Online Human Resources Associate Degrees: Program Info

Get info about online programs in human resources. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Online associate degree programs in human resources are common. Degrees may be available in an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Arts (A.A.) format; the A.A. programs are typically intended for students who plan to advance to a 4-year human resources program, whether online or on-campus.

Most associate's degree programs are approximately 60-100 credit-hours in length. The programs are available entirely online from multiple schools nationwide. In addition, students can find a hybrid version of the program, in which some courses are taken on campus as well as online.

Human Resources Associate's Degree

In a human resources program, students learn communication skills and techniques designed to help them deal with employee relationships, arguments and other obstacles in the workplace. The students also gain an understanding of compensation, managing records, working as a team and recruiting employees. Some human resource programs are interdisciplinary, combining the curriculum with a business administration program.

Program Information and Requirements

In order to enroll in the online degree program, students must have a computer and access to the Internet so that they can log on to the Web-based course system or virtual classroom. Students may experience a more efficient work environment with a high-speed Internet connection.

List of Common Human Resources Courses

Students can expect to take general education courses in addition to concentrated human resources courses. The curriculum incorporates basic office skills, such as keyboarding and word processing, as well as more specific employee management courses.

Benefits and Compensation

Students gain an understanding of how compensation works and what benefits employees expect from modern businesses. The online course gives insight into the use of incentives like benefits and compensation plans to improve productivity and organization.

Leadership in Business

In this online course, students learn about management and the role of leadership in the workplace. The course addresses cultural differences and how to handle potential adversity. Students also learn proper organizational techniques.

Managing Personnel and Resolving Conflicts

This type of course provides students with the skills to diffuse conflicts and resolve disputes. Some courses integrate the study of team building exercises and techniques, which students discuss over online message boards.

Career Information

Associate's-level programs are designed to be an introduction into the field of human resources. Basic knowledge and skills are acquired, but these 2-year degrees don't necessarily lead to employment. Most entry-level human resources positions require that the applicant hold at least a bachelor's degree or, more often, a master's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Continuing Education Information

There are online human resources degrees available at the bachelor's level that students can pursue upon completion of their A.A. or A.S.; online master's degree and doctorate programs are also available. Further education often provides specialty training in the field of human resources, such as training in labor relations, workforce development, employee recruitment or human resource management. Several professional organizations offer certification in human resources as well as continuing education courses. These could make a candidate more employable as well.

In online associate's programs in human resources, students gain knowledge and skills related to management, leadership, dispute resolution and compensation. Further education at the bachelor's degree or master's degree level is typically required for employment.

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