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Is a Human Resources Associate’s Degree Worth It?

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To earn a Human Resources associate’s degree, students must enroll in primarily general education courses and introductory classes related to the field and related areas of study. It takes students who are enrolled in an associate’s program full-time an estimated 18-months to two years to earn their degree.

Upon completion of the degree programs, students can pursue job openings with a college degree on their resume under educational experience. This is a great replacement for the professional experience summary that might be lacking in a younger applicant’s credentials. Unfortunately, not everyone is certain that earning an Associate’s in Human Resources will pay off. All students should assess the value of any degree program they take by assessing costs and potential earnings.

Assessing the Cost of an Associate’s Degree

What is considered valuable to one person might not be valuable to the next. Everyone entering a two-year Human Resource degree program should be prepared to research cost beforehand. This is the very first step for a potential HR professional to determine if there is value in going back to school or not.

Many different factors can affect how much a student will spend out-of-pocket while getting their associate’s degree. A student who decides to enroll in classes at a university will spend substantially more than a student who enrolls at a community college. In fact, research by Huffington Post shows that students who earn their degrees at community colleges pay around one-fourth of the price compared to four-year tuition rates, with two-year students paying around $3,440 per year in tuition.

Is It Possible to Reduce the Costs?

If in-district students are paying almost $3,500 per year in yearly tuition and fees to earn the credits that they need to be granted a Human Resources associate’s degree, they will be spending near $7,000 alone in tuition. This does not include supply costs, book allowance, and money spent for lodging while studying full-time.

All the direct and indirect expenses of attending school can add up quickly. The cost-conscious students will look for ways to reduce how much of the expenses they have to either pay for or get a loan for. Getting a loan leads to huge interest rates and a college expense that keeps climbing. Anyone who can qualify for grants or scholarships is able to reduce their monetary contribution to their college experience.

Read: Top 13 Great Value Colleges for an Online Associates in Human Resource Management 2017-2018

How Much Do Graduates Earn?

After a prospective two-year student has calculated just how much they are looking at spending on the degree, they can assess how much they will gain from holding it. After graduation, one of the biggest benefits of possessing a degree, aside from the knowledge you attain, is being able to say the applicant has completed some college.

An associate’s degree might not prepare a rookie for the field like a bachelor’s would, but it is still a great start. By spending only two years in school, prospective HR professionals can spend more of their time learning the industry by working hands-on and earning money instead of paying to go to school.

There are several different jobs that candidates with an Associate’s degree can qualify for. It is not always this way in every field, but there’s a long list of associate-level HR positions designed for inexperienced candidates who have some college under their belt. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of an HR associate is $52,759 per year.

Since high school graduates take home an average of $25,636 per year, HR professionals with an associate’s are projected to earn as much as double their salary. With just one year’s salary, the cost of attending a community college for two years could essentially be paid off. All of their factors show a Human Resource associate’s degree is worth the investment.