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Online Associates Degree in Human Resources

Human resource departments are a vital part of many businesses and corporations. Every industry that employs a substantial number of people needs a human resources specialist to keep up with employee records, hiring, training, interviewing, recruiting, benefits, pay scales and more. Associate degrees in human resources are a first step toward careers in many industries, such as business, government, insurance and health care.

Earning associate degrees in human resources

Human resources degree programs immerse you in the information and skills necessary to work in a wide variety of settings. Typical courses include employee and labor relations, compensation and benefits, legal issues in employment, communication, statistics, staffing, performance management, training and development, and more. Many employers look for those who have majored in human resources management, administration, or industrial and labor relations. A business background is also helpful for those seeking an entry-level position.

Career options, outlook and salary

Those with an associate degree in human resources can seek entry-level work in a variety of industries, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists these as the top four areas of employment:

  1. Human resources, training and labor relations
  2. Training and development
  3. Employment, recruitment and placement
  4. Compensation, benefits and job analysis

The mean annual wage for those in human resources and training in 2010 depended upon the specialty:

  1. Compensation and benefits managers: $96,940
  2. Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists: $59,590
  3. Human resources managers: $108,600
  4. Training and development managers: $95,800
  5. Training and development specialists: $57,280

The BLS projects employment growth of 20.5 percent growth between 2010 and 2020 for human resources, training and labor relations specialists, who typically hold a bachelor's degree; this is higher than the average growth rate of 14.3 percent expected for all U.S. occupations. In contrast, human resources assistants -- usually those who enter the field with a high school diploma -- should see lower than average growth at 11.2 percent.

Going beyond the associate degree

Online study programs are a viable option if you wish to continue your studies and seek a higher degree while gaining valuable real-world work experience. A bachelor's degree is typical for this major, according to the College Board; also, the BLS notes that the four-year degree is often preferred by employers. Those planning to go into industrial and labor relations might find a master's degree helpful. Those who want to consult, teach or write about the field and policy can earn a Ph.D.

Featured Online Human Resources Degree Programs

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  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
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An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

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  • Students are issued a new laptop at the beginning of their programs.
  • All online services and study materials are available 24/7, with faculty available five days a week.
  • All programs available online, with the MBA program offered on campus in Salt Lake City.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2010.

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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  • Founded in 1951 by World War II veteran Donald Grantham to provide affordable, higher education for service members and their families.
  • Approved by all branches of the United States Armed Forces for Tuition Assistance (TA), and for benefits payments by the Department of Veteran Affairs benefits (VA).
  • Reviews applicants’ military and professional training for possible transfer credits, and honors credit earned through successful completion of Defense Acquisition University (DAU) courses.
  • Participates in GoArmyEd, Marine Corps Academic Explorer, The Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative (CCAF), and many other virtual gateways.
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  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
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  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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