Online Graduate Certificates in Human Resources 2021

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Graduate certificates can be earned in approximately five classes and can offer quick ROI and job security.

Human resources (HR) manages the development of an organization or company’s workforce. HR departments typically coordinate the recruitment, onboarding, and training of new employees. HR professionals administer employee benefits and compensation. 

Those considering a certificate in human resources can look forward to good job prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HR managers earn a median annual salary of $116,720. The BLS also reports a faster than average job growth rate of 6% for 2019-2029. 

This article covers frequently asked questions and benefits of human resources certificates. We outline typical human resources graduate certificate courses and highlight scholarships for HR certificate students.

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HR Graduate Certificate Questions


  • What can I do with a certificate in human resources?

    A certificate in human resources provides the skills and knowledge necessary to work in the field. Human resources professionals may earn a certificate to advance their career.


  • How do I get certified in human resources?

    Requirements for HR certification depend on the certification level. Some certifications require professionals to demonstrate experience in the field. Knowledge-based certifications do not require any professional experience.


  • What qualifications do you need for HR?

    Most human resources jobs require certification. Other jobs need a bachelor’s or master’s degree depending on the employment level.


  • Can you do HR without a degree?

    Many positions in human resources require at least a bachelor’s degree in HR. Some employers allow employees with several years of experience to transition into an HR position.


Why Get a Certificate in Human Resources?

Earning a certificate in human resources offers many professional and personal benefits. The following list includes some of the top advantages of earning a human resources certificate.

Enhance Skills and Knowledge
A certificate in human resources allows students to learn more about the field. These programs prepare enrollees for certification exams.
Save Time and Money
Earning a human resources graduate certificate costs less and takes less time than earning a master’s degree.
Career Opportunities
Human resources certificate programs prepare learners for certification, opening new career opportunities. Learning new HR skills may increase the chances of receiving a promotion.
Higher Earning Potential
HR professionals with higher education earn more on average. For example, human resources managers require more education and experience but earn more than other HR positions.
Become More Hirable
Even if a specific employer or position does not require an HR certificate, earning one can offer an advantage over other candidates. Earning a certificate in human resources demonstrates passion, commitment, and knowledge of the field.

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Courses in Human Resources

Earning a certificate in human resources allows students to learn new skills while saving time and money. Courses included in human resources certificate programs teach enrollees how to manage employees and develop policies for organizations.

Many certificate programs offer specialized tracks to help learners define their interests. For example, students interested in helping businesses with financial strategies can take finance classes. Other specialization options include project management, diversity and inclusion, and organizational strategy.

The following list provides an overview of human resources graduate certificate courses. Not all programs offer the classes listed below. Rather, these examples represent a sample curriculum for a human resources certificate program.

Human resource management courses provide an overview of HR departments and their function within an organization. Learners study employment laws and regulations, including workplace civil rights issues, labor laws, and equal pay laws. The class covers HR strategic planning, where students learn how to help organizations develop a mission, values, and a vision.

Labor relations examines the relationship between employees and their workplace. Students learn how to dismantle labor disruption through conflict management and negotiation skills. This often includes an examination of both union and non-union environments. Many programs with this course also guide enrollees through practical applications.

This course teaches learners the principles and practices of employee benefits and compensation programs. Students learn wage theory, unemployment security, and insurance plans. Enrollees study disability and pension plans. The class prepares learners to work with organizations to develop and administer employee benefits and compensation packages.

Students learn how to develop trainings that meet employees’ needs. This course covers all phases of the process, including development, implementation, and evaluation. Many programs ask learners to develop their own analysis, training plan, and instruction during this class.

This course examines behavior in the workplace. Students learn the factors that influence behavior and how to manage behavior, including conflict management, group dynamics, and organizational design. Organizational behavior typically focuses on how culture, power, and politics influence workplace dynamics.

Scholarships for Human Resources Students

Learners often save money by completing a certificate program, but scholarships can still help fund their education. Human resources graduate certificate enrollees choose from a variety of scholarships. This list includes scholarships available to human resources majors of all levels.

  • HR Exploration Award

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship aids students enrolled in a human resources-related program. Candidates must demonstrate completion of two full semesters with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Application for this award requires a short essay.

    Amount: $1,200

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  • Society for Human Resources Management Undergraduate and Graduate Awards

    Who Can Apply: SHRM offers multiple named scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in human resources-related programs. Applicants do not need to apply to a specific scholarship. Rather, SHRM will determine which scholarship meets your specific needs.

    Amount: $2,500-$5,000

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  • SILA Post-Secondary College Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in programs in insurance, risk management, and other business-related fields qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate a 3.0 GPA or higher. They must also submit a reference letter and verification if employed.

    Amount: $1,000

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