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Online Human Resources Certificates

Distinct from HR certification, human resources certificate programs help professionals develop core competencies in human resources and management. Professionals new to HR, seasoned in the profession, and interested in leadership positions could benefit from earning one. Curricula in online human resources certificate programs may cover subjects across the HR spectrum including management and leadership.  

Online Human Resources Certificate Programs ~ The  Basics

Students might learn many things as they pursue a certificate in human resources online.

  • Students may study how to align HR’s goals with the goals of an organization.
  • They might learn about conflict management and other areas of employee relations.
  • Future managers and leaders in HR might learn how to organize HR departments, manage employees, and follow HR law.
  • Studies in workplace diversity, talent management, strategic development, and HR analysis may help students understand the nuances of producing successful HR work.

Pursuing a human resources certificate online could be a great way for business and HR professionals to develop their knowledge and skills in key areas without having to commit to a longer, more advanced degree program.

How Are Online HR Certificate Programs Structured?

The structure of online human resources certificate programs varies by program. Some include five to six courses meant to be completed over one semester to one year. Others include one course delivered over several weeks and resulting in a certificate. The type of online human resources certificate you should pursue depends on your academic and professional goals. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re considering your options: 

  • Some programs result in a certificate that you might use simply to enhance your resume and career. Developing knowledge in a specific area of HR or broadening your knowledge of HR management and leadership may give you the professional boost you’re looking for. 
  • Other programs may help you earn credits that can be applied to an HR certification program, a masters degree program, or a professional development requirement. Programs like these may be graduate-level programs or offer Continuing Education Units. Some undergraduate-level certificate programs might help business majors focus their studies in HR management or leadership. 
  • Still other programs enable professionals to pursue credit towards recertification through the Human Resource Certificate Institute. Some programs may also help students prepare to take an HR certification exam, such as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) exam.

Many online human resources certificate programs involve a blend of digital lectures, discussions, and interactive activities. They may use an array of technology and media to deliver curricula.

What Might I Study in a Human Resources Certificate?

What you will study in Online HR certificates programs depends on each program’s focus. Many programs emphasize leadership, management, or specialized areas of human resources. Some potential areas of focus include:

  • Human resources essentials
  • Human resources management
  • Human resources leadership
  • Strategic human resources

Within these focus areas, students pursuing a certificate in human resources online might study a specific area of human resources management or leadership such as:

  • Compensation and benefits studies
  • Labor and employee relations
  • Talent management
  • HR analytics

These are just some of many areas where students might focus their studies.

Potential Coursework

Core and elective courses in online human resources certificates may cover subjects across the HR spectrum. Here are some subjects students might study:

  • Finding, hiring, and keeping quality employees
  • Managing and utilizing talent
  • Employee relations across environments
  • Compensation, benefits, and rewards
  • Employment law
  • Employee training and development
  • Managing diversity
  • HR leadership and management
  • Aligning HR strategy with organizational strategy
  • Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

So What's My Next Step?

If you’re ready to explore options for pursuing an online HR certificate, take the next step. Explore our sponsored listings to find accredited schools offering programs in areas across human resources. Through our site, you can learn more about programs. Then contact them directly for additional information or to register for classes.