Bachelors in Human Resources Online Degree Programs for 2022

Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources Career Options & Salary

Overview of a Bachelor’s in Human Resources


Human resources is a growing profession, with the number of job opportunities expected to rise in the coming years and an above-average median income. This profession is ideal for the person who wants to use their soft skills to help others, while also thinking strategically about labor relations, program development, and resource planning within their organization.

Students interested in entering this field may wish to pursue a bachelor’s in human resources online as a logical first step toward a promising career, though related fields like business, psychology, sociology, and others may be reliable alternatives. While this level degree is usually the minimum price of entry, many employers prefer candidates with additional certifications, a master’s degree, or both, along with years of experience for managerial roles or specialized positions. Human resources professionals might, for instance, include a concentration in business administration in their human resource management degree program.

Those looking to earn an online or traditional human resources degree (HR degree) at the undergraduate level will learn about strategic human resource management and gain general knowledge and skills in business education and business and management. Students looking to get a human resources degree from their state university or other schools may even earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a human resources concentration. This will set them up well to become human resource professionals in human resource management (HR management).

PROS

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resources managers typically need an undergraduate degree to work in the human resources management field. While you can find work in HR with degrees in things like business, psychology, or IT, completing a human resources degree program specifically may help you stand out in a pool of entry-level applicants, allowing you to start building experience right away.

While many of the skills needed to succeed are soft-skills like leadership, organization, and interpersonal skills, completing bachelor’s programs that require students to take classes that talk about employee benefits packages, conflict resolution, and organizational psychology and management can give students a leg up and set the stage for earning the certifications needed to stand out and move up in your career.

CONS

Generally speaking, earning a bachelor’s in human resources is a smart investment, as compared to other degree programs where there’s a less tangible employment goal waiting after graduation. However, if you don’t plan on continuing your education after completing an undergraduate program, you may find that the opportunity for advancement is somewhat lacking.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that you may find yourself in an administrative role that feels more like you’re there to process paperwork rather than jumping right into leadership. That’s par for the course with many entry-level jobs, but newer HR professionals may be “paying their dues” for the first few years.

And, when you are ready to move up, you are likely to need one or several certifications in order to do so. It may be necessary to nearly immediately begin earning a master's online or taking online courses for certifications if you hope to move up quickly.

Certificate vs. Bachelor's


What Human Resources Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?


Students thinking about earning an online or on-campus bachelor’s degree in human resources have a few options. You can get a BA or a BS in human resources, specifically, or you can earn a business, psychology, communications, or IT degree and take some additional classes in this area.

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management
    A Bachelor of Science in Human Resources will provide students with a curriculum that focuses on human resources principles and strategies, as well as business management courses like marketing, accounting, and organizational management. Students will be expected to complete roughly 36 credit hours of general education courses including math, science, English, and social science, plus HR-specific coursework spanning compensation and benefits, employment law, labor relations, negotiation, training, and company culture.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources
    A Bachelor of Arts program will cover many of the same foundational work as a Bachelor of Science in HR. The difference is, students will focus on humanities more than math and science in their general education requirements.

Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Human Resources


This degree typically covers the study of human resources within a broader context of general management. Students will learn more about contract negotiation, employee compensation, training development, organizational theory, employment law, accounting, and a foundational background in business strategy and management theory.

While this degree type focuses on many of the same core principles you’ll find in a BA or BS human resources program, it’s important to note that the emphasis here is more on managing people than the administrative side of the field. Still, a bachelor’s degree holder will likely apply to jobs like HR generalist or benefits assistant like graduates with an HR degree.

Online Admission Requirements


Admission requirements for a human resources program include high school transcripts or a GED. Other requirements vary based on the institution. Most traditional and online schools will ask students to submit ACT or SAT scores and may have a minimum GPA requirement. Be aware that, if you think applying to an online degree will mean you don't have to fulfill any of the usual obligations for admission, you're probably wrong. Many online schools have just as high of standards as their traditional counterparts and, if they don't, you might want to double check their accreditation and reputation.

How long does it take to earn an online Human Resources Bachelor's?


In most cases, it takes about four years to earn an online bachelor’s degree in human resources or any other subject matter, whether you attend online or not. Students may take more time to complete their coursework based on how many credits they enroll in per semester or whether they’re working while earning their degree. In other cases, students may take a heavier course load so that they can complete their degree in less time, while those who attend part-time online while working can take an extra year or more to finish.

Additionally, while not required to enter the field, many human resources professionals voluntarily get certified through organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), or the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, which are all organizations that, according to the BLS, signify expertise in the field. With that in mind, aspiring HR professionals may need to factor continuing education and credentialing fees into their decision to pursue this type of work. Luckily, most of the courses for these certifications are available online or through flexible learning options.

Potential Careers in Human Resources with a Bachelor’s


  • Human Resources Manager

    Human resources managers oversee policies, procedures, and compliance related to employees and personnel within an organization. In this role, you’ll deal with things like paid leave and benefits packages, as well as vacation days, and making sure internal activities comply with federal and state laws. Human resources managers typically need a bachelor’s degree at a minimum to enter the field and they should have excellent leadership skills, be strong problem-solvers, and great communicators.

    Aspiring HR managers should note that it may take a few years in the field to become a manager. While a bachelor’s degree may be the minimum educational requirement for this role, those professionals with certifications in the area, and potentially a master’s degree may be given preference.
    Average Income: $68,000

  • Recruiting Manager
    A recruiting manager typically works in a larger company to help that organization attract and retain quality talent. This person is usually the first point of contact between job applicants and a company and works to find recruits that match job descriptions laid out by department heads with positions to fill.
    Average Income: $73,800
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers
    This HR professional focuses on developing and implementing a company’s benefits and compensation policies. This includes establishing a salary structure, factoring in things like performance bonuses, cost of living increases, commission structures, and non-monetary perks like vacation days and paid leave. This person might also work with insurance companies to put together medical insurance packages, life insurance, dental, vision, and flexible spending accounts. This job typically requires 5+ years of experience in HR, and you’ll likely need to earn certifications within the compensation and benefits specializations to qualify for this role.
    Average Income: $87,700
  • Training and Development Manager
    Training and development managers are HR professionals that conduct and supervise employee training programs. This person might work as a consultant or for a larger company if there’s a need for ongoing training, onboarding, and professional development initiatives. To qualify for this role, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and a few years of HR experience under your belt. In some cases, you may need a master’s degree, particularly if you’d like to work in a consultant role, advising businesses on how to best manage and improve employees’ job skills.
    Average Income: $76,900
  • HR Generalist
    The HR Generalist works as part of an HR team and works with upper management to come up with strategies aimed at maintaining positive employee relations. This person does a little bit of everything, as the name suggests. They might play a role in a company’s recruiting efforts, handle payroll, coordinate employee training, or put together insurance packages.
    Average Income: $54,900

Options to Advance


As mentioned, most work in this field requires a bachelor’s degree as the minimum barrier to entry. There are some exceptions, but this is a blue collar, middle management occupation (for the most part) and in today’s landscape, there’s an expectation that incoming applicants have earned a bachelor’s degree.

Often, recent graduates will start their career as an HR specialist or assistant and can climb the ladder by moving into specializations, earning certifications online, or accumulating work experience. In some cases, HR professionals may wish to return to school for an online master’s degree or an MBA with a concentration in HR. We’d recommend this path if you’d like to become an HR director, VP, or move into a business consulting role.

What are the Best Online Bachelors in Human Resources College Programs?


1

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $15,003
    • Out-of-state: $31,785
  • Net Price: $17,835
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Total Enrollment: 50,411
  • Undergrad Students: 35,844
  • Graduate Students: 14,567
  • Diplomas Awarded: 366
  • Grads Salary: $78,800
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick
2

Thomas Jefferson University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $41,866
    • Out-of-state: $41,866
  • Net Price: $29,255
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,286
  • Undergrad Students: 3,783
  • Graduate Students: 4,503
  • Diplomas Awarded: 12
  • Grads Salary: $83,200
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Thomas Jefferson University
3

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,450
    • Out-of-state: $35,514
  • Net Price: $25,548
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 89,816
  • Undergrad Students: 74,446
  • Graduate Students: 15,370
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • The Pennsylvania State University
4

Regis University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $38,558
    • Out-of-state: $38,558
  • Net Price: $27,785
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,310
  • Undergrad Students: 3,197
  • Graduate Students: 3,113
  • Diplomas Awarded: 7
  • Grads Salary: $82,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Regis University
5

Colorado State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,814
    • Out-of-state: $30,535
  • Net Price: $17,609
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 32,428
  • Undergrad Students: 24,792
  • Graduate Students: 7,636
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $69,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Colorado State University-Fort Collins
6

University of Arkansas

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,384
    • Out-of-state: $25,872
  • Net Price: $16,759
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Total Enrollment: 27,562
  • Undergrad Students: 22,825
  • Graduate Students: 4,737
  • Diplomas Awarded: 23
  • Grads Salary: $67,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • University of Arkansas
7

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,568
    • Out-of-state: $20,400
  • Net Price: $16,978
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 22,563
  • Undergrad Students: 13,878
  • Graduate Students: 8,685
  • Diplomas Awarded: 22
  • Grads Salary: $70,600
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
8

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $27,166
    • Out-of-state: $27,166
  • Net Price: $28,087
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 10,979
  • Undergrad Students: 5,504
  • Graduate Students: 5,475
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $72,700
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Maryville University of Saint Louis
9

American Public University System

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,360
    • Out-of-state: $7,360
  • Net Price: $11,503
  • Retention Rate: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Total Enrollment: 50,047
  • Undergrad Students: 40,362
  • Graduate Students: 9,685
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 23:1
  • American Public University System
10

Temple University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $16,970
    • Out-of-state: $29,882
  • Net Price: $23,254
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 37,236
  • Undergrad Students: 27,306
  • Graduate Students: 9,930
  • Diplomas Awarded: 75
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Temple University
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