Why This Matters


    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.


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


    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 50 Online Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Programs

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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.