Set a Foundation with an HR Certificate
- $320 per credit for 18 credits
- Complete in as little as 6 months
- Aligned with SHRM competency requirements
- Start your path toward a new career in HR
- Upskill for the job you want
- In-demand field projected to grow 8% through 20281
Human Resources Certificate Online Program Overview
Steady growth or abrupt downturns. Tight job markets or rising unemployment. Calm or crisis. No matter what’s happening in the outside world, HR professionals provide strategic support and a much-needed sense of security for the people inside an organization.
Whether you’re looking to test the waters or dive right in, this 6-course Human Resource Management Certificate lets you explore the many specialties within this growing, dynamic field. From human relations to HR strategy, you’ll get to learn, upskill and earn a valuable credential without committing to a full degree.
Certificates in HR also offer a great way to build on a bachelor's degree in business or project management, among similar majors. And if you don't yet have an undergraduate degree, this program gets you one step closer.
As strategic business partners across all aspects of an organization, today’s HR professionals are more valued than ever. They touch everything from recruiting to retention, compensation to compliance and employment law. They are the connective tissue between employees and upper management.
Succeeding in HR starts with the fundamental skills and understanding of HR. Your online HR certificate will provide you with that foundation. Your courses will cover everything from staffing and talent development to compensation and benefits, labor relations, organizational behavior, HR strategy and development, and more. You’ll come away prepared to seek an entry-level HR position, with skills and knowledge you can immediately apply in the workplace.
Learn how to:
- Develop and administer compensation and benefit programs
- Plan and execute sound strategic business decisions
- Navigate union and non-union employee and labor relations
- Manage human resources during the process of change
- Build competencies to be an effective HR practitioner
In today’s fluid workforce environment, the future of HR is strategic partnership. Whatever the trends – automation, diversity, financial literacy, telecommuting – HR will continue to manage the workforce needs of organizations in nearly every job sector.
“HR professionals are partners with the business,” said Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources. “That has tremendous value for the organization and for the person doing the job.”
By supplementing an online business degree, online project management degree or similar undergraduate major with an HR certification, you'll gain a solid grounding in human resource principles and practices. You’ll also be ready for a variety of entry-level positions, including:
- Human resources specialist. Help recruit, screen and interview job candidates. Once a candidate is hired, you may handle employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.
- Human resources assistant. Responsible for maintaining personnel records, you might prepare reports, file employment records or maintain classified employee information.
- Labor relations specialist. Help resolve disputes between workers and managers, negotiating collective bargaining agreements and coordinating employee grievance procedures.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for entry-level HR jobs will grow by as much as 5% through 2028. In 2019, the BLS reported median annual wages as high as $70,730 for these types of positions.1
With your bachelor’s and human resources certification in hand and some experience under your belt, your job options expand to include:
- Human resources manager. Oversee an organization’s administrative functions, including recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff. You'll also work with executives on strategic planning.
- Compensation and benefits manager. Compensation managers oversee an organization’s pay structure. Benefits managers run employee benefits programs. In both roles, you'll work directly with senior staff and financial officers.
The BLS projects a higher-than-average 7% growth in employment of HR managers and 3% growth for compensation and benefits managers through 2028. As of 2019, HR managers earned median annual wages of $116,720. Compensation and benefits managers commanded median annual wages of $122,270.1
Along with enhancing an undergraduate business degree, an HR certificate can benefit career-changers with liberal arts, social sciences and even STEM degrees. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the skills you’ll develop translate well to a range of professions.2 SHRM’s Competency Development Plan outlines an HR skill set that includes:
- Leadership and business acumen
- Critical thinking and communication
- Global and cultural effectiveness
- Relationship management
Since HR is a broad field, it offers ample opportunity to focus your career interests and your HR certificate. You might consider going into recruiting, workforce development training or compensation and benefits. Or you might try your hand at consulting and provide specialized expertise to clients in a variety of industries.
Charles Johnson '18 earned both his bachelor's in general studies and HR certificate at SNHU. He said the pairing worked out for him.
"As a result, I was offered my first HR job as a human resources specialist within the Department of the Air Force, focusing on employee benefits and entitlements," Johnson said. "After being hired, I was told that one of the reasons I was hired was because of the HR education highlighted by my certificate and my knowledge of HR topics."
Keep in mind that your job responsibilities will vary depending on the size of the organization you work for. At a small or mid-size firm, you might need to wear more hats. In a large firm, you may find a niche in employee health insurance or long-term career development.
While the field itself may be changing, Gogliettino said the basic job description of an HR professional is not. Today, as always, human resources is about supporting an organization's employees to boost engagement, productivity and retention.
As you’ll learn in the HR certification program, HR departments can make a powerful impact on company culture and strategy. By serving as a bridge between employees and management, they’re often crucial to a company’s success. Our own students have made this discovery while earning their human resources certificate online at SNHU.
“I hope to achieve more cultural unity within organizations by using the skills that I have gained with the certificate,” said Tamara Dancy ’20. “I foresee myself being a visionary for any organization that I partner with and help trail blaze the conversations around diversity and inclusion, while maintaining respect for government regulations and the workers’ and organization’s needs.”
Given this critical role in the workplace, it’s not surprising HR is seeing relatively high job prospects. Data shows human resources ranked 35th out of 800 occupations in terms of employment projections and financial wellbeing across the U.S.3
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Human Resource Management Certificate
Why SNHU For Your Certificate in HR Management
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.4 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
Simply work with an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so we can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
- Test scores are not required as part of your application.
If you’re eager to get into the human resources field, an HR certificate offers the quick, hyper-focused point of entry you’re looking for. If you simply want a flavor of the HR experience or a supplement to a bachelor’s degree from another field, it’s tailor-made to fit your needs.
With just 6 courses, SNHU’s program is shorter and faster than a full degree. And because it’s online, you can do coursework at your own pace as you learn from instructors with professional HR management experience.
Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, points out that the human resources certificate also presents a quick pathway to HR credentials. Completing it makes you eligible for professional credentials from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The program’s curriculum aligns with SHRM, the primary association for HR professionals. Throughout the HR certification program, you’ll:
- Practice problem solving using real-world business case reviews
- Look at trending HR issues and changes in employment and labor law with an eye to how they impact HR processes and strategies
- Work in small peer groups to develop communication and assessment skills
- Have the opportunity to use your own employer in project assignments, making the experience more relevant to your own career development
For one SNHU graduate, supplementing his bachelor's in general studies with an HR certificate was just the right move.
"What I learned in the classes allowed me to speak on HR matters with intelligence and confidence in interviews, knowing that the topics and information provided in the class were current and relevant," said Charles Johnson '18. "I can honestly say that Southern New Hampshire University’s human resources certificate program helped me get into the HR field."
SNHU often partners with employers to give students practical experience solving HR challenges. Through a partnership with Amica Mutual Insurance Co., students got to address an actual recruitment and retention challenge. The class split into three groups, and at the end of the term, each team presented their recommendations to Amica executives.
SNHU’s human resources certificate online features these 6 courses:
- Human Relations in Administration. Effective HR managers need to develop a unique skill set in human relations and productivity. This course examines such skills as leadership, group dynamics, organizational development and management by objectives. You’ll learn techniques for becoming a more effective manager, subordinate, peer and person.
- Human Resource Management. Learn the fundamentals of policies and administration. Study the principle tasks involved in HR procedures as well as developing, maintaining and utilizing an effective team. Get acquainted with international human resource management.
- Employee and Labor Relations. Examine employee-management relationships from both a union and non-union perspective. Learn best practices in employee and labor relations.
- Total Rewards. Learn how to develop and administer compensation and benefit programs. Study wage theory, principles and practices, unemployment security and more. Focus on objectives, policies, implementation and revision of compensation and benefit systems.
- Organizational Behavior. Explore the primary factors that influence behavior in organizations. Learn how leadership, group dynamics, organizational structure and design, change, culture, power and politics, environment and technology impact organizational behavior.
- Human Resource Strategy & Development. Gain an in-depth understanding of the integral role that sound HR practices play in achieving organizational success. Examine such factors as the environment of HR management; the challenges of staffing, locally and internationally; and the relationship of a learning organization to training and development.
Robert Filipkowski '18 had already earned his associate and bachelor's degrees at SNHU when he went for the HR certificate. He specifically remembers how some of his courses play into his professional role today.
"I have worked on several programs at my current job that allowed me to use my knowledge gained from the certificate," he said. "I used knowledge gained in the Total Rewards class when developing offers to hire candidates, as well as recognize them while they are employed in our organization. Managing Organizational Change was very useful in rolling up new programs that impacted our entire division. The certificate truly helped me have a strong foundational knowledge to address these real-life situations."
From compensation and benefits to long-term strategic planning, human resources has so many interesting facets. SNHU’s HR certificate will introduce you to them and give you a valuable credential to succeed in this ever-evolving and rewarding field.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|Certificate in Human Resource Management|
|Courses May Include|
|Certificate in Human Resource Management Online|
|OL 125||Human Relations in Administration||The human relations skills that managers need to develop interaction skills that contribute directly to effective human resource management and the development of higher productivity are studied. Skill areas include leadership, motivation, communications, group dynamics, organizational development, management by objectives, and stress and time management. Students learn techniques for becoming more effective managers, subordinates, peers and persons. Students are introduced to the international aspects of human relations.|
|OL 211||Human Resource Management||This course examines the fundamentals of policies and administration. Major tasks of procedures and developing, maintaining and utilizing an effective team are studied. Students are introduced to international human resource management.|
|OL 318||Employee and Labor Relations||This course examines employee-management relationships in both the union and non-union environments with an emphasis on best practices. Junior standing or permission of instructor.|
|OL 325||Total Rewards||This course covers the development and administration of compensation and benefit programs for organizations. Wage theory, principles and practices, unemployment security, worker income security, group insurance, and disability and pension plans are investigated. Emphasis is placed on objectives, policies, organization, implementation and revision of compensation and benefit systems.|
|OL 342||Organizational Behavior||This course focuses on the primary factors that influence behavior in organizations. Emphasis is placed on leadership, group dynamics, inter- group dynamics, organizational structure and design, change, culture, power and politics, environment and technology and organizational behavior in an international context. Offered every year. Writing and team intensive course. Junior standing or permission of instructor.|
|OL 442||Human Resource Strategy and Development||This course provides an in-depth examination of human resource strategy and development. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of sound HR practices and the integral role they play in achieving organizational success. Students will examine the environment of HR management; the challenges of staffing organizations, locally and internationally; the relationship of a learning organization to training and development; the role compensation and benefit strategies play in motivating the developing employee; and the concerns and issues related to employee and labor relations. Senior standing or permission of instructor.|
|Total Credits: 18|
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my HR certificate online?
If you can devote the time, you can earn your HR certificate in 6 months.
SNHU's online undergraduate programs are broken into six 8-week terms per year. Most students take 1-2 classes per term. Some choose to complete each term consecutively while others take breaks in between. We let you decide what works for you based on your work and life commitments.
SNHU's HR certificate consists of 6 courses, all of which you can take online. The best part: You won’t need to be in front of your computer at a set time. You’ll still participate – only instead of in-person lectures, you’ll attend class through weekly online assignments and discussion boards. You can do your assignments when it works for you, turning them in at specified deadlines throughout the week – typically Thursday and Sunday nights.
SNHU’s admission process is as simple and straightforward as it gets – just complete our online application, which includes your high school or equivalent attestation, and you’re on your way. No SAT or GMAT scores required, and you can apply at any time and get a decision within days. Questions? Your admission counselor will guide you through the entire process.
Which certification is best for HR?
SNHU’s human resources certificate offers a quick pathway to the HR industry’s most important credentials. Like our undergraduate human resources degree, master’s in HR or MBA in human resources, its curriculum aligns with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Bear in mind that “certificate” and “certification” mean very different things in human resources. HR certificates are academic programs, while certification is a professional credential.
The SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP™) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP™) provide the HR industry’s highest standards of certification. You’ll need to meet specific criteria to sit for these exams. SNHU's SHRM Certification classes can help you prepare.
What is an HR certificate?
Certificates in HR differ from degree programs in one basic way: they’re fast, immersive and efficient by design. That way, you can delve into the most relevant topics in the field, acquiring the skills and knowledge you need quickly and affordably.
Succeeding in HR starts with the fundamentals of HR. SNHU’s HR certification online will build that foundation. Your courses will cover everything from staffing and talent development to compensation and benefits, labor relations, organizational behavior, HR strategy and more. You’ll come away prepared to seek an entry-level HR position, with fresh skills and knowledge you can apply right away.
How can I improve my career in HR?
If you’re already in the HR field, a human resources certificate can give you the academic credibility you may need to advance. You’ll have the opportunity to specialize in areas that can increase your professional standing, such as compensation and benefits, labor relations or compliance.
"As HR has been a field I have worked with closely over my career, working in the field is a goal of mine," said Robert Filipkowski '18, who had previously earned his associate and bachelor's degrees at SNHU. "So having the additional certification and knowledge I gained for the program is invaluable to my personal and professional pursuits. The SNHU program was the best because of previous experience, affordability, quality and flexibility in the learning experience, and the SNHU name."
Filipkowski hopes to continue his education at SNHU by earning a master's in HR so he can move into a full-time human resources job.
With greater depth of knowledge and a broader skill set, you’ll make yourself more valuable. You may even find your job options expand to include roles like human resources manager and compensation and benefits manager.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 7% growth in employment of HR managers and 3% growth for compensation and benefits managers through 2028. As of 2019, HR managers earned median annual wages of $116,720 while compensation and benefits managers earned $122,270.1
How do I get certified in human resources?
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides the highest standards in HR certification: the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP™) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP™).
You’ll need to meet specific educational and work experience criteria to sit for these exams. You qualify to take the SHRM-CP exam if you have an HR-related bachelor’s degree and at least 1 year in an HR role. If you hold less than a bachelor’s degree, you can still qualify to take the exam by meeting 2 requirements: you must have earned a certificate in an HR-related program and have at least 3 years of experience in an HR role.
HR-related bachelor’s degrees include the BS in Business Administration with a concentration in human resource management. SNHU’s online HR certificate meets the criteria for an HR-related certificate.
SNHU's HR certification prep courses can help you prepare for the SHRM exams.
What jobs can I get with an HR certificate?
The human resources certificate provides a solid grounding in HR principles and practices. If your goal is to supplement a bachelor’s in business with a strong foundation in HR, you’ll be prepared for a variety of entry-level positions, including:
- Human resources specialist: Duties include recruiting, screening and interviewing job candidates. You may also onboard hired candidates, which includes explaining compensation and benefits, as well as employee training.
- Human resources assistant: This role involves updating personnel records. You may be called upon to generate reports and file employment records. Responsibilities also include handling classified employee data.
- Labor relations specialist: Responsibilities include helping to settle labor disputes, typically between workers and managers. The role may also require you to negotiate collective bargaining agreements and facilitate employee grievances.
Robert Filipkowski '18 earned his certificate to start expanding his career path, and he believes it's what opened the door to another opportunity: "Being part of the initial board that is creating the certification process for the National Association of Safety Professionals," he said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for entry-level HR jobs will grow by as much as 5% through 2028. In 2019, the BLS reported median annual wages as high as $70,730 for these types of positions.1
Is a certificate in human resources worth it?
There are many benefits to an HR certificate. You can use it to supplement your bachelor’s degree or human resources work experience. Or you can take advantage of the immersive training it provides to earn a quick credential so that you can enter the HR job market more quickly than if you pursued a full degree.
Maybe you have significant work experience and feel like you can place out of general education and business core courses. In that case, a human resources certificate might be your most efficient option.
Certificates in HR also offer a great way to build on a bachelor’s degree in business, project management or another related field. And should you plan to go for your bachelor’s, master’s or MBA in human resources, this program gets you one step closer.
How do I get started in HR with no experience?
If you’re eager to get into the human resources field, an HR certificate can expand your options. The certificate may help you qualify for entry-level positions if you haven’t yet earned your bachelor’s degree. If you have, the human resources certificate will boost your stock and may open more doors.
Another tangible benefit of this program is the experiential learning opportunities it offers. Some projects bring students together with employers to solve real-world problems while others help you gain critical job skills. Opportunities like this are invaluable, because they help bridge the gap between coursework and the hands-on experience employers are looking for.
The Career Services team at SNHU is also available to work one on one with you to connect you with employers in your area to seek positions you qualify for. They’ll also help you network through recruiting programs, employer spotlights, online career fairs and the vast SNHU alumni network.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3, 4)
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm (viewed May 19, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/oes/2018/may/oes434161. htm (viewed May 19, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/oes/2018/may/oes131075. htm (viewed May 19, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm (viewed May 19, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/ compensation-and-benefits-managers.htm (viewed May 19, 2020)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2Society for Human Resource Management, “Competency Development Plan,” on the internet, at: https://www.shrm.org/LearningAndCareer /Career/Pages/Your-Professional-Development.aspx (viewed May 18, 2020).
3Society for Human Resource Management, “HR Manager Is One of the Most Promising Careers,” on the internet, at: https://www.shrm.org /resourcesandtools/hr-topics/organizational-and-employee-development/pages/hr-manager-is-one-of-the-most-promising-careers.aspx (viewed online June 26, 2020).
4According to a survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.