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Earning an Online Associates Degree in Human Resources

Are you looking to jumpstart your career in a field that might use your skills of communication, problem sensitivity and deductive reasoning? Do you consider yourself to be a cooperative and dependable person, someone who takes initiative and has a strong attention to detail?ii If so, you may want to consider earning an Online Associates Degree in Human Resources. Human resources positions may involve working with personnel, clerical procedures, strategic planning and customer service.iii If that sounds like something you think you might like to pursue, keep reading along for more information on how to set off down this path!

Essentials of Online Associates Degree in Human Resources

For starters, it’s important to understand what you might be getting into by enrolling in an associates degree program. Typically available for students who have already earned a high school diploma or its equivalent, associates degrees may be typically the first degree a student pursues in higher education.

Completing an associate’s degree program may take about two years of study, which typically tends to equate to about 20 courses. Generally speaking, there may be considered two main types of associate’s degrees.

The first type, generally known as a transfer degree, might be so named because it generally has the aim of preparing students to transfer into a bachelor-level program after graduation. Transfer degree programs might generally offer broad coursework that might help students satisfy the general education programs of a bachelor’s degree program.

The occupational degree may be considered the second main category of associate’s degrees. As opposed to the transfer associates degree, an occupational associates degree program might typically prepare a student for a specific career. As such, the coursework for an occupational degree may be more narrowly focused, with the focus being to prepare students for the roles and responsibilities of that occupation.

As you research your options, you might find that associate’s degrees come in a number of different titles. The two most common are generally considered to be the Associate of Arts (AA) and the Associate of Science (AS). Usually transfer degrees, these might be offered in a wide range of subjects. Occupational degrees may have longer titles featuring words such as “occupational” or “applied.”

Potential Career Pursuits in Human Resources

Earning an Online Associates Degree in Human Resources might prefer you to pursue certain careers in the field. One of the more common might be as a human resources assistant.v While there may be different ways to prepare yourself to pursue this position, the most common entry-level education, according to those polled by O*Net, is an associate’s degree.vi Human resources assistants may have a wide variety of responsibilities, from maintaining employment documentation, to explaining company policies, or recording data regarding employee attendance, earnings and other personnel factors.vii In 2015, the median annual wages for this position were $38,100.viii

Another career you might be able to pursue could be as an information clerk. While the typical entry-level education for this position might be a high school diploma, some employers may prefer candidates who have earned an associates degree.ix Information clerks may be employed in a wide variety of environments, from offices to hotels to hospitals. Some may even work on the road.x

Information clerks may typically have responsibilities relating to clerical tasks, such as keeping records and recording data. They may work in customer service as well.xi In fact, there may be a wide range of positions that fall under the information clerk umbrella. These might include some of the following:

  • File clerks
  • Court clerks
  • Eligibility interviewers
  • Hotel clerks
  • Municipal clerksxi

In 2015, the median annual salary for this career was $32,050.xii

What is the Common Coursework for an Online Associates Degree in Human Resources?

The coursework needed to earn an Online Associates Degree in Human Resources depends on the educational institution where the degree is earned. However, your classes may cover subjects including the following:

  • Introduction to Business – A broad overview of business ownership, management, finance, and marketing.
  • Human Relations –Dealing effectively with others, self-management, and fostering career.
  • Business Ethics – Explores organizational culture, social and professional responsibilities, employee rights and obligations, organizational relationships, workplace discrimination.
  • Training and Developing – Learn how training and development may successfully benefit an enterprise.

After earning an Online Associates Degree in Human Resources, you might pursue a career in the human resources field or elect to further your education. Some careers inhuman resources require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, although an associate’s degree might present an excellent introduction to the human resources field and be a major first step in your career. Whether you’re interested in working with personnel records or assisting with general office duties, earning an associate’s degree in human resources may help you fulfill those goals.

  • Human Resources Assistants: $39,980[vi]
  • Information Clerks: $31,500 (2% growth 2014 through 2024)[xii]
  • General Office Clerks: $28,6663 (3% growth 2014 through 2024)[xiii]
  • Introduction to Business – A broad overview of business ownership, management, finance, and marketing.
  • Human Relations –Dealing effectively with others, self-management, and fostering career.
  • Business Ethics – Explores organizational culture, social and professional responsibilities, employee rights and obligations, organizational relationships, workplace discrimination.
  • Training and Developing – Learn how training and development may successfully benefit an enterprise.

After earning an Online Associates Degree in Human Resources, you might pursue a career in the human resources field or elect to further your education. Some careers in human resources require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, although an associate’s degree might present an excellent introduction to the human resources field and be a major first step in your career. Whether you’re interested in working with personnel records or assisting with general office duties, earning an associate’s degree in human resources may help you fulfill those goals.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to start comparing and contrasting your options in human resources, don’t wait another minute! Feel free to take a look at the listings here on eLearners.com. If you have any questions about the specific programs, you can reach out directly to the schools you’re considering for more information. Good luck!


[i]onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4161.00#Skills [ii]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm [iii]onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4161.00#Knowledge [iv]http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2002/winter/art01.pdf [v]onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4161.00 [vi]onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4161.00#Education [vii]onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4161.00#Tasks [viii]onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4161.00#WagesEmployment [ix]bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm#tab-4 [x] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm#tab-3 [xi]bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm#tab-2 [xii].bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm#tab-6 [xii]bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm#tab-1 [xiii]bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/general-office-clerks.htm#tab-6 [xiv]bls.gov/oes/current/oes434161.htm

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