What You Should Know About This Degree
Certificate programs are a flexible way to develop the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in human resources, but they may not be the appropriate path for everyone.
Typically certificate programs are designed for individuals who already have a degree and experience in HR or a related field. Students are expected to already have some basic understanding of business practices, as well as general education coursework. A certificate program will build upon existing skills to help students transition into mid-level HR positions.
If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet, you may want to consider an undergraduate program in human resources.
Human resource professionals can earn a number of credentials. The two primary credentialing bodies are the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). While credentials are not mandatory, they communicate your professionalism and knowledge to employers. Since there are educational requirements for credentialing, verify that the program you are considering meets the organization’s educational standards.
Not all certificate programs are eligible for federal financial aid. If you are planning to use student loans or grants to offset the cost of tuition, talk to a financial aid counselor to confirm whether students enrolled in this type of program are eligible to receive this type of aid.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Human Resources Certification programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Many certificate programs are designed for degree-holding students who are looking to switch careers, or develop advanced skills in HR. Review the program’s qualifications to ensure that you have the necessary educational and professional background to be eligible for admission.
- What resources are available to online students? Like students in on-campus programs, online students need access to libraries, tutoring, technical support, advising, career services and more. Find out what type of resources are available to you as an online student, and how they are delivered.
Once you’ve selected the programs that interest you, research their application requirements and admissions procedures. Certificate programs may have more flexible deadlines and start terms than traditional degree programs, but you will still want to submit your application or registration paperwork in a timely fashion to ensure you can start when you want.
You should also consider how you will finance your certificate program. If you are not eligible for financial aid, you can research scholarships, assistantships, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer, if you are currently working.