Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Resources Programs of 2020

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The curricula listed below is designed to provide an example of some of the courses that students might encounter while completing an online human resources degree. Class subjects will vary depending on the program and school selected.

  • Human Resource Management: All of the best online schools for human resources will include the essential course on human resource management. Students gain knowledge about the fundamentals of policy and administration, as well as studying the development of an effective team.
  • Organizational Behavior: Classes focus on the primary workplace factors that affect human behavior within an organization. Through an emphasis in leadership, group dynamics, and culture, politics, and change, students are prepared for interpersonal careers such as a development manager.
  • Capstone: Many online bachelor’s in human resources require students to take a capstone course during their final semester. The course is designed to combine all of the learned skills and knowledge in order to solve a real-world problem in each student’s specific industry or area of interest.


Earning an online bachelor’s degree requires the completion of about 180 class credits, which includes core courses in general education and major courses. The number of courses each student will need to complete may vary. Previous higher education, such as an associate degree, high school dual-credit courses, and prior enrollment at a community college may shorten the length of the program. Degree completion can take up to four years.

The best online colleges for human resources may have different approaches to distance learning, which will affect degree length. Some programs are individually paced and others are taught with a cohort format. Students working at an individual pace are mostly limited only by their own schedule and assignment deadlines. In a cohort learning atmosphere, online students are grouped with others in their program and are encouraged to work together, creating a more traditional, on-campus feeling of social camaraderie.

Accreditation for Online HR Degrees

When looking for an online bachelor’s in human resources, students should investigate the accreditation of each school. Accreditation is an official recognition that assures the institution meets certain educational requirements and standards, and can be overseen by either a regional or national organization. Regional and national accreditation each have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, such as ease of admission and affordability, often found at regionally accredited schools. Many nationally accredited school make it easy to transfer credits. The most common accreditation is national, which is overseen by the United States Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

ED and the CHEA establish operating procedures and investigate institution’s adherence to those procedures. As online colleges become a more popular option, there has become an increasing number of illegitimate or scam accreditation programs. In order to ensure the proper accreditation of their school of choice, prospective students should look for recognition from the DOE or the CHEA, each of which maintains an online database to make all of their institutional information available to the public.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degree?


An online HR degree curriculum covers everything from accounting and finance to business management to psychology, in addition to topics unique to HR. Therefore, earning your bachelor’s in human resources degree online will qualify you for a broad range of potential careers. Online human resources programs tends to attract students who wish to develop their business acumen, as well as decision-making, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Bachelor’s graduates commonly pursue the following four career paths:

  1. Human Resources Specialist: Human resources specialists generally focus on strategic planning, hiring, employee relations, and training. However, they are often experts in all human resources disciplines, including compliance and benefits. Their minimum level of education is usually a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business, and some hold previous experience as assistants or in customer service positions.
  2. Human Resources Manager: Human resources managers act as liaisons between organizational management and executive leadership to oversee hiring, administrative functions, and strategic planning. Applicants should have at least five years of related work experience, and sometimes a master’s degree, to find work. Many begin their careers as human resources or labor relations specialists and have proven their ability to organize and lead others.
  3. Training and Development Manager: These professionals are responsible for training development plans and executing programs and budgets to develop employees’ skills and knowledge. As managers, they supervise training and development specialists. They may start out as one themselves, or in related human resources, management, or teaching fields. Candidates with master’s degrees or with a strong information technology background are highly favored.
  4. Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist: This research-based occupation involves preparing an organization’s compensation and benefits programs according to current trends, laws, and cost analyses. Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, finance, or communication, but some will accept relevant work experience instead.

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