As evidenced by the continued growth of online degree programs, more and more people are attracted to the flexibility that online degrees can offer. Here are the details you need to know about pursuing an online human resource degree.
How Online Education for Human Resources Degree Programs Work
Degrees in human resources are available through online colleges and distance education programs at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels.
Because most of the course work in the HR degree is based on information, it is easily adapted to any online format.
Courses in business, psychology, and human resources principles can all be taught through online classes, via streaming lectures. Online education for human resources acceptable overall the world now.
Students turn in their homework, take exams, and interact with professors and other students through the online learning environment provided by their school.
While the didactic part of the human resources curriculum can be transferred online, real-world, face-to-face interaction cannot, of course.
Since HR is a career that is primarily people-focused, it may make sense for students to choose an online degree that sets students up with internships in their local community, so they can get hands-on human resources training.
This is most crucial at the bachelor’s degree level, for students who have had no previous real-world experience in human resources.
For current HR professionals pursuing online master’s degree programs, gaining real-world experience through the degree is less crucial. Online education for human resources is the best option to adopt.
Online HR Programs and Accreditation
Accreditation is an important factor for any online human resources degree you’re considering. A great way and opportunity for those who looking for online education for human resources
Accreditation is the process by which a third-party agency investigates a university or degree program, and sees if it is up to the agency’s standards.
For online HR degree programs, ensure that the college awarding the degree has institutional accreditation, from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Institutional accreditation means that the entire online university has been vetted, including its various departments and teaching methods.
If you are considering pursuing an online degree in human resources through a college business school, you should check to see if the business school is approved by the relevant authority.
Avoiding Diploma Mills
Although there are hundreds if not thousands of standard online accredited colleges and degrees, students of online education should still be wary of scams.
Fake online schools, called Diploma Mills, have numerous warning signs that you can look for, including:
- Overly impressive accreditations: If a school’s accreditation list seems a little over-the-top, make sure you take the time to check if the accreditations are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and acknowledged on the accrediting body’s website.
- Short degree time frames: Beware of any college promising you degrees in ½ or 1/3 of the time it normally takes to finish the program.
- Degree sales or special deals: No reputable college offers students special deals if they enroll in multiple degree programs; also watch out for programs that charge by the degree, and not by credits or units.
Human Resources Career Overview
Do you have what it takes to be in charge of a company’s talent? Human resources managers are in a unique position to develop a company’s staff, through careful recruiting, training, and benefits management.
Human Resources Tasks and Responsibilities
Human resource managers, surprisingly, have been assigned to handle the “human” termination of the contract, and all intra-office matters that may arise.
As companies are realizing the strategic importance of hiring and retaining a staff that is in line with its world view, human resources managers are taking on a bigger role than they used to.
Here is a list of human resources management responsibilities:
- Hiring Employees
- Training Employees
- Placing the employees inside the company
- Deciding the salaries and benefits packages
- Offering the continuing development courses to employees
- Keeping employee satisfaction high
- Handling any workplace complaints
Human Resources Specializations
At a small firm, a human resources manager might be in charge of all the above responsibilities, a veritable jack-of-all-trades when it comes to employee company relations.
At larger companies, however, it would be impossible for one manager to take care of all of those issues. In fact, over a dozen specialized roles in human resources exist.
Here are a few of those jobs:
- Recruitment specialists: In charge of finding and screening new job applicants. May have to travel a considerable amount, to job fairs, college campuses, and other places in the community.
- Compensation managers: These HR specialists review industry-wise pay rates, to ensure that the company’s pay structure is appropriate.
- Employee benefits manager: At a large company, handling employee’s retirement plans, health benefits, stock options, and other perks can be a full-time job.
- Labour relations manager: These managers work with unions and individuals to resolve disputes on contracts, compensation, or other labor issues.
Education and Training
A bachelor’s degree is a common requirement for entry-level positions, although more specific positions, such as labor relations managers, require graduate work.
There are relatively few undergraduate programs, especially in human resources. Students should take a combination of course work in business, business management, and social sciences to prepare for the HR position.
After graduation, voluntary certification in a field of human resources is a way to highlight HR’s capabilities.
Other important features:
- Effective oral and written communication skills
- Knowledge of technology and digital communications systems
- Cultural awareness
- Ability to speak a second language
- Trustworthiness and integrity, for dealing with dispute issues
- Ability to function under pressure
What Do Human Resource Specialists Do?
In many parts of the world, especially in the United States, countries are moving from industrial, machine-gas-powered operations to value-added, labor-intensive jobs.
At the same time, managing a company’s employees has become increasingly important in today’s economy.
To deal with this growth in demand for labor, the emergence of human resources has allowed companies to recruit, train, and manage their employees in an efficient manner.
Here are some specific responsibilities for human resource specialists.
Many HR professionals handle the recruitment process in their companies.
As a first step in dealing with a company’s potential employees, the recruitment process is critical to the success of human resource professionals.
As a recruiting officer, a human resources specialist may need to screen, interview, and evaluate potential employees.
In addition, recruiting officers may need to travel to job fairs to meet and greet potential employees.
Having said that, today’s recruitment process has begun to shift from a physical to an electronic process, as job search websites and emails have alleviated the process of hiring an employee.
Another responsibility that human resource specialists are responsible for is the management of a company’s employees.
This may include resolving interpersonal disputes, providing payroll assistance, or maintaining contact with each employee to maintain a solid relationship between company and employee.
As a position dealing with the constant demand for communication, these human resource specialists must be comfortable talking and relating to their fellow employees in order to succeed in this position.
As a link between the corporation and its employees, the HR department has a responsibility to align the company’s goals with the benefits of its employees.
Being in this unique position, these HR experts need to keep up to date with their co-workers while keeping up to date with the company’s policies.
This position is basically a balancing act, where the HR specialist should weigh the employee’s requests along with the company’s policies.
While this may sound like a zero-sum game, the most successful HR professionals are capable of improving employee productivity by meeting their requests.
Human Resources Career Outlook & Salary Information
If you are considering starting or changing careers in human resources, you’re probably interested in what the job market and earnings will look like for HR managers.
Human resource managers and specialists receive solid salaries and can expect very favorable job prospects in the next few years.
Human Resources Job Market
- Employment in human resources is expected to grow 23% by 2018, must faster than the national average for all jobs.
- Training and development, recruitment, employment, and placement specialists will be in especially high demand.
- The growth in human resources jobs may expand or decrease slightly, depending on the nation’s general economic conditions.
- Individuals with a college degree and HR certification will have the best job opportunities.
The overall human resource employment market is expected to grow in the coming years. Many factors are conspiring to create more demand for HR specialists.
The new occupational health legislation will mean that companies need more human resources workers to ensure they comply with the law.
Rising healthcare costs will increase the demand for benefits specialists, as businesses seek to attract and retain new recruits by offering health-related packages.
The aging baby-boom population is affecting nearly every job sector, and human resources are no different.
As more skilled workers retire in the coming years, training and development professionals need to work with new staff to accelerate their pace.
Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists will also be needed to find these new workers and place them in the company.
Human Resources Earnings
- The middle 50% of human resources managers earn $66,000-127,000 a year.
- Non-manager human resources specialists earn around $35,500-71,500 a year.
- Human resources wages vary slightly by specialty and management position.
Human resources managers enjoy ample salaries. Compensation and benefits managers earn an average wage of $96,500 a year, while training and development managers earn $94,500.
The average earnings for all other human resources managers are $104,500 a year. Computer systems design firms, insurance carriers, hospitals, and educational institutions are large employers of human resources managers.
Human resources specialists earn less than managers, although the wages are still relatively high. Employment and recruitment specialists earn an average wage of $44,500 a year, and compensation and benefits specialists earn $54,500.
The average salary for training and development specialists is $50,500 a year. Scientific and technical consulting services, computer systems design firms, hospitals, local government, and insurance carriers employ large numbers of human resources specialists.
Undergraduate Degree Programs in Human Resources
Undergraduate degrees are the gateway to entry-level human resource positions. These are the requirements for associate and bachelor’s degrees in HR, and once you graduate, you can land in human resource jobs.
Associate’s Degree in Human Resources
Choosing associate degrees in human resources can be a great choice, if you are interested in human resource assistant positions, or if you want to transfer your credit to a four-year university to finish your bachelor’s degree.
Human resources assistants are generally in charge of organizing HR records, inputting data into the computer, answering calls, or other routine tasks.
Associate degrees in human resources take two years to complete when students enroll in a full-time course. This degree can be pursued online. Online education for human resources is most demanded overall.
The classes in this degree usually consist of a mixture of general college requirements, business skills, psychology and sociology courses, and specific human resources classes.
In their first two semesters, students take basic management courses, such as financial accounting and managerial accounting, to discuss how to keep track of expenses and how to use that data to make business decisions.
Classes in behavioural science, like Applied Psychology, teach students how to work through issues of human behaviour on the job.
By the end of the degree, students often take HR-specific classes, such as Labor Relations Management, in which they learn how to resolve issues between workers and management.
Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources
The Bachelor of HR provides a depth of study in the areas of human resources. Graduates will have more job and promotion opportunities than just those with an associate’s degree.
Bachelor’s program requires anywhere from one-third to one-half of the degree’s credits to be completed in general university requirements like math, English, humanities, and natural science.
Like associate’s degrees in human resources, bachelor’s degrees require a major curriculum comprised of business, social science, and human resources classes.
Some universities consider human resources to be a special kind of business degree, which gives the degree more focus on administration.
Human resource students typically take 10 or more business courses in subjects such as business statistics, macroeconomics, and business communications, in which they learn general administrative and financial skills.
There are at least six classes in human resource topics, such as employee development and human resource planning, where students learn strategies to grow and train a company’s staff.
On top of that, many bachelor’s programs require students to complete an internship in the firm’s HR department. Some employers prefer to hire graduates with real-world experience, and this internship can help graduates get better jobs.
Job Opportunities for Human Resource Specialists
Today, companies are focusing more on their employees than on machines, as specialization continues to grow.
Consultants, doctors, accountants, and engineers are valued more than ever because their high skills cannot be taught to computers.
Human resource specialists, having the ability to deal with people every day, are essential to any company’s operations.
At the same time, human resource specialists are required for all forms of business today, giving them a wide variety of choices of the area of work.
Here are just a few examples.
Human Resource Manager
Human Resource Management (HRM) is the strategic management of a company’s resources (human resources, in this case).
Human resource management includes different management practices in which a company provides its employees with opportunities to be productive and content with their work.
As the most relevant link between the company and its employees, it is important for HR departments to maintain employee relationships.
By recognizing the strengths of a company’s employees and compensating them appropriately for their work, human resource managers are critical to creating an effective workplace.
To continue to grow and innovate, companies need to continuously attract new employees into their businesses.
Whether the organization is a private company, a government agency, or a university, the recruitment process is an important aspect of the work of any organization.
Recruitment professionals accomplish this by tackling the recruitment and hiring process.
Because different companies use different resources to hire employees, recruiters can recruit employees either by going to job fairs or by posting jobs online.
To be successful in this position, recruiters need to be able to communicate with new people daily and planning their schedules effectively.
Human Resource Consultant
As a highly specialized field, human resources require people who are organized, outgoing, and experienced in dealing with people.
Like other fields, specialization has given the human resources sector the opportunity to become a consulting sector.
A specific example of a human resources consultancy firm is Professional Employers Private Limited (PEOPLE).
The PEOPLE is a firm that specializes in human resources management, and when hired, assumes all responsibilities of the company’s HR department.
Through specializing and contracting their HR skills, these consultancy firms are highly demanded due to their knowledge of best HR practices.
Different Degrees Held by Human Resource Specialists
With the emergence of human resources as an important department of any business, the demand has increased due to the level of competition in the field is very high.
In order to increase the chances of finding a job in human resources, it will be important to acquire relevant skills to market yourself to potential employers.
A great way to do this is to gain a degree in human resources. However, a degree in human resources is far from the only degree option to pursue a career in human resources.
Here are some other choices when trying to decide which way to go in terms of degree.
Degree in Business Administration
A degree in business administration is the first step that many people who are interested in human resources take.
While some universities offer human resource concentrations within their business schools, others do not.
Since this degree allows you to gain a broad understanding of the business world today, even choosing to specialize in another field such as finance or accounting will allow you to gain valuable knowledge in networking and communicating with coworkers.
Furthermore, many business schools expose their students to many real-world experiences, such as hearing prominent businesspeople talk about their experiences or networking with employers.
Degree in Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and brain. The field of psychology involves much academic research involved with the science of how people think and act.
Many of this knowledge can be useful for human resource specialists, as it can help provide solutions when employees have problems with their workloads.
Through focusing on the science behind human relationships, degrees in psychology provide for greater understanding when it comes to understanding how others think.
Degree in Communications
A degree in communications imparts both technical and practical skills that are useful for human resource managers.
First, concentrating on communications allows a person to become comfortable interacting with others through many mediums.
Communications majors are adept at communicating with others in person, in writing, or through graphical presentations.
Degree in Labor Economics
Labor economics is the science of human resource allocation. As the study of human resources, individuals with a complete understanding of labor economics have much to contribute to any human resource department.
Labour economists have the keen ability to quantify the results of certain HR practices.
Many companies hire labor economists as consultants, who constantly quantify and review the effects of different HR practices within the company.
HR Master’s Degrees and Certifications
While an undergraduate degree will get you started towards a career in human resources, master’s degrees and voluntary certifications are two ways to prove your HR skills and qualify for more advanced positions.
Master’s Degrees in Human Resources
Many specialized human resources management positions are now requiring applicants to have graduate-level training.
If you’re interested in a director position where you supervise a team of human resource managers, you may need a master’s degree. Other specialties, such as labor relations, also require applicants with advanced HR education.
Many human resources master’s degrees are structured for working professionals and can be completed on a part-time basis in two to four years or even they can take classes online. Online education for human resources become very common these days.
These programs usually require 15-20 classes in human resources and allow many students to earn their degrees in areas such as benefits and compensation, labor law, staff and training, and labor and collective bargaining.
Courses in master’s programs build on the undergraduate foundation and explore advanced HR topics. Commonly required courses include management classes like Management Systems and Organizational Behavior.
Human Resources Certifications
Voluntary certification programs are ways for human resources managers to showcase their skills in a broad or targeted area of HR.
Many professional organizations offer classes, workshops, and exams that lead to a variety of certification designations.
Here are some of those organizations and the HR credentials they offer:
- American Society for Training and Development (ASTD): HR professionals involved in employee training might be interested in one of the sixteen certificate programs offered by the ASTD. The Learning and Performance certificate is the most popular one, but the group also offers credentials in facilitating organizational change, analyzing human performance, learning for multiple generations, and a myriad of other topics.
- International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans: This group offers 10 different certificates that would be appropriate for human resources managers specializing in compensation and benefits. A great way and opportunity for those who looking for online education for human resources
- Society for Human Resource Management: Two general human resources credentials, the Professional in Human Resources and the Senior Professional in Human Resources, are available from SHRM. This group also offers special certifications for HR workers in California, who need to be familiar with that state’s labor and employment laws.
- WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals: Certifications in compensation, remuneration, work-life, and benefits can be earned through the WorldatWork Society. The credentials are earned after passing an exam.
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: This group offers different certificates that would be appropriate for human resources professionals. A great way and opportunity for those who looking for online education for human resources
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