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SNHU graduate Alaine Garcia talking to a co-worker. With the text Alaine Garcia '20

HR Certificate Online Certification in Human Resources Management

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Register By: February 26 Classes Start: February 28

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

Career Outlook

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:

  • Ethics
  • 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 with the text Charles JohnsonCharles 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.

Tamara Dancy with the text Tamara Dancy“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


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 with the text Deborah GogliettinoDeborah 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 with the text Robert FilipkowskiRobert 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.

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
Degree/Certificates $960 $320
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$675 $225

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

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.