Best Online Certificate in Human Resources

Best Online Certificate in Human Resources

Human Resources plays an increasingly pivotal role in an organization's success, from managing the workforce to guaranteeing that the business has the appropriate people with the right skills to fulfil the company's goals. Some responsibilities that fall under an HR professional's role are managing talent, fostering employee engagement, and ensuring compliance with labor laws, among many others.

The demand for skilled HR practitioners is continually on the rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for human resources managers is expected to grow 7% from now till 2031. The median base salary for an HR Generalist or Specialist ranges from $52k to $67k. As a result, more people are looking for simple but reputable options to gain expertise in this industry. Online certificate programs in Human Resources have emerged as a popular choice for many since they offer flexibility and quality education to aspiring HR professionals. The focus of this article is to shed light on the finest online certificate programs in Human Resources, including some free certificate options and beginner-friendly programs.

Related: Human Resources Certification: Complete Guide

Which Certificate Course is Best for HR?

Various prestigious alternatives are available when it comes to choosing the best certificate course in Human Resources. The factors influencing which program to choose are the specific areas one wishes to focus on and career goals. Below is a comprehensive list of some top choices for HR professionals looking for a certificate.

1. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)


The Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional online certificate program is among the most recognized and respected HR certificates. SHRM is an HR association known for its high standards, and its certificate program is no exception. This program is for HR professionals who want to improve their skills and competency in HR. It covers a wide spectrum of topics, such as HR behavioral competencies, business acumen, employee development, labor relations, and strategic HR management.

The SHRM-CP certificate holds considerable weight in the HR industry and is highly valued by employers. The program's online format allows participants to study independently, making it ideal for busy professionals balancing work and education. The program's engaging content, real-world case studies, and access to an extensive network of HR practitioners set it apart as one of the best online certificate programs in Human Resources.

Related: SHRM certification: Everything You Need to Know

2. Human Resources Management Certificate by Cornell University

Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations offers a prestigious online certificate program in Human Resources Management. Renowned for its labor and employment relations expertise, Cornell University delivers a comprehensive curriculum covering HR fundamentals, employee development, compensation, and benefits.

The program's faculty comprises industry experts, ensuring students receive a top-tier education. Participants also gain access to a supportive community of peers and alumni, fostering networking opportunities and professional growth.

Cornell's certificate program is widely recognized for its commitment to excellence, making it a top choice for individuals seeking to solidify their HR knowledge and skills.

3. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension Human Resources Management Certificate

UCLA Extension offers an outstanding online certificate program in Human Resources Management designed to equip participants with the essential tools and insights to excel in HR roles. The program's comprehensive curriculum covers key areas such as talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, strategic human resource management, HR development, and ethics for HR professionals.

UCLA Extension boasts experienced instructors who are well-versed in the latest HR trends and practices. The program's emphasis on practical applications and real-world scenarios ensures students gain valuable problem-solving abilities.

UCLA's long-standing reputation in education and its commitment to meeting industry demands positions this online certificate as one of the best choices for HR professionals seeking to advance their careers.

4. Villanova University Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certificate



Villanova University's Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certificate program is a sought-after option for individuals seeking in-depth HR expertise and a pathway to achieving the Professional in Human Resources certification. This program covers various HR disciplines, including talent management, organizational development, and employment law.

Villanova University's commitment to academic excellence is evident in its esteemed faculty, comprising HR practitioners and seasoned professionals. Participants gain hands-on experience and are well-prepared to handle real-world HR challenges.

The program's alignment with the PHR certification demonstrates its adherence to industry standards, making it an excellent choice for HR professionals seeking a credible and reputable online certificate.

Best Online Certificate in Human Resources

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5. Online Human Resources Management Certificate by eCornell

At eCornell, Cornell University's online learning platform, they have designed a specialized Human Resources Management Certificate program with busy professionals in mind. This program covers strategic HR management, employee engagement, performance management, and HR analytics, giving you a thorough understanding of the latest HR practices.

What's great about eCornell is that their online format is super flexible. You can customize your learning experience to suit your needs and career goals. Whether juggling work or other commitments, eCornell makes it easier to pursue your HR education on your terms.

So, if you're an aspiring HR professional looking for a program that ticks all the boxes - flexibility, quality, and industry alignment - eCornell's Human Resources Management Certificate is worth considering. It's an investment that can take your HR career to new heights, and the comprehensive curriculum will equip you with all the skills you need to succeed in the HR industry.

Related: 15 Best online courses sites that will boost your skills

Free Online HR Courses with Certificates

For those who may be on a budget or looking to explore HR concepts without committing to a full certificate program, free online HR courses offer certificates of completion. These courses are usually self-paced and can provide valuable insights into specific HR topics. Some reputable platforms offering free HR courses with certificates include:

  1. eLearning College: eLearning College offers a range of free HR courses online, with certificates available upon completion. These courses cover employment law, recruitment and selection, and performance management.
  2. Oxford Home Study Centre: Oxford Home Study Centre offers free HR courses online, with certificates available upon completion for a small fee. These courses cover HR management, recruitment and selection, and employee engagement.
  3. Coursera: Coursera offers several free HR courses from top universities and industry leaders. The best courses include Organizational Behavior, Human Needs, Remote Team Management, Organizational Analysis, and People Management. These courses cover various topics, including communication, motivation, and team dynamics.
  4. Human Resource Webinars: Human Resource Webinars offers several free HR courses online, covering topics such as HR management, employee engagement, and performance management.
  5. Great Learning Academy: Great Learning Academy offers a free Human Resource Management course for beginners, covering talent management, compensation management, and performance management. A certificate is available upon completion of the course.

HR Certifications for Beginners

For individuals new to the HR field, beginner-level HR certifications can be an excellent starting point to establish foundational knowledge and demonstrate commitment to the profession. Some prominent HR certifications for beginners include:

  1. Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP) by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI): The HRMP certification is designed for HR professionals with one to four years of experience. It covers core HR principles, talent acquisition, employee engagement, and legal regulations.
  2. Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) by HRCI: The aPHR certification is ideal for individuals just starting their HR careers. It provides a solid understanding of HR practices, laws, and regulations.
  3. Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by HRCI: While the PHR certification is not specifically for beginners, it is a popular choice for mid-level HR professionals with two to four years of experience. It covers all areas of HR and is highly regarded by employers.
  4. SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): As mentioned earlier, the SHRM-CP certification is widely recognized and valued by employers at all career levels, including beginners.

Cheap HR Certification Online

If you're looking to advance your career in Human Resources, several valuable certifications are available to boost your expertise and credentials. Let's explore some of the top certifications:

  1. Professional in Human Resources—International (PHRi) Certification: HRCI also offers the PHRi certification for around $400 if you have global aspirations. This international version of the PHR certification equips you with essential HR skills that can be applied across borders.
  2. Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) Certification: If employee benefits are your passion, consider the CEBS certification. For around $400, this program focuses specifically on the complexities of employee benefits, adding a valuable specialization to your HR toolkit.
  3. Human Resource Management Certification by ExpertRating: ExpertRating offers a comprehensive certification program at a budget-friendly cost of $99.99. This program is considered a "best value-for-money" option, providing top-notch Human Resource Management education without breaking the bank.
  4. Free Online HR Courses with Certificates: You can enhance your HR skills for free! Several platforms offer free online HR courses that provide certificates upon completion. These courses cover various HR topics and offer a cost-effective way to grow in your field. Here is a list of some of the free HR Courses:
    1. The foundations of managing people – LinkedIn
    2. Human Resource Management – Oxford Home Study
    3. Managing Human Resources – Coursera
    4. Diploma in Human Resources – Alison

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Human Resources is booming, and the demand for HR professionals is higher than ever. If you're looking to climb the ladder in this exciting field, online certificate programs in Human Resources can be your ticket to success.

In this article, I've handpicked programs that offer unique strengths. You'll find prestigious accreditation, experienced faculty, and comprehensive curricula. As an aspiring HR professional, it's crucial to carefully consider your goals to find the program that's the perfect fit for your career aspirations.

With a credible online certificate in Human Resources, you'll be setting yourself up for triumph in the dynamic and ever-changing HR landscape. You'll be well-prepared to meet the challenges of today's workforce and contribute to organizational excellence.

Belinda Pondayi
This article was written by Belinda a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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