Distance Learning Undergraduate Human Resource Management Degree

Get info about online programs in human resource management. Learn about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Students enrolled in a distance learning undergraduate degree program in human resource management generally earn a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management or Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in human resource management. These programs, which usually take four years of full-time study, are widely available through public four-year institutions as well as private distance learning schools. Programs are offered completely online, but some also require students to complete hands-on internships.

These programs are intended for students desiring entry-level positions in human resource management or those who are already employed as human resource managers and seeking certification. Certification designations include the Professional in Human Resources, Global Professional in Human Resources and Senior Professional in Human Resources, granted by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Prospective students applying to an online bachelor's program may only need a high school diploma or the equivalent to be eligible for admission, but some schools require distance learners to transfer in a minimum number of undergraduate college credits. These are usually in general education courses, which could be completed on-campus or online at community colleges and other institutions.

Program Information and Requirements

Distance learners in undergraduate human resource management programs set their own pace for the most part, but discussion groups and online sessions are generally scheduled at specific times. Virtual classrooms house assignments, lectures and other course materials for distance learning students. Programs in this field of study can often be completed totally online, with the exception of those that require internships or other real-world experiences.

Human resource management coursework undertaken via distance learning is separated into modules, with due dates for each module. Students might participate in projects to be presented at the end of each module or section of the program, or they may be required to complete an internship or externship experience.

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List of Common Human Resource Management Courses

Educational training in the field varies considerably given the diverse range of duties and responsibilities of human resource managers. However, bachelor's-level human resource management courses often include:

  • Legal aspects of personnel administration
  • Labor and employee relations
  • Employee recruitment and selection
  • Compensation theories, laws and practices
  • Training and development
  • Organizational behavior
  • Performance management
  • Personnel data and records
  • Employee benefits
  • Interpersonal skill development

Career Information

Graduates of an online undergraduate degree program in human resource management are prepared to work in human resources and business administration in the public, for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Those holding a bachelor's degree in human resource management may enter the following fields:

  • Recruiting and staffing
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Safety
  • Labor and employee relations
  • Industrial relations
  • Conciliation
  • Instructional technology

According to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most human resource management jobs are held in the private sector, and employment in the field is expected to increase by 9% from 2014 through 2024 (www.bls.gov). Professionals who have a graduate degree and/or certification may have the best job prospects.

Continuing Education Information

Students seeking positions in arbitration or mediation generally need to complete a master's degree; distance learning programs leading to a master's in human resource management are also available.

Overall, the courses in online undergraduate programs in human resource management introduce students to the essentials of institutional organization and help them build workplace communication skills. The distance learning format offers a greater degree of scheduling flexibility than traditional programs, though students may still need to be online at certain times or participate in real-world training experiences.

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