Online Degrees in Human Resources
Businesses are always competing for top talent, and human resources professionals play a critical role in managing the workforce. Trained HR specialists and managers recruit and retain top workers by creating competitive benefit and professional development programs for employees. Online human resources degrees help business and HR professionals hone their skills in personnel management in programs that can be completed at home--allowing them to maintain their work and personal commitments.
Human resources covers all aspects related to managing a workforce, from administrative details to strategic planning. Key responsibilities include the following:
- Recruiting and interviewing job candidates
- Hiring and orientation
- Training and development
- Compensation and benefits
- Employee and labor relations
- Health, safety and security
- Dispute resolution
Human resources degrees offer training in business fundamentals as well as applied HR skills. Basic business courses include accounting, finance, management, international business, marketing and computer information systems. Specific human resources courses cover topics like employment law, organizational behavior, collective bargaining and labor economics, as well as training in recruitment, coordinating development programs, compensation, benefits and more.
Human resources degrees are available at all levels, from associate to doctorate. Most HR professionals begin their careers with a bachelor's degree in business or human resources. Graduate degrees such as the master's and MBA support advancement into management roles.
- Associate. The two-year Associate of Science degree, available at community colleges, vocational institutes and some universities, offers focused career training combined with some general education courses.
- Bachelor. The four-year Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Business Administration focuses on building a foundation in core business skills, including critical thinking, analytical skills, oral and written communication, and applied management skills. Human resources majors take electives in the latter years of the program.
- Master. Two-year MBA and Master of Science programs offer two distinct takes on graduate human resources education. The MBA focuses on a broad business management curriculum, with HR electives and a capstone project. The M.S. in human resources offers a more in-depth, theoretical engagement with the human resources discipline, culminating in an independent research thesis.
- Doctorate. The PhD in human resources is the terminal degree in the field. It is an academic program emphasizing original scholarly research in the field. The PhD generally leads to college teaching or corporate strategy roles.
Human resources students benefit from hands-on training in an organization. Online human resources degrees often incorporate a local internship in order to give students the chance to apply their knowledge. Working professionals may be able to complete course projects in the context of their current job.
Mid-career professionals with college degrees in another field may also look into certificate programs in human resources, which offer targeted training in HR skills for individuals looking to make a career change.
Graduates with human resources degrees go on to jobs as HR generalists or specialists. Some HR specialist careers include employment and placement managers, recruitment specialists, employment interviewers, compensation and benefits specialists, occupational analysts, training and development specialists, labor relations managers, and equal employment opportunity managers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HR specialist roles pay in the $55,000-$60,000 range, and HR manager jobs pay around $100,000. In 2010, the BLS reported a mean annual salary of $108,600 for human resources managers.
Human resources professionals can look forward to favorable job prospects throughout the 2008-2018 period, according to BLS forecasts. Employment is projected to grow by 22 percent during this decade, buoyed by changing legislation in occupational safety and health, health care, equal employment opportunity, and other areas. Businesses looking to boost productivity also place a premium on trained HR strategists, managers and compensation specialists.
- Salary: Human resource managers earned a mean annual salary of $108,600 in 2010.
- Specialties: High-growth HR specialties include international human resources management and human resources information systems.
- Education: A bachelor's degree is the preferred credential for human resources professionals, and a master's degree may be necessary for advancement into managerial roles.
Online Degree Programs in Human Resources
Earn a Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master's or Doctorate for less at Baker College Online.
Continue your education with Strayer University.
Make a difference with a graduate degree from DeVry University's Keller Graduate School of Management.
At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.
Capella courses focus on real-world application, so you’ll gain skills and knowledge you can apply right away.
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
Online. Accelerated. Affordable. Accredited.