2 semesters. The 21-credit curriculum covers seven courses: compensation and benefits, data and human resource management, employee selection, equal employment opportunity, introduction to human resource management, performance management, and talent management and career development.
The program delivers all coursework asynchronously in a self-paced format. Each course takes 3-5 hours to complete and includes videos, readings, exercises, case studies, and self-assessments. Program cost is the same for all students, regardless of their location, and students maintain access to course materials for a year. The certificate does not have any admission requirements beyond a high school diploma or GED
National University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
The Advantages of a Human Resources Education
A human resources certificate prepares you to plan and coordinate administrative responsibilities to support organizations and the people who work within them. Companies and nonprofits want to hire the best talent, and human resources professionals play a critical role in that recruiting process.
In addition to roles as human resources specialists, certificate holders may enter positions like benefits manager or training coordinator. Moreover, earning your human resources certification online prepares you to facilitate workshops that help employees understand compensation, workplace policies, and equal employment rights.
Going beyond a human resources management certificate online to earn an associate degree in human resources can mean more professional opportunities. For most professionals, the difference between a certificate and an associate degree when it comes to annual income and the likelihood of career advancement is significant. The table below highlights some general statistics around median weekly earnings at various education levels.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Associate Degree in Human Resources||$836|
|Some college, no degree||$774|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Human Resources Degree Salary Information
Completing a human resource management certificate online prepares you for a career in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. The ability to manage hiring and training is an in-demand professional skill. Moreover, your education equips you with conflict resolution and mediation capabilities that employers frequently seek to ensure harmonious workplace environments. The below jobs require a high level of discretion, strong listening abilities, and effective communication skills.
- Human Resources Coordinator
- These professionals handle administrative functions like staffing, benefits, training, compensation, and workplace safety. They post job vacancies, review applications, respond to employee questions about organizational policies, and maintain employee records. An advanced degree could lead to a managerial role.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $41,000
- Mid-Career: $45,000
- Experienced: $48,500
- Late Career: $49,500
- Human Resources Administrator
- Often the first point of contact for human resources-related inquiries, this professional posts job openings, schedules interviews, and handles employee contracts. They may also supervise other personnel in the department. Pursuing additional education in the field could lead to manager or director roles.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $41,000
- Mid-Career: $46,000
- Experienced: $51,000
- Late Career: $53,000
- Human Resources Assistant
- This role supports all human resources processes. That entails communicating with employees, completing administrative paperwork, and helping to onboard new hires and facilitate employee exits following voluntary or involuntary separation. An advanced degree could lead to promotions.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $37,000
- Mid-Career: $39,000
- Experienced: $42,500
- Late Career: $42,500
- Human Resources Generalist
- This role helps hiring managers make informed decisions about onboarding new talent and maintaining employee relationships. They help supervisors devise strategies to identify quality personnel, like developing detailed job descriptions. They may also support functions like payroll and training. An advanced degree could lead to a director role.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $45,000
- Mid-Career: $51,000
- Experienced: $55,000
- Late Career: $57,000
- Administrative Assistant
- This position supports clerical responsibilities for managers and directors. Their work can include drafting correspondence, overseeing billing and payment, maintaining records, and scheduling meetings. Earning a degree can lead to career advancement, additional responsibilities, and increased pay.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $34,500
- Mid-Career: $36,000
- Experienced: $39,000
- Late Career: $40,500
Choosing an Online Human Resources Degree Program
It’s important to be informed when choosing the best online human resources certificate program for you. Carefully research the curriculum, faculty, and student services offered by each school. Determine how much you can comfortably afford and look for a program that stays within that budget. Selecting an in-state school may be your most affordable option since out-of-state public institutions and private colleges typically cost more. Below are a few other factors to consider.
- Program Cost
- Avoid excessive debt by ensuring that potential online human resources certificate programs fit within your budget. Determine the cost of tuition and fees, and explore additional expenses, like required on-campus residences. It also helps to research available scholarships.
- Transfer Policies
- If you’ve attended college before, look for online human resources certificate programs that let you transfer credits toward your associate degree. Also, find out if the schools that interest you maintain a transfer agreement with other schools so you can seamlessly transition to more advanced degree studies later.
- School Size and Type
- Determine if a public or private school most appeals to you. A public school likely costs less but may have larger class sizes. While online studies utilize primarily independent coursework, expect to engage in online discussions with classmates and professors. Think about how class size may affect the level of virtual interaction you desire.
- Program Length
- Decide if you wish to enroll in school on a full-time or part-time basis. Many decide to earn their human resources certification online because they work full time and can only study part time. This helps keep costs down, too, but it takes longer to graduate.
- On-Campus Requirements
- Some online programs require an on-campus residences. This means you may need to spend several days in face-to-face sessions, symposia, or workshops. Consider what this means for your schedule and life demands. Also, think about the costs you incur for travel and lodging during these residences.
Accreditation for Online Human Resources Programs
It’s best to choose an accredited college for your human resources certificate online program. Employers know accredited schools maintain academic rigor and are more likely to hire graduates from those schools.
Colleges focused on academics usually have regional accreditation, while those that offer career-oriented and vocational programs typically hold national accreditation. The best online human resources certificate programs boast accreditation from one of six regional agencies certified by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). For this reason, enrolling in a school with regional accreditation gives you a competitive advantage when applying to a program and entering the workforce.
In addition, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) promotes high-quality human resources management training through its programmatic accreditation standards. It offers an online directory of programs whose curricula align with these standards and reflect industry best practices. It also provides advice to those programs that wish to modify their curricula to align with SHRM’s recommendations.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Certificate in Human Resources?
In general, completing classes to earn a human resources management certificate online takes about one year. However, how long it takes you depends on many factors. For example, enrolling part time means taking longer to finish your program. Not all schools offer a fully online certificates, either, so you may need to attend some classes on campus or participate in a campus-based residence over several days. Balancing demands for face-to-face classes with professional and personal calendars can also lengthen a program.
Most online human resources certificate programs require 12-15 credits. The more credits you take at a time, the faster you can complete your studies. While enrolling in more classes can drive up costs due to heavier course loads, it also makes for a quicker completion time.
Courses in an Online Certificate in Human Resources Program
- This class considers how organizations leverage pay systems to better ensure their effectiveness. Learners understand how organizations develop pay systems and compensate employees based on performance. In addition, the class considers how to assess position descriptions to decide what compensation and salaries best align with them.
- Countering Bias in the Workplace
- Learners explore the psychological functions that influence the ways people interact with and respond to a diverse workforce. These processes affect personnel decision making, so those enrolled in this class learn how to leverage the potential that individuals with diverse backgrounds bring to their organizations.
- Employment Law
- Enrollees can examine federal and state laws that regulate employment and human resources practices. The class examines topics like overtime compensation, equal employment opportunities, and management rights. Moreover, it explores how to avoid litigation through conflict and dispute resolution techniques, which help to build skills in labor relations.
- Development and Training
- In this course, students learn to build employees skills within an organization. As a result, you can design and implement professional development programming to help strengthen best practices on an individual and organizational basis. This can include group or personalized workshops.
- Staffing Strategies
- This course offers a framework to ensure organizations achieve their goals by identifying, recruiting, and hiring the right talent. It encourages students to think about immediate and long-term organizational goals to make informed hiring decisions. Students also learn about employee separation and retention, as well as organizational rightsizing.
- Conflict Resolution
- These courses teach certificate candidates how to approach and manage conflicts in the workplace. Topics may include sexual harassment and discrimination.
- Talent Acquisition
- These courses teach students to evaluate resumes, conduct interviews and make employment offers. Certificate candidates may also learn about recruiting in the social media age.
Educational Paths for Graduates of Human Resources Certificate Programs
Some universities that offer certificates in human resources allow students to transfer certificate credits if they pursue degrees. However, certificate programs are more often self-contained. Even when credits do not transfer, certificate holders benefit from pursuing degrees, as many companies require their employees to hold bachelor’s degrees or higher.
- Associate in Human Resources:
- These two-year programs expand on what students learn in certificate programs. Graduates develop a deeper understanding of human resources theories and how to successfully apply the theories to the workplace.
- Bachelor’s in Human Resources
- As a four-year degree, a bachelor’s in human resources demonstrates that a graduate understands the profession. In these programs, students learn about human resources theories, research, laws and ethical considerations.
- Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management:
- These programs focus on the management aspect of human resources. Students gain critical thinking, oversight and communication skills that help them guide teams of professionals.
- Bachelor’s in International Human Resource Management
- International organizations face unique employment challenges. Students in these programs learn how to overcome legal, social, cultural and language challenges in global teams.
- Master’s in Human Resources
- Students with undergraduate degrees in any subject can earn a master’s degree to advance their human resources career. These programs delve into the complexities of human capital management. Employers recognize these graduates as experts.
Human Resources Membership Associations
Joining a professional organization is an excellent way to continuously deepen your knowledge after completing your human resources certification online. The conferences, workshops, and trainings offered by these networks can be invaluable. Membership in a professional organization connects you to others in similar careers for peer-to-peer information exchange.
- Society for Human Resource Management
- SHRM boasts a 60-year reputation in helping human resources professionals develop their careers. Members can access its publications, join its online community, participate in educational activities, and enjoy free webcasts. SHRM also offers additional certification opportunities.
- Academy of Human Resources Development
- AHRD encourages excellence in human resources development through ethical research and practice. It aims to influence the processes and theories that advance the field. Members enjoy access to four journals, an annual conference, and their choice of special interest groups.
- HR People + Strategy
- This is SHRM’s executive network for professionals who have at least 10 years of experience in leadership development, talent management, or strategy and planning. Members enjoy all of the benefits of SHRM membership, plus access to advanced-level reports and special conference invitations.
- National Human Resources Association
- A team of volunteers leads this organization, which helps advance human resources professionals’ career development and leadership capabilities. It delivers programming nationwide for all career levels, including interns and executives alike. Members can serve on an array of committees, including a team that designs NHRA’s monthly programs and organizes its exclusive job board.
- International Association for Human Resources Information Management
- IHRIM is the leading association for information management experts in human resources. It offers webinars on a range of topics in the field, plus discounted course registration and a subscription to its magazine for the HRIM profession.