In the ever-evolving landscape of the business world, the role of human resources (HR) professionals has become increasingly crucial. As organizations recognize the importance of recruiting, retaining, and supporting their staff, individuals with a keen business sense are finding their niche in HR careers. For those aspiring to excel in this field, pursuing a specialized human resources degree is a strategic move.
The flexibility and convenience offered by online education have revolutionized the learning experience, making it accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Online HR degree programs cover a spectrum of relevant topics, including recruitment, training and development, benefits, compensation, and employment law. Graduates are well-prepared for roles such as human resources manager, benefits administrator, and employee relations specialist.
Best Online HR Degree Programs
Our list of the best online HR degree programs aims to guide prospective students in choosing the right educational path for their career goals. Let’s explore some standout institutions that offer bachelor’s degrees in HR online.
- Tuition: $286/credit
- Notable Features: High socioeconomic diversity, ACBSP accreditation
Metropolitan State University, part of the Minnesota state higher education system, stands out for its commitment to a diverse student body. Offering a BS in Human Resource Management, the program is structured to accommodate working students. The curriculum covers essential HR topics, including employee development, compensation management, and benefits administration.
- Tuition: $327/credit
- Notable Features: SHRM-aligned curriculum, AACSB International accreditation
Founded in 1902, Western Illinois University offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management. Aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) standards, the program provides a solid foundation in general education, business courses, and specialized HR content. Graduates benefit from WIU’s strong emphasis on preparing students for SHRM certification.
- Tuition: $634/credit
- Notable Features: Fox School of Business, ACBSP International accreditation
Temple University, located in Philadelphia, boasts a reputable online Human Resource Management degree through its Fox School of Business. The 124-credit BBA program prepares students for SHRM certification and covers essential HR areas. Temple’s commitment to student development is evident through resources like the Center for Professional Student Development and the Fox Leadership Development Program.
- Tuition: $285/credit (in-state)
- Notable Features: Technology-focused, emphasis on hands-on practice
SUNY Delhi, within the State University of New York system, offers a technology-centric approach to HR education. The 124-credit BBA in Human Resource Management emphasizes a broad ethical, legal, and social context. Students benefit from hands-on practice, including service learning opportunities and a for-credit summer internship requirement.
- Tuition: $228/credit (in-state)
- Notable Features: Emphasis on applied learning, AACSB accreditation
Wichita State University, a public research institution in Kansas, stands out for its emphasis on applied learning. The online BBA in Human Resource Management, offered through the W. Frank Barton School of Business, prepares students for HR positions and SHRM certification. WSU’s commitment to practical experience includes co-ops, internships, and mentorships.
- Tuition: $420/credit
- Notable Features: Asynchronous course delivery, aligns with SHRM standards
Concordia University, St. Paul, a private Lutheran university, offers a flexible online BA in Human Resource Management. With asynchronous course delivery and six annual start dates, CSP caters to the needs of working professionals. The curriculum, aligned with SHRM standards, includes foundational business topics and HR-specific competencies.
- Tuition: $405/credit
- Notable Features: IACBE accreditation, emphasis on strategic HR management
McKendree University, founded in 1828, provides a private university experience both online and on its Illinois campus. The online BBA in Human Resource Management requires 60 credits in the major, covering business core subjects and HR coursework. The program’s emphasis on strategic human resource management aligns with industry standards.
- Tuition: $498/credit
- Notable Features: Two HR-focused majors, MHEC Distance Education Reciprocity Agreement
Upper Iowa University offers flexibility with two online HR degree options: a Human Resources Management major and a Business Administration major with an emphasis on HR management. Both programs include a robust business core and specific HR courses. UIU’s commitment to accessibility is evident through its participation in the MHEC Distance Education Reciprocity Agreement.
- Tuition: $516/credit (in-state)
- Notable Features: AACSB-accredited, structured career development component
The University of Michigan-Flint’s BBA in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management, available online and on campus, emphasizes real-world skills. The program includes a structured career development component, ensuring students are job-ready. UM-Flint’s active SHRM student chapter enhances the learning experience.
- Tuition: $425/credit
- Notable Features: Catholic university, business degree completion program
The University of St. Francis, a private Catholic institution, offers an online Business Administration degree completion program with a concentration in managing human resources. Tailored for students with prior college experience, the program covers HR-relevant electives such as team-building, supervisory management, and training and development.
How to Find the Right Online HR Degree for You
Choosing the right online HR degree involves considering several factors to align with your career goals:
1. Know Your Time Commitment
- Assess your availability and consider part-time or asynchronous programs if you have time constraints.
- Explore accelerated tracks and credit transfer policies for faster completion.
2. Look at Accreditation
- Ensure the school is accredited, both institutionally and programmatically, by recognized accrediting bodies.
- Look for programmatic accreditation from organizations like AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE.
3. Consider Your Future Goals
- If you plan to pursue graduate study, look for schools offering integrated bachelor’s-to-master’s programs.
- Research internship and co-op offerings if you aim to enter the workforce immediately.
- Explore programs aligning with certifications from organizations like SHRM.
Cost of an Online HR Degree
Consider tuition costs and potential savings for online learners:
- Public schools typically cost less than private institutions.
- State schools may offer in-state tuition rates to all online learners.
- Look for reduced online tuition rates and potential financial aid opportunities.
Embarking on a career in HR begins with choosing the right online degree program. The best online HR degree programs combine academic excellence, flexibility, and real-world relevance. By considering factors such as accreditation, program alignment with industry standards, and your personal goals, you can make an informed decision that sets you on the path to success in the dynamic field of human resources.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Online Human Resources Degrees
As you navigate the path towards a career in Human Resources (HR) through online education, you may have various questions about the degree, its relevance, and the best institutions. Here are some frequently asked questions to guide you:
1. What degree is best for human resources?
Answer: A degree in human resources is one of the best ways to prepare for a career in HR. These degrees typically combine general education and business classes with specialized coursework focusing on essential HR competencies such as training and development, recruitment, and employment law. Aspiring HR professionals may also major in related fields like business or psychology to gain a well-rounded skill set.
2. What is the best online college for human resources?
Answer: The best online college for an HR degree depends on your unique preferences and career goals. Factors to consider include accreditation, the strength of student support services, and the relevance of the curriculum. According to our ranking, top institutions offering online human resources degrees include research-focused institutions like Temple University, state schools such as Western Illinois University, and smaller private schools like McKendree University.
3. Are human resources degrees worth it?
Answer: Yes, many graduates would affirm that HR degrees are worth the investment. These programs provide education in industry-specific best practices, preparing graduates for various careers in the field of human resources. Most HR positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and some roles may even prefer or require a master’s degree for advanced positions.
4. Can I major in a field other than human resources to work in HR?
Answer: Yes, it is possible to work in HR with a major in a related field. Many HR professionals have degrees in business, psychology, or a closely related discipline. The key is to ensure that your chosen major provides a solid foundation in the skills and knowledge needed for HR roles. Some individuals also pursue HR certifications to supplement their educational background.
5. Can I earn HR certifications with an online degree?
Answer: Yes, earning HR certifications is possible with an online degree. Many online HR degree programs are designed to align with the standards set by professional organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Graduates can pursue certifications like the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or the Human Resource Certification Institute’s (HRCI) Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation.
6. How long does it take to complete an online HR degree?
Answer: The duration of an online HR degree can vary based on factors such as the type of program (full-time, part-time), the number of credits required, and individual pace. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in HR may take around four years for full-time students. Some programs offer accelerated tracks, allowing students to complete the degree more quickly, while part-time options provide flexibility for those with other commitments.
7. Can I pursue a master’s degree in HR after completing an online bachelor’s degree?
Answer: Yes, many students choose to pursue a master’s degree in HR after completing their online bachelor’s degree. Some universities offer integrated bachelor’s-to-master’s programs, allowing students to earn credits toward both degrees simultaneously. Graduates with a solid foundation in HR from their bachelor’s program may find it advantageous to continue their education at the master’s level for career advancement.
8. What job opportunities are available with an online HR degree?
Answer: An online HR degree opens up a range of job opportunities in human resources and related fields. Graduates may qualify for roles such as Human Resources Manager, Benefits Administrator, Employee Relations Specialist, or Training and Development Manager. The diverse curriculum of HR programs equips graduates with the skills needed to handle various aspects of personnel management in organizations.
9. Can I work in HR without a degree?
Answer: While it is possible to work in entry-level HR positions without a degree, many HR roles, especially those at a managerial or strategic level, typically require at least a bachelor’s degree. Having a degree in HR or a related field enhances your knowledge and credibility in the field, increasing your chances of securing more advanced roles and career growth.
10. How does accreditation impact the value of an online HR degree?
Answer: Accreditation is crucial for the value and recognition of an online HR degree. Accredited institutions undergo a rigorous evaluation process, ensuring that they meet specific standards of quality and provide education that aligns with industry expectations. Look for both institutional and programmatic accreditation from reputable accrediting bodies such as AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE to ensure the credibility and relevance of your chosen program.