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Most schools have rolling admissions and financial help so you can start your degree in a few weeks!

For students seeking a cost-effective and flexible way to enter the field of human resources, earning an online associate degree can be an excellent way to meet those goals. These comprehensive programs are designed to prepare students for successful careers, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed for various roles.

Graduates can expect to step into positions such as HR assistants, with an average salary of $46,900, or payroll coordinators, earning $47,290 annually. For those looking to further their career prospects, pursuing a bachelor’s degree provides job opportunities as HR specialists, with a potential salary of $64,240.

An associate degree typically requires two years of full-time study to complete and costs, on average, $11,976. This investment in your education can establish a foundation for a rewarding career in human resources, laying the groundwork for both immediate employment and future academic pursuits.

How to Choose an Online Associate in Human Resources Program

Choose your area of study

While human resources is already widely considered a niche field and limited specializations may be available, it’s crucial to consider your career goals early on to ensure a more targeted approach to learning.

Potential specializations include recruitment, employee relationships, and compensation and benefits management. Outgoing students interested in attracting top talent might gravitate towards recruitment, while those passionate about positively influencing workplace culture may excel in employee relations. Individuals with a knack for numbers and policy might find compensation and benefits appealing.

Research schools and programs

You can begin researching schools and programs now that you have an intended specialization. It’s essential to devote adequate time to this step, ensuring that the schools you apply to will meet your educational needs. Start by asking the following questions:

  • How does the curriculum align with my career goals?
  • What is the format and flexibility of the course delivery?
  • Is the program accredited, and if so, is it regionally accredited?

Program information can be found on school websites, by attending virtual open houses and webinars, or by contacting admissions counselors for personalized info and answers to specific questions.

Prepare for tests and applications

Once you’ve created a shortlist of the schools you’d like to apply to, it’s time to prepare for tests and applications. While this process can vary by school, many share the same standard requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • High school transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay responses

Although some schools may not require standardized tests, others do. For these programs, investing time in SAT or ACT prep courses can be beneficial, boosting your chances of admission.

Select your program

When selecting your program, you must revisit your initial criteria, prioritizing what matters most to you. This may include the program’s curriculum relevance to your career goals, the credentials of the faculty, flexibility for balancing life’s responsibilities, and the support services available to students. Reflect on your long-term objectives and how each program aligns with these goals. Carefully weighing these factors will guide you to a decision that best supports your academic and professional goals.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Paying for your degree will require exploring various financial aid resources to minimize debt. First, seek out scholarships and grants, which do not require repayment and can significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs. Next, consider federal student loans, which often offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. Work-study programs provide an opportunity to earn money while gaining relevant experience. Lastly, ask your employer about tuition reimbursement programs, which some companies offer to benefit employees pursuing further education.

Best 50 Accredited Online Associate in Human Resources Programs

Best Online Associate in Human Resources Programs Badge

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College

Herkimer County Community College

Concordia University Wisconsin

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Colorado Christian University

South Texas College

Davenport University

Montana State University Billings

Penn State World Campus

Guilford Technical Community College

Rowan College of South Jersey

Wake Technical Community College

Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Anne Arundel Community College

Harper College

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Waubonsee Community College

Rhodes State College

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Coastline Community College

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Western Iowa Tech Community College

Holyoke Community College

Northwood Technical College

Amridge University

Zane State College

Triton College

Gaston College

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How we rank schools

All of the online associate in human resources programs on our list are delivered in an online format, although some have hybrid options where courses are partially delivered in person. Most of the programs award an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, but some award an Associate of Arts (AA).

We made sure all the programs on our list are of the utmost quality, which means they are regionally or nationally accredited. Regional accreditors to look for include the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

What Can You Expect From an Online Associate in Human Resources Program?

An online associate degree in human resources offers a flexible and comprehensive education for students balancing their education with significant responsibilities, such as a full-time job or raising a family. Often completed within two years, these programs are predominantly offered entirely online, accommodating those seeking to boost employment opportunities without sacrificing their current obligations.

Students explore essential topics like recruitment, employee relations, compensation and benefits, and employment law — laying a solid foundation for careers in HR departments across various industries. Graduates are well-prepared for roles such as HR assistants and payroll coordinators. Furthermore, many students leverage their associate degree as a stepping stone, pursuing further studies in business or psychology to broaden their career prospects and improve their understanding of workforce dynamics.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online associate in human resources program

  • Introduction to Human Resources Management: Although it may go by a different name, a variation of this course is included in most curriculums. Students will learn about the roles and responsibilities of HR professionals, including recruitment, selection, training and development, compensation, and benefits management, as well as the importance of compliance with employment laws.
  • Organizational Behavior: In this course, you’ll explore organizational behavior dynamics and how it affects management and operations. Students also learn about motivation, team dynamics, leadership styles, and organizational culture, equipping them with the skills to effectively manage and improve workplace environments.
  • Employment Law: This critical course covers the legal aspects of the employment process, from hiring to termination. Students will learn about the rights and obligations of employers and employees, including issues related to discrimination, workplace safety, wages, and benefits, ensuring they can navigate and apply employment laws effectively.
  • Compensation and Benefits: This course focuses on the strategies and structures behind employee compensation and benefits packages. Learners study how to design, administer, and evaluate compensation and benefits plans that are competitive, equitable, and compliant with legal requirements, contributing to employee satisfaction and retention.

Online Associate in Human Resources Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online associate in human resources degree program?

While generally less demanding than the application process for bachelor’s degree programs, applying to these programs requires thorough preparation. You’ll want to start by gathering your high school transcripts and securing letters of recommendation early. A significant portion of the application process will then involve devoting time to writing a compelling personal statement or, in some cases, preparing thoughtful essay responses. Although not always mandatory, some programs may require SAT or ACT scores, where enrolling in a test prep program could be helpful.

Most importantly, be sure to consult with an admissions counselor before submitting your application. These professionals can offer invaluable guidance, ensuring your application process is as smooth and successful as possible.

How much does an online associate in human resources degree cost?

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the average cost of pursuing an online associate degree in the United States was $11,976. However, this figure can vary based on factors like the institution’s reputation, physical location, and whether the program is public or private.

Online programs often offer cost savings by eliminating commuting or on-campus housing expenses. Still, it’s essential to consider additional costs such as technology fees, textbooks and course materials, and any necessary software subscriptions.

How long does it take to earn an online associate in human resources degree?

For full-time students, earning an online associate in human resources degree takes about two years. However, the completion time can vary significantly, with online programs offering greater flexibility. Part-time enrollment allows students to extend their studies over a longer period of time, accommodating work or family commitments. Additionally, the total number of required credits to graduate can influence the program’s duration. Generally speaking, the more credits required, the longer it will take to complete.

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