Online Human Resources Degree

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WHAT IS AN ONLINE HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE?

Online human resources degree programs focus on a business’ most important asset: its workers. You could learn the ropes of how to find, retain, and help to develop employees. You could also study work place ethics, employee benefits, and ways to communicate.

HR managers serve as a link between business leaders and employees. Programs in this field cover what matters to workers like pay and rewards. And, they cover areas that concern business leadership like hiring new talent.

HR programs also explore what to do when times get tough. That includes things like change in management and handling work place disputes. You could learn how to put policies in place that help prevent and resolve conflict. And, you’ll learn how to make the work place more positive for all.

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TYPES OF ONLINE HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE PROGRAMS

Bachelor of Human Resources and Organizational Leadership

Master of Human Resource Management

MBA in Human Resources

This program covers the theory of both HR and leadership. So, you could prepare for diverse roles across different companies and industries.At the Master’s level, you’ll take a more detailed look at HR – including theory and practice. Expect to explore present day topics, like HR technology and diversity.The MBA program covers the general business and management theory. In the HR focus, you’ll drill down on topics like how to recruit, hire, and train.
Course Examples:

  • Intro to HR
  • Strategic HR
  • Instructional Design
Course Examples:

  • Labor Relations
  • Employment Law
  • Legal Issues in HR Management
Course Examples:

  • Business Communications
  • Training and Development
  • Strategic Reward Systems

HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and MBA in HR programs are all mostly found online. You could even earn a PhD or DBA in Human Resources in an online format.

BACHELOR’S DEGREE

Bachelor’s in Human Resources programs offer an overview of HR and how it impacts business. So, you could study things from marketing to labor law and employee training. And, most programs require gen ed credits like English and math.

Bachelor’s in human resources programs include courses like:

  • Business communications – like writing, public speaking, and media
  • Laws and ethics related to HR, including diversity and inclusion
  • Software used in business and human resources
  • Social psychology and behavior in the work place

MASTER’S AND MBA DEGREES

At the master’s level, expect to delve deeper into HR theory and practice. A Master of Human Resources program may focus on present day issues in HR. For example, you could study labor relations, diversity, and employee rewards. Some programs require candidates to have work experience. This may help you apply HR theory to real world issues. You could even solve problems in your current work place!

Common programs include:

  • Master of Science in Human Resources – May focus on technical and career based subjects
  • Master of Arts in Human Resources – May include more liberal arts courses

Or, think about going for your MBA (Master of Business Administration) with a focus in Human Resources. MBA programs feature a core of business courses. So, you’ll build wider knowledge of the business world, in addition to a focus on HR. This could help you understand the bigger picture of managing human capital in a company.

Human resources master’s programs include courses like:

  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Labor Law
  • Leading Change
  • Recruitment and Staffing
  • Ethics in Human Resources

PH.D. AND DBA DEGREES

Online PhD and DBA programs in HR focus on research and leadership practices. You may study areas like organizational behavior, labor relations, and even public policy. Usually, you’ll have to research and write a dissertation to earn the degree.

Common programs include:

  • PhD in HR – A Ph.D. is a research degree. So, a Ph.D. in HR will likely focus on being able to contribute to the field’s body of knowledge. This type of program may suit you if you’re interested in an academic career path.
  • DBA in HR – A DBA is a professional doctorate degree. This type of program may focus on the practice of human resources, and its role in a company. So, you may use applied research to solve many HR problems.

WHAT DO HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE COURSES LOOK LIKE?

Many HR programs cover two sets of courses. Ones that relate to business basics. And others about human resources practices and concepts.

Business classes often look at federal rules and ways to communicate in the work place. They may also touch on finance, ethics and leadership. Things that develop your sense of how to manage people, projects and daily tasks.

Human resource classes may vary from one school to the next. But they all provide the concepts and skills that HR pros need to know to thrive in their career.

Some common courses include:

Intro to HR: Many programs begin with a broad overview of HR and the role it plays in business. This also frames the areas involved in human resources and how they interact.

Training and Development: Central to HR is to understand the training process. This is about helping to develop talent to fit a business’ goals. And, often delves into ways to design employee training programs.

Staffing and Recruitment: This type of class looks at the role of staffing. How it can support a business strategy and improve productivity. You are likely to also go over legal and compliance issues. Plus ways to select, recruit, and keep personnel.

Compensation and Benefits: In this kind of class, you tend to look at wage and pay systems. How to calculate base pay and pay increases for example. And, any compliance issues and laws that affect pay. Side topics tend to cover employee benefits. Like health care, paid time off, and retirement plans.

Employment Law: HR managers need to know a wide range of laws. So this class may provide an overview of key Acts. And labor laws about unfair practices. Like workplace safety. Side topics might also cover the ins and outs of contracts and negligent hiring.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN A HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE?

An online Bachelor’s in Human Resources requires about 120 to 128 credits. It usually takes 4 years for full time students to earn the degree. Earning an online Master’s in HR calls for around 30 to 48 credits of course work. Full time students may earn the degree in about 2 years. Some faster paced programs take as few as 12 months.

Finally, online doctorate programs in HR may require 58 to 66 credits of course work. You may also have to research and write a dissertation. So, earning a PhD or DBA in HR can take between 2 and 4.5 years, or longer.

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HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE PROGRAM EXAMPLES

School# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
Louisiana State U30Multiple10
Lasell College30Multiple12
U of Northern Colorado366 start dates per year12

THE AVERAGE COST OF AN ONLINE HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE PROGRAM

According to the most recent data, HR students paid a median in state public tuition of $7,514 per year. Out of state private tuition was $29,700 per year.

Many online schools charge by the credit. Compare cost per credit for these schools that offer HR programs.

School# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
Purdue University Global16$485$7,760
U of Phoenix120$398$47,760
Rutgers36$915$32,940

TOP SCHOOLS FOR HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE PROGRAMS

Last check, there were 852 schools that offer Human Resources Management programs. From those schools, 26,642 HR degrees were awarded to students. The majority of these were Bachelor’s degrees.

School2017 Degrees awarded2019/20 Tuition (out of state unless *)
University of Phoenix  Arizona1,166$9,552*
Webster University755$28,700*
Rutgers University New Brunswick723$32,189
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus704$27,144
University of Maryland University College525$36,891
Colorado State University Global Campus456$8,400*
Cornell University380$57,222*
Capella University371$14,540*
Central Michigan University364$24,120*
Ashford University316$12,400*

Estimated for full time, beginning undergrad students

CHOOSING A HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE ONLINE ACCREDITED PROGRAM

Finding an accredited college or university should be your first step. Accredited schools meet certain standards that may matter to your future employers. It’s also important that your school is accredited if you hope to qualify for federal financial aid.

But what about program accreditation? Human Resources programs fall under the umbrella of Business. So, you may find HR programs that hold business program accreditation.

Some of these agencies include:

Finally, some programs offer a curriculum aligned with the standards of SHRM. SHRM stands for the Society for Human Resource Management. It is the world’s largest HR professional society. SHRM doesn’t offer accreditation, but they award certification for human resources professionals. Employers may prefer candidates with certification from SHRM or similar places.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN HR DEGREE?

According to the most recent data, there are 11.2 million human resources degree holders in the work force. This group is moving up, with one year growth of 3.01%!

More females than males earned degrees in HR management and services. That’s 70.2% females to 29.8% males. And, the average age of a worker in this field is 43.7 years old.

TOP SALARIES BY STATE FOR HUMAN RESOURCES DEGREE HOLDERS

The following info is for Human Resource Specialists. Salary and employment numbers will differ for other HR career paths.

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
District of Columbia7,270$93,880
Maryland12,710$76,560
Massachusetts17,130$75,700
New York41,300$75,650
New Jersey17,510$75,360

HUMAN RESOURCES CAREER PATHS AND POTENTIAL SALARIES

Job prospects for HR positions vary depending on the role but they range from growing as fast as any other occupation to growing faster than average according to BLS. Below you’ll find a guide to some of the more popular career paths that many HR graduates pursue. We’ve also listed the minimum education that is needed to enter the field along with salary (2018) and job outlook through 2028.

HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGERS

These professionals handle staffing issues and oversee recruitment and hiring for companies. They work closely with members of the work force to analyze a particular candidates strength and weakness to move people around in a way that benefits the company. They also have a keen knowledge of  employment laws.

Median Salary: $113,300 per year

Job Growth Through 2028: 7% (Faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

HR SPECIALISTS

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

Median Salary: $60,880 per year

Job Growth Through 2028: 5% (As fast as average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT SPECIALISTS

Training and development specialists analyze the weak areas of an companies work force and develop ways to improve skill and knowledge. This may include being able to design manuals, online learning programs, instructional methods and scheduling classes for workers to attend.

Median Salary: $60,870 per year

Job Growth Through 2028: 9% (Faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree.

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Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.