Why This Matters

  • 9% OF HR MANAGERS RECOMMEND GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

    Of those surveyed by O*NET, 9% of human resources managers recommend entering the profession with a graduate or post-baccalaureate certificate in human resources.

  • 6% GROWTH IN THIS PROFESSION BY 2029

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for human resources managers is expected to grow 6% by the year 2029.

  • POTENTIAL TO EARN MORE THAN $208,000 ANNUALLY

    While the top 10% of earners in this profession earned more than $208,000 per year as of May 2020, the average human resources manager in the United States earned $121,220 annually.

Our Research

Each of the programs listed in this guide is designed to help you prepare for a rewarding career in human resources. These programs award a graduate certificate, which indicates a high level of education in your field that’s beyond an associate or bachelor’s degree. Certificates on this list include those in human resources administration, human resources management, and employment relations.

These programs have been accredited by organizations such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). These accreditations indicate that the credits you earn in your program are transferable and that your certificate will be awarded by a credible institution that provides high-quality education.

  • 53 hours to write this article
  • 66 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 126 education programs we compared

The Top 22 Online Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Programs

Best Online Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Programs Badge
01
Intelligent Pick
Stony Brook University
01
Best in the Mid Atlantic
Penn State World Campus
01
Best in the Midwest
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
01
Best for Vets
University of Maryland Global Campus
01
Best in the West
Colorado State University Global
01
Best in the Northeast
SUNY Empire State College
01
Best Specialization Option
Indiana State University
01
Best in the South
University of West Florida
01
Best for Networking
Rutgers University
01
Best Accelerated Option
Central Michigan University
01
Best for Working Adults
University of St. Francis
01
Best Part-Time Option
Thomas Edison State University
01
Best for Non-Traditional Students
Umass Global
01
Best Self-Paced Option
Southern New Hampshire University
01
Best Exam Prep
University of Houston-Clear Lake
01
Best No-GRE Option
Eastern Michigan University
01
Most Affordable
OSU Online
01
Best for Analytics
American University
01
Best Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Davenport University
01
Best for Adult Learners
Franklin Pierce University
01
Best Extended Program
Emmanuel College
01
Most Customizable
Golden Gate University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Upon completion of your bachelor’s degree, you might be considering the value of a graduate certificate in human resources versus a master’s degree. It’s important to keep in mind that while a master’s degree is a great way to further your education in this field, a graduate certificate program can help you prepare for the same career path in a shorter amount of time.

As with any program, it’s important to ensure that the certificate program you choose is accredited. You can check the accreditation status of post-secondary programs by searching the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation database online.

After you receive your certificate, you might want to consider several career paths. While many graduates go on to become human resources managers or specialists, you might also want to consider professions such as recruiting specialist, benefits coordinator, or training specialist.

Depending on the path you choose, additional certifications might be desired by your employers. That can include certification from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) or from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online graduate certificate in human resources programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? To qualify for acceptance into a graduate certificate program in human resources, most schools require that you have a bachelor’s degree in a similar field. Some schools might also require some work experience.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? Before you embark on a career as an HR specialist or manager, you might want to consider professional certifications from organizations such as the SHRM or the HRCI.

As you consider which program is best suited to your career goals, be sure to take note of important program information, including application deadlines and what documentation the school requires when you apply.

If you’ll be needing financial aid to cover the cost of your program, make sure to submit FAFSA applications on time and research extra financial assistance programs, including grants and scholarships, well ahead of time.