How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Human Resources

Human resources is vital to success for any mid to large sized company. With so many employees working, someone is needed to manage who is getting hired and fired, who needs training, and who gets what benefits. If you have always been the organized type and love to manage people, getting a human resources associate degree will open the doors to many career opportunities that will allow you to do just that.

The field is continually growing over the years. Many industries today, especially tech industries, are outsourcing work in foreign countries. As a result, human resources is growing to meet the new challenge of managing an international workforce. Since human resources professionals are needed in virtually every single industry, finding a job should not be too difficult.

An associate’s degree in human resources typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, if you choose to earn your credential online, you may be able to complete it earlier. Depending on how many classes you can take per quarter/semester, you may be able to finish a lot quicker.

If you are a busy individual looking to go to school while still attending to your personal obligations, pursuing an associate’s degree in human resources online could be a great option. Distance learning can work really well for those who are motivated and independent learners. It is important to make sure that the college you choose is accredited so that the credits you earn can be easily transferred to a four-year college should you decide to continue your education. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. The main difference is that you would be able to log into the classroom portal from anywhere and anytime to complete required coursework and exams. Students can easily communicate with other students and their professors via chat platforms and email.

Common Associate’s in Human Resources Curriculum

By enrolling in the associate’s degree program in human resources, you can expect to take a wide variety of interesting classes. With so much to learn, the chances of you getting bored is slim to none.

Some examples of topics you might learn include:

  • Employee and team management
  • Labor law
  • Civil rights
  • Motivation and compensation systems
  • Benefits management
  • Employee recruitment
  • Payroll processing
  • Conflict resolution
  • Employee training and education
  • Computer systems

In those classes, you will learn how to:

  • List jobs
  • Interview candidates for jobs
  • Track employee hours
  • Manage payroll
  • Train new employees
  • Evaluate applicants
  • Maintain employee files

In addition to managing payroll, benefits, and employees, you will also become really familiar with different computer systems because technology is so important in this industry. It is extremely important that you completely understand how to use the software that this field relies on. Without the proper training from school, it can be difficult to succeed in this field.

In addition to human resources-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes will help you develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in understanding real-life situations and succeeding in whatever career you choose to be in. For example, you might take introductory classes in writing, history, art, language, and more. Many of these general education course requirements can be waived if you took AP classes and passed their respective exams in high school. If this sounds like it might be you, we recommend checking with your college counselor to see which classes you might not have to retake.

Associate’s in Human Resources Careers

With an associate’s degree in human resources, you can expect to earn anywhere between 30,000 to 40,000 a year. Like many degrees, if you choose to continue your education to earn your bachelor’s in a related field, you can expect to earn a lot more and have a wider range of job opportunities to choose from.

Attending a four-year college will give you a chance to select a specialized niche market to focus on. For example, you can choose to study international business or technology. Foreign languages and technology skills will help you advance greatly in the industry as well. If you are looking to make the top dollar after graduating with a bachelor’s, you can consider taking on a management position. The median annual salary for a compensation and benefits manager is over $100,000!

Some other jobs you can consider in the field include:

  • Human resources generalist
  • Personnel recruiter
  • Staffing specialist
  • Training and development coordinator
  • Employment training specialist
  • Assistant training manager
  • Payroll specialist
  • Personnel clerk

The list goes on, but these are just a few to give you an idea of what kind of jobs are available with a human resources degree.

If you have always wanted the luxury of working from home and working on your own schedule, the human resources field will have plenty of opportunities for you to do that. There are many professionals in the field that work as freelancers. This means that they do not work for just one company “full-time” in office during the typical hours of 9-5; rather, they are hired out on an as-needed basis when companies need help. By going this route, you would be able to work for yourself, select your own hours, and essentially work from wherever you desire! Working from home will typically entail plenty of phone calls and communication via email with clients, so Internet access would be a must.

If you’re looking to get a job in a field that won’t go obsolete anytime soon, getting an associate’s degree in human resources can be a great way to start. After graduating, you can choose to work for a large corporation or go into business for yourself. Either way, you will need to develop a lot of people and computer skills to succeed, which is why taking the time to go to school for this career is beneficial.