The 10 Best Online Associates in Human Resources

Best Online Associates in Human Resources - featured image

Having an efficient and effective Human Resource department is critical in every business. Whether it’s a multinational corporation or a start-up, employee management influences the growth of every company. From hiring new team members to creating workplace policies and upskilling and training the entire workforce, Human Resources professionals take care of a wide range of company functions.

Additionally, the HR team is in charge of making sure that the monthly payroll and employee benefits are in order. With such pivotal tasks, it’s essential to be knowledgeable of all the aspects involved in Human Resources. Choose a program that provides skills training and the latest practices in human resource management.

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Also, see: The Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s of Human Resources

Best Online Associates in Human Resources - fact


Are you on the hunt for the best online associate’s degree in Human Resources as your springboard for entry-level HR jobs? Is the associate degree you’re looking for preparing students for a bachelor’s program?

We rounded up the country’s leading Online Associate in Human Resources programs. Each best online associate degree makes for a worthy academic investment because of these features:

  • Offered either as a fully or partially online (hybrid) learning program, making it ideal for students pursuing the degree on a part-time basis while also providing convenience for full-time learners,
  • Features fundamental or introductory Human Resources theories and applications through which students learn the ropes,
  • Utilizes a LMS-Learning Management System or platform for secure and easy access to the HR associate degree coursework and a robust platform for webinars, online classes, and discussions,
  • Offers the transfer-friendly associate program that can be used for pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources,
  • Provides financial assistance options to online associate’s degree students,
  • Employs seasoned Human Resources managers and Human Resources professionals as online teaching staff,
  • Updated accreditation status, demonstrating compliance with academic standards,
  • Maintains an excellent reputation within the Human Resources industry

Here is our Methodology detailing our associate’s degree ranking and selection process.

Today’s Best Online Associates in Human Resources Programs

Penn State World Campus

Penn State University - World Campus

Prominent Program Features:

Penn State’s World Campus offers quality programs offered in traditional and online formats. Its degree program in Labor and Human Resources is one of the best online associates in the country. This will prepare students for a career in employee management and labor relations, qualifying for a wide range of positions like employment coordinator and human resource specialist. 

Acquire the proper theoretical knowledge and skills through Penn State’s multidisciplinary approach. Cover a total of 60 credits, taking up courses such as:

  • Labor and Employment Relations Fundamentals
  • Race, Gender, and Employment
  • Understanding Employee Behavior
  • Organizational Communication
  • Legal Environment of Business

As part of the associate degree’s curriculum, you’ll also be able to choose general education courses in Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Writing, among others. This program is offered with the help of Penn’s School of Labor and Employment Relations, ensuring that you’ll learn from the best professors and up-to-date human resource practices.

Did You Know?

Penn State promises to make education accessible to all. That’s why it offers tuition assistance through its list of financial aid and scholarships. The school also offers various tuition payment options, depending on your need. This includes paying tuition through installment plans and a deferment plan without any interest charges.

Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Prominent Program Features:

If you’re looking for flexibility, Ashworth College offers different program formats for every type of student. Its Associate Degree in Human Resource Administration offers that and more. This online associate degree allows you to take up one semester at a time, depending on your availability. You may finish the program in as fast as two years or up to four years.

The associate degree program offers a comprehensive curriculum that touches on human resource basics, management principles, and communication. Take classes in:

  • Training and Development
  • Human Resource Management
  • Employment Law
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Human Relations

On top of general education classes, the program also features business courses similar to the ones offered in a business administration program. This allows you to understand different business theories and concepts, which are vital in running teams in the corporate world.

Did You Know?

As part of Ashworth’s commitment to building careers, you’ll be able to access various student career services to help you with employment and everything in between. The College Central® platform allows you to introduce yourself to potential employers through job matching. The platform also comes with a podcast on application tips and work etiquette.

Herkimer State University of New York

Herkimer County Community College

Prominent Program Features:

Take the first step to a rewarding HR career at Herkimer State University of New York. Its Associate of Applied Science in Human Resource Management will prepare you to qualify for different positions in Human Resources, including recruitment, training, and management.

Build your academic credentials through this 63-credit online associate program. Learn the basics of employee benefits, job description writing, and job evaluation. Its program of study consists of classes like:

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Business Ethics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Communications
  • Compensation, Benefits & Law

This fully online associate degree is perfect for adult learners and part-time students. From registration to tutoring, the school offers eLearning services to help make your online academic journey smooth. You’ll also be able to get program advisement through an academic advisor.

Did You Know?

If you’re planning to pursue a four-year college course after completing an associate degree, Herkimer has transfer agreements with some of the best universities in the country. This agreement allows you to seamlessly transfer to the State University of New York or SUNY system, including SUNY Polytechnic Institute and SUNY Buffalo State.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Prominent Program Features:

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is one of the best providers of Human Resources education. Learn the basics of employee support through an Associate of Science in Human Resources. On top of providing top-notch HR training, you’ll also be able to sharpen your communication skills to create and lead teams of any size effectively.

The 60-credit online curriculum comprises human resource courses, general education classes, and electives. Expand your knowledge base and skill set through subjects like:

  • Talent Acquisition
  • Policy Administration
  • Human Resource Systems
  • Professional and Technical Writing
  • General Psychology

The associate degree program also comes with a course in business computers, tackling computer systems and software applications. Furthermore, you’ll be able to gain occupational experience through an internship course.

Did You Know?

Aside from offering online learning, Minnesota State takes flexibility further by offering late-start classes. This is available in general education courses like Economics, Psychology, and Communications. With this, you’ll be able to enroll in courses without compromising your schedule.

Madison Area Technical College

Madison Area Technical College

Prominent Program Features:

Conquer the corporate world with the course offerings of Madison Area Technical College. Its Human Resource Associate Degree will provide training in creating workforce plans, training programs, and compensation packages. Learn the essential functions of a human resource professional while being exposed to real-world practices.

Designed to be completed in two years, the 60-credit program is a combination of courses in general education, Human Resources, business, and communication. Take up courses such as:

  • Organizational Training and Development
  • Management Techniques
  • Payroll Accounting
  • Introduction to Human Resources
  • Employment Law

If you’re planning to continue with your academic pursuit, Madison provides easy transfers to the UW School System and in-state private schools like Lakeland University and Concordia University. For universities outside Wisconsin, its partner universities include Bellevue University and Colorado State University – Global Campus.

Did You Know?

Madison Area Technical College is committed to providing an inclusive environment for all its learners. To support this, the school’s Department of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement provides different student services and events.  Students with disabilities can count on the Disability Resource Services provided by the institution, while international students may take part in cross-cultural activities.

Tarrant County College

Tarrant County College

Prominent Program Features:

Tarrant County College provides comprehensive programs to produce career-ready graduates. Its Online Associate of Applied Science in Human Resource Management will teach students the different aspects involved in connecting prospective employees and an organization. The program may be taken entirely online, perfect for part-time students.

Complete a total of 60 credit hours consisting of courses in communication, business, and Human Resources. Increase your knowledge base by taking up classes like:

  • Human Resources Information Systems
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Business and Professional Communication
  • Business Ethics
  • Employee Relations

Be familiar with mediation through the program’s Basic Mediator Training, covering various techniques and Texas legislation in dispute resolution. Toward the end of the two-year program, you’ll also get the chance to take a capstone course, studying various practices and issues involved in employment.

Did You Know?

Tarrant County College offers different services to address the needs of its students. The school offers scholarships and financial aid for financially challenged enrollees, while veterans may enjoy tuition benefits. Students interested in continuing education at a university may go through the college’s transfer resources.

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University

Prominent Program Features:

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Colorado Christian University is one of the best institutions to start your career in Human Resources. Its HR management associate degree covers organizational behavior, employee management, and business law while instilling Biblical principles.

Develop a deep understanding of Human Resources management concepts and practices necessary in taking on entry-level roles in the business world. The 60-credit curriculum includes courses like:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Human Resource Administration
  • Business Fundamentals
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Business Law

The associate degree’s all-online option will help you earn an associate degree while working or staying at home. With 5-week courses taken throughout four semesters, this program may be completed in two years. However, you may finish the degree faster by using transfer credits.

Did You Know?

Colorado Christian University is an excellent choice if you’re planning to take a step further into your academic path. After completing your associate degree, you may use all the credits taken to continue into an online bachelor’s degree program in Human Resources. This option saves you time, tuition, and other expenses!

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Prominent Program Features:

Explore different certificate, undergraduate, and master’s programs at Fayetteville Technical Community College. The school’s Associate Degree in Human Resources Management is perfect for those starting a career in employee training and management. The curriculum is under the Business Administration program, so you’ll also explore various business topics.

Learn the necessary skills in conducting interviews, needs assessments, and office planning. Take up a total of 66 credit hours with courses like:

  • Basic PC Literacy
  • Training and Development
  • Customer Service
  • Employment Law and Regulations
  • Human Resource Management

Fayetteville, recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, also offers a work-based learning option wherein students have the option to learn by working in an actual company instead of taking a major elective. With this, students will be able to apply different HR concepts and models learned.  

Did You Know?

Fayetteville Technical Community College holds a regular virtual open house through live sessions. This allows online students to take a tour of the campus, learn more about the school’s programs, and ask questions directly.

Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College

Prominent Program Features:

Northcentral Technical College is one of the best choices when looking for an online learning institution. If you’re planning to pursue a career in labor relations and staffing, get the proper training through a Human Resources Associate Degree. From people management to planning and business law, it covers a broad range of topics through its 60-credit curriculum.

With this 100% Human Resources associates online degree, you’ll be able to craft training programs and policy manuals while developing your leadership and organizational skills. Over the course of four semesters, you’ll be taking up classes in:

  • Management Principles
  • Organizational Behavior and Development
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Psychology of Human Relations
  • Employment Law

On top of the core and introductory courses, you’ll also take courses in Microsoft Office, which is usually used in tracking and creating reports. Learn how to effectively create worksheets and charts while being familiar with their essential functions.

Did You Know?

Northcentral Technical College offers various transfer options for its Human Resources Management program. HR associate students. Particularly, the school has partnered with Western Governors University to ensure a smooth transfer. You may also take up an undergraduate degree outside the Human Resources concentration, like IT management and accounting.

Rasmussen University

Rasmussen University

Prominent Program Features:

Rasmussen University offers various program options for students looking to build successful careers. With an Associate’s Degree in Human Resources and Organizational Leadership, you’ll be able to learn the basics of employee recruitment and training. Plus, you will be exposed to leadership concepts and organizational management strategies to lead a team effectively.

Even with an online setup, you get to learn from industry experts and get the mentorship you need through academic advisors. The human resource program’s comprehensive course list includes the following:

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Human Resource Management
  • Employment Law
  • Communication
  • Training and Development

Reach the next level of your academic journey by continuing into a bachelor’s degree. The associate degree program will lead you to a bachelor’s degree that will prepare you for managerial roles like a human resource manager or a training and development director.

Did You Know?

Rasmussen University offers self-directed assessments to help you save time and money when continuing into a 4-year degree. Aside from transfer and military credits, get extra credits by passing the assessment and showing your expertise and experience with the specific course.

Additional Info: What kind of career and salary can I expect to have with my online Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do prospective students apply for an online Associate in Human Resources Management degree program?

While each school has a different set of application requirements, most schools commonly require the following:

  • Online Application Form – This is usually through an online portal where you’ll be asked to fill in important details. You may save some of your information on your laptop so you can efficiently complete your form.
  • Educational Background – You may submit your official High School transcripts, General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or your High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). If you’ve taken previous credits, you may send your college transcripts for credit transfer assessment.
  • Essay – It is common for applications to require essays with a prescribed word count. Instructions on what to talk about are usually included and may vary from talking about the reasons behind your program choice or your academic goals.
  • Recommendation Letter – Applicants may also need to submit recommendation letters to some schools. This may be requested from your teacher, direct advisor, or academic mentor. 

How will an Associate’s in Human Resources degree online benefit me?

Aside from making your resume more attractive, earning an associate degree will help you acquire the needed knowledge base and skill set to become a human resource specialist. With this degree, you’ll be able to create a solid foundation on various HR concepts, including talent acquisition processes and organizational models.

You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of how each role is created to further the company’s goals and needs. Additionally, taking up a comprehensive curriculum will advance your leadership and communication skills so you can effectively implement workplace strategies. If you’re working, taking an online associate degree will help you balance your schoolwork and other responsibilities.

What are the courses included in a Human Resources associate degree?

Human Resources is a multidisciplinary field, touching on business, management, law, and many more. To produce proficient Human Resource Management program graduates, most colleges offer curriculums that cover a wide range of fields.

Some of the courses usually offered are:

Human Resource Management

This course introduces you to foundational concepts in Human Resources. Here, you’ll be able to learn the importance of the field, as well as its various functions and competencies. Touch on compensation, job analysis, and employment trends.

Training and Development

Dive into various models, procedures, and effective methods used in effectively training a team. You’ll also be exposed to new training trends and new modes of organizational evaluation.

Talent Acquisition

Learn the ins and outs of the employment process, including hiring strategies, selection methods, and acquisition laws. Explore the whole process, from job creation to onboarding and orientation.

Benefits and Compensation

Online learning students become familiar with the different employee benefits and programs that are given to employees. The course also covers assessing employees, implementing benefits plans, and creating awareness campaigns.

Policy Administration

With this course, you’ll be able to learn the process of developing an employee manual. Plus, learn how to integrate federal laws and labor statistics into company policies and the steps involved in their implementation.

Business Ethics

Students learn ethical practices in the workplace, corporate responsibility, and management practices. You’ll also be able to tackle legal issues both in compensation and office practices.

Labor Laws

Students become exposed to various topics like compensation rules, employment policies, and local labor codes. You’ll also be able to explore common legal issues faced in the workplace.

What tech requirements should I prepare for an online Associate in Human Resources degree?

Accessing your coursework online requires a few technical requirements. For starters, you’ll need a personal computer (PC) or laptop that’s functional and supports the school’s learning platform. In terms of hardware requirements, it’s recommended to have a 2GHz processor and 8GB memory.

Having a high-speed internet connection will also make your online learning experience smooth. This prevents you from missing essential discussions or late submissions due to an intermittent connection. Additionally, it’s crucial to invest in quality earphones and web cameras.

What can students expect after completing a Human Resource associate degree?

Be prepared to take on entry-level HR positions with the skillset acquired from taking a good mix of core and general courses. Pursue roles in the field of recruitment, management, and employee training.

Here are some of the career paths you can take:

Recruitment Specialist

This role works hand-in-hand with the Human Resources Manager in streamlining the recruitment process. From checking the staffing needs to creating job descriptions and conducting interviews, the recruitment specialist makes sure that the organization hires the cream of the crop.

Human Resource Specialist

Assisting HR managers, the HR specialist is in charge of screening prospective applicants and scheduling interviews. You’ll also take on tasks like conducting research, monitoring attendance, and contacting suppliers.

Administrative Assistant

Oversee the day-to-day operations of the office. From answering calls, maintenance, and records-keeping, you’ll be able to put your organizational skills to use.

Employee Trainer

With this position, you’ll be able to set the standard for all the employees in the organization by conducting training, creating training manuals, and conducting awareness seminars for current employees.

Benefits Assistant

Along with the manager, you’ll be taking care of the salary and benefits of all the employees. This entails a solid attention to detail since this position handles a lot of numbers. On top of that, you should be knowledgeable of various policies involved in compensation.

Check this out: The Best Online Schools for Master’s in Human Resources

Rowan Jones
Chief Editor