Online Human Resources Degrees & Careers

Become a human resources manager

Human resources managers are a critically important part of almost every company nowadays. In general terms, they plan, schedule and produce all the administrative duties that take place in an organization. They are integral to building a successful and reliable team of workers, as they oversee recruitment strategies, interview methods and play a major role in hiring new employees. More than that, they regularly meet with executives to formulate and adjust workplace strategies to align more closely with business goals and values. They are the link between managers and the workforce.

If you want to pursue a career in human resources management, you may consider online courses for many different reasons. Online options may give students the ability to study and attend courses from home. Class schedules are normally flexible and allow individuals to work part- or full-time jobs at the same time. 

Are Human Resources Manager Programs for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online human resources manager program:

  • Human resources managers may work for private or public enterprises and organizations, and the prerequisites for employment vary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i].
  • Many institutions require a mix of employment experience as well as educational certification. While a bachelor's degree may suffice for many different employers, some organizations insist that job candidates have a master's degree.
  • Level of professional experience for positions varies as well. Some companies require several years of experience, as well as a thorough understanding of employment laws, HR program planning strategies and more.
  • There are also voluntary certifications hopeful HR managers can obtain to gain an extra level of credibility. Organizations like the HR Certification Institute and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans offer such certification programs.
  • Before signing up for online HR manager programs, explore how well these programs may prepare you to seek certifications and what work experience options they may help you pursue.

Human Resources Manager Career Paths and Potential Salaries

There are many career paths you may choose to pursue after receiving online schooling in human resources management. Study what paths may be available using statistics compiled by the BLS.

Human Resources Managers[i]

These professionals handle internal staffing issues and oversee recruitment and hiring processes for companies. They work closely with members of the workforce to analyze particular individual's strengths and weaknesses to move people around in a way that benefits the company. They also have a keen understanding of local, state and federal employment laws. They serve an important role in minimizing liability for the organization.

  • 2012 median annual salary: $99,720
  • Job growth through 2022: 13 percent (average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Human Resources and Labor Relations Specialists[ii]

Human resources and labor relations specialists serve a supportive role to human resources managers, but work on many of the same tasks. They coordinate with employers to discuss the hiring needs of the organization. They file and organize employee records and conduct background checks on potential hires. 

  • 2012 median annual salary: $55,640
  • Job growth through 2022: 7 percent (slower than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Training and Development Specialists[iii]

While HR managers and specialists focus mostly on hiring practices and mitigating company liability, training and development specialists analyze the weak areas of an organization's workforce and develop seminars and strategies to improve skill and knowledge. This may include designing manuals, online learning programs, instructional techniques and scheduling classes for workers to attend.

  • 2012 median annual salary: $55,930
  • Job growth through 2022: 15 percent (faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree