by Jennifer Eisenberg
Careercast.com rated Human Resources Manager #12 in its Top 200 Jobs of 2016, citing the profession’s “very good work environment” and “low stress.” An associate degree in human resources puts you on that pathway in this field that boasts a favorable projected growth rate. An online associate degree that you can earn at a pace that is right for you is a smart investment in your future. There are two main options with this degree. The associate in applied science is designed to be used for direct application in the job market, and the associate in science (or business or art) is applicable for those who plan to transfer to a four-year school upon completion. Check with your advisor for your chosen school’s particular position on this question. An associate in applied science or AAS degree can lead to such job titles as Human Resources Assistant or HR Clerk or Assistant Recruiter. An associate of science or AS degree, when followed up with a bachelor’s degree in HR equips you to perform human resource functions at a higher level in a variety of business scenarios.
An associate degree in human resources that can be completed 100% online is a flexible option that can offer a great return on investment. There are several things to consider when choosing the right school for you. First, a couple of relevant points about online education in general. One, as a marketplace, every school must certify every program it offers online with each state on an individual basis, This means that not all schools and programs are approved to offer classes in all areas at all times. Where this was clearly stated on the website, we have made a note on this list, but it is up to the student to get final clearance that their chosen program is offered where they live. Two, online coursework requires a specific skill set that you should make sure you possess or can acquire before you immerse yourself in the digital classwork. Most schools have a brief assessment you can take on the page where they describe their online programs and degree offerings.
In making this list, we considered several factors. Tuition cost is, of course, a significant factor, so it was rated on a scale from one to ten points. Student to faculty ratio is a good estimate of how much one on one attention you can expect to receive from your instructor and that was also rated on a ten point scale. The relevance of the curriculum to the current conditions in the field is also key and accounted for a further ten possible points. Other factors like recognition of excellence for their online program, college credit for life experience, and the professional expertise of the faculty is also considered. These three factors were each accorded five possible points.
All tuition, enrollment, and student to faculty numbers are from the U.S. government’s National Center for Education Statistics.
#13 – San Joaquin Valley College – Visalia
Online Associate of Science Degree in Human Resources Administration
This private junior college is celebrating their 40th year of operation in 2017 has 14 campuses throughout California in addition to its online division. San Joaquin Valley College advertises that their associate degree in human resources can be completed online in just 14 months, and all courses maintain a student to faculty ratio of 22:1. The HR associate degree includes relevant curriculum such as introduction to Microsoft Office, and workforce training, managing, and safeguarding. SJCC employs student advisors, to help with advising and individual course issues that may arise, specifically for online students.
#12 – Waldorf University
Forest City, IA
Online Associate in Arts in Human Resource Management
For more than 100 years, Iowa’s Waldorf University has been consistently at the forefront of innovation in education and offering online degrees is a natural extension of this vision. Waldorf University’s associate in human resources management, completed 100% online, is a 60 credit hour program that can be completed in two years with full-time enrollment. IWU’s HR associates degree has courses in recruitment and staffing, HR management strategy and emerging issues. WU’s program is designed to directly transfer into their bachelor’s degree program in human resources with upper division status.
#11 – Fortis College Online
Associate of Applied Business in Human Resource Management Online
Fortis College Online’s associate in human resource management is a program that gives students the tools to succeed as human resources support staff. They maintain a fairly standard faculty to student ratio of 20:1. Coursework for this program includes customer service principles and employee relations. Fortis began in Arizona in 2008 and now boasts more than 40 campuses in 15 states, as well as a host of exclusively online programs such as this one,
#10 – Montana State University – Billings
Associate of Science in Human Resources Online
Montana State University – Billings offers a 60 credit hour program for their associate degree in human resources that can be obtained wholly online. Their student to faculty ratio of 15:1 is creditable. Employment law and practices and organizational training and development are topics that you will cover in the course of your studies. MSUB prioritizes online education with their commitment to the stated values of “Access and Excellence.”
#9 – Guilford Technical Community College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration, Human Resource Management Option
Guilford Technical Community College’s online associate in business administration with a human resources concentration is a program that confers a sound business education background that sets one up for lifelong learning. Their student to faculty ratio is a sound 20:1. Class titles from the proposed schedule include people skills and training and development. GTCC’s associate is a 65-66 credit hour program that they recommend completing in a fall, spring, part-time summer, fall, spring pattern, but there may be flexibility in scheduling available.
#8 – Lehigh Carbon Community College
Associate of Applied Science in Human Resource Management Online
Lehigh Carbon Community College’s associate in human resources management available 100% online is a 60-62 credit hour program. The associate in applied science offered by LCCC is intended primarily for use in the job market, and not as a transfer degree. Their student to faculty ratio is moderate at 16:1. Industrial psychology and labor relations are two of the areas of study in this program. Lehigh Carbon Community College was chartered in 1966 to serve a region in eastern Pennsylvania and has expanded to offer online education nationwide.
#7 – Concordia University – Wisconsin
Associate of Human Resource Management Online
Concordia University – Wisconsin offers a 64 credit hour online associate in human resource management. Their student to faculty ratio is an impressive 12:1. Intercultural communication, philosophy, values, and ethics are among the topics covered in this program. For a small fee per request, CUW offers course credit for life experience through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), and their “Online Portfolio Review” process. Concordia University – Wisconsin is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Concordia University system.
#6 – South Texas College
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Human Resources Assistant Online
The largest higher education institution south of San Antonio, South Texas College boasts affordable tuition and top quality student services. South Texas College offers a 61 credit hour program for their online associate degree in human resources. Their student to faculty ratio is 24:1 which is elevated. Management & labor relations and organizational behavior are two of the required courses for this major. STC has an office of online advising tasked with keeping online students on track to graduate in the most efficient manner, saving valuable resources like time and money. They also offer to tutor online students through their Centers for Learning Excellence.
#5 – Herkimer County Community College
Associate of Applied Science in Human Resources Management Online
Herkimer County Community College has a transfer agreement in place with Bellevue University so that graduates of their online associate in human resources management program can seamlessly transition to a new completely online four-year program with the optimal number of transfer credits. HCCC’s student to faculty ratio is 26:1. This is a 63 credit hour program, covering such topics as business ethics and organizational behavior. Herkimer Community College was named one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute.
#4 – Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Fergus Falls, MN
Minnesota State Community and Technical College has a standard student-faculty ratio of 22:1. There are two options available in the human resources program, the associate of applied science (AAS) and an associate of science (AS). The AAS is a 60 credit hour online associate degree in human resources program intended for direct application to an entry level HR position. The program includes classes in benefits administration and 6 hours of ethics coursework. The AS is a 60 credit hour program intended for use in transfer to a four-year program. Policy administration and wage and employee processes are two recommended courses in this schedule of classes. MSC&TC has articulation agreements with three universities to ensure transfer into partner programs.
#3 – Fayetteville Technical Community College
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Online Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration with Human Resources Management Concentration
Fayetteville Technical Community College offers a 66 credit hour online associate degree in business administration with HR management concentration that can be completed in four standard fall and spring semesters along with one summer semester. Studies in this program include statistics and diversity in management. FTCC’s student to faculty ratio is a respectable 19:1. Their website lists the 42 states where they are authorized to provide distance education. Fayetteville Tech offers up to 12 credits for prior learning (CPL). Fayetteville Technical Community College is a publicly funded school serving North Carolina and beyond since 1961.
#2 – Bryant and Stratton College
Online Associate in Applied Science in Human Resources Specialist
To complement their top ranking for student/faculty ratio of 9:1, Bryant & Stratton College offers the Career LifePrep Plus program. This program includes résumé help and interview preparation when you are ready to take your skills to the job market as well as advice on the job search. This online associate in human resource specialist includes 39 credit hours of study within the major and the standard complement of general studies courses. Sample course titles include employment law and labor relations and research and writing for the workplace. This for-profit school advertises that the program is authorized in all 50 states.
#1 – Lakeshore Technical College
Online Associate Degree in Human Resource Administration
Lakeshore Technical College offers a 60 credit hour online associate degree in human resources administration. Their student to faculty ratio is a commendable 12:1. Payroll applications and training for organizations are some courses required for this degree. Credit for prior learning is available in certain situations. LTC maintains career coaches on staff, available for career advice and guidance through the admission process. Lakeshore Technical College stresses the institutional values of community connections, attitudes of adaptability, excellence, and positivity, respect through communication, environmental sustainability and student success.
This has been a list of the top 13 online associate’s degrees in human resources.