Do you love working with people? Are you a problem solver? Do you love the idea of bettering the personal and corporate conditions of a company? Then being a Human Resource Manager may be for you. It’s an important job, one that determines the culture, happiness, and viability of a company.
Human Resource managers have a breadth of responsibilities, from cultivating economical and effective organizational structures to consulting with management and executives on strategic company planning. HR managers are employed in most industries and represent a crucial role in the health of an organization. For this reason, their role is indispensable as they work closely with employees, from recruitment through hiring into negotiations and the creation of a satisfying working environment.
HR employment is expected to grow nearly 10 percent in the next ten years, which is much faster than the national average. Additionally, HR managers experience both more job security and entry opportunity than most in other professions. As companies grow, HR managers are needed to protect and encourage that growth. And nearly every industry—healthcare, start-ups, IT and tech, education, the sciences, criminal justice, and more—needs HR representation.
What are the most affordable human resource management online degrees?
As a Human Resource Manager you can anticipate an annual salary of over $60,000 (this info is based off the averages provided by PayScale). And this is for those with a Bachelors degree. If you decide to go on and pursue an advanced degree after a couple years of experience, you can expect a salary increase of 73 percent. On average, HR directors make 104,440, according to the national averages provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Western International University
Per Credit Hour Cost: $250
Part of the Apollo Education Group, a for-profit corporation that owns and operates three other universities and colleges, Western International University specifically serves adult learners. They have online programs across all academic levels, from certificates and bachelor degrees to advanced degrees, and they are most known for their emphasis on and expertise of the technology and business fields.
The online Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management degree through Western International University takes less than four years to complete (approximately, three-and-a-half years), and it was designed to meet the industry standards set by the HR Certification Institute. Students in West’s program will learn both theory and praxis: they will be able to gauge, and thus incentivize, human motivation as well as implement effective negotiation and mediation skills. Additionally, students learn to manage workplace operations, design corporate training, analyze corporate practices, enact safety measures, and much more. Not only is West the most affordable BA in Human Resources program in the country, it will undeniably prepare you for a career in HR.
Western International University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Arkansas
Per Credit Hour Cost: $266
A land-grant, space-grant, research university and the flagship school in Arkansas, the University of Arkansas is located in Fayetteville, though it also offers many online programs too. There are approximately 26,000 enrolled students, most of whom are undergrads, and over 200 programs of study across all academic levels. Forbes, Washington Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and more, have recognized the university for both its academic standing, its contributions to research, and its affordability.
The online bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and Workforce Development Education can be completed in under four years through the a traditional fifteen-week fall and spring semester schedule. There are also optional summer classes offered in two five-week sessions. Once students complete their core requirements, they will take over fifty credit hours (approximately seventeen classes) on career development, organizational development, and training and development. Upon graduation, students are prepared to integrate counseling, management, analysis, and evaluation to improve both corporate and individual productivity and satisfaction. This program also fully prepares students for further, advanced education.
The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Florida International University
Per Credit Hour Cost: $279
A major public research university located in Miami, Florida International University is comprised of nearly 200 programs of study across twenty-three colleges and schools. The largest university in south Florida, and the second largest in the state, FIU enrolls nearly 40,000 undergraduate and grad students. In addition to its research reputation, FIU also consistently ranks as one of the most affordable choices for residents, and it has been reported that its students are among those with the least debt in the nation.
The R. Kirk Landon Undergraduate School of Business at FIU offers a BBA in Human Resource Management degree that can be completed fully online. The program is notably flexible, as students can begin in either fall, spring, or summer, and they can move at their own pace through the curriculum. Unique to FIU’s program is their emphasis on mentorship: each online student is paired with an academic coach, ensuring success throughout his or her education. The curriculum emphasizes development, meaning students are prepared to create both the big picture aspects and details of HR systems, practices, and processes.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.
Granite State College
Per Credit Hour Cost: $325
Granite State College is part of the University System of New Hampshire and boasts eleven campuses throughout the state as well as a broad online learning platform. Its stated mission is to deliver accessible and affordable education to adult learners, whether those students are in school for the first time or returning. The college is also recognized, and has earned national ranking, for its affordability, academic standing, and reputable online programs.
The Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Administration degree at Granite State can be taken online or as a hybrid, meaning online and on campus. Students who are interested in the program can start by acquiring an associate’s degree and then move seamlessly into the bachelor program. Graduates from the program have gone to become HR coordinators, managers, directors, and analysts, as the curriculum fully trains its students on all sectors and at all levels of HR administration. As a student you can expect classes on psychosocial dimensions in organizations, global workforce dynamics, ethics and legal practices, advanced HR objectives, and much more.
Granite State is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Per Credit Hour Cost: $346
One of the few private schools on our list, Wilmington University is a non-profit institution that still seeks to make its education affordable to its students. Comprised of many schools, including technical, liberal arts, science, and business, Wilmington has something for everyone. Not only are there a breadth of programs and degree options, but many of the faculty are renowned for their research contributions to both academia and their respective industries.
The online Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management program at Wilmington meets the national standards set by the Society for Human Resource Management. Offered through the College of Business, this program is for those who wish to combine business management with a focus on human resources. Students are trained to recruit and staff employees, to develop compensation and benefit packages, mediate between employees and employers, and more. As a student you can expect to take approximately forty core credits and then split the rest of the coursework between business and human resource management.
Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Colorado State University
Per Credit Hour Cost: $350
The flagship university in the Colorado State University system, this public research university enrolls over 32,000 students spread across its eight colleges and fifty-five academic departments. Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University boasts over 150 programs of study and receives dozens of rankings for its academic performance. Most notably, both Business Week and The Princeton Review have named CSU’s business school as among the best in the country.
CSU offers an online Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management that is aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR curriculum guidebook. Unique to Colorado State’s program is that it gives the option of specializing among sixteen different concentrations. For students who wish to explore human resources in a defined field, CSU is perhaps the most streamlined option. Specializations include (though in no way are limited to): healthcare management, computer programming, criminology, IT, marketing, non-profit management, and much more.
Colorado State University is accredited by the Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
Per Credit Hour Cost: $359
A highly selective (with an acceptance rate of around 21 percent), independent, and non-profit institution located in Boston, Massachusetts, Fisher College enrolls just 2,500 students in a range of specialized degree programs, though it was originally founded as a business school. It still maintains that emphasis and focus, in addition to leadership, criminal justice, and security. Fisher also has satellite campuses throughout Massachusetts, and has been a prominent player in online education since the late 1990s.
At Fisher College you can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Human Resource Management. If you’re looking for a broader approach to administration, the program at Fisher may be the best fit. The curriculum combines the fundamentals of management with psychology, ethics, organizational behavior, and contemporary issues in HR. Fisher’s program is also distinctly broad in its application: students take classes on sport, international, and facility and event management. Finally, as a student you should expect to supplement your studies with an internship.
Fisher College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Per Credit Hour Cost: $360
McKendree University is a liberal arts college located in Lebanon, Illinois and is the oldest college in the state. It is also one of the smallest schools on our list with only 2,300 enrolled students. Comprised of an Arts and Science College, a business school, a professional health school, and a school of education, McKendree also offers online programs that are designed to provide the quality McKendree education experience to those unable to attend on campus.
McKendree’s fully online Human Resource Management degree introduces students to the foundations of HR theory and application, bringing together core business principles, personnel management and retention, labor relations, and diversity management. Classes are offered over an eight week period, with many students taking two courses during each session. Graduates from McKendree’s program are prepared for advanced education, while many others have gone on to work in recruitment, retention, employee relations, organizational management, and more.
McKendree University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Per Credit Hour Cost: $395
Over 10,000 students are enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate programs of private, non-profit Bellevue University, located in Bellevue, Nebraska. From its initial founding in the 1960s, Bellevue has sought to provide affordable and accessible education to adult learners; over 80 percent of students are aged twenty-five and older. Their online platform has been an extension of this initial ambition, and has received numerous accolades. U.S. News & World Report ranked Bellevue’s online programs as among the best in the country.
In full accordance with the Society for Human Resource Management HR curriculum, the fully online Bachelor of Science in Management of Human Resources degree program at Bellevue trains its students to apply legal and legislative practices, assess personal and professional career needs, develop sustainable organizational structures, and more. In addition to general education classes, students will take forty credits of business and administration classes and forty electives. Bellevue’s program distinguishes itself with its emphasis on hands-on learning, infusing theory with real-world application.
Bellevue University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Per Credit Hour Cost: $408
For those looking for a faith-based education experience, Limestone College is the best choice. Limestone is a non-denominational Christian, liberal arts College, and the third oldest school in the state. Located in Gaffney, South Carolina, Limestone’s student population is comprised of 3,500 undergraduates, over half of whom are part of the distance learning program, called Extended Campus. Additionally, Limestone has multiple branch campuses throughout South Carolina.
The online Bachelors in Human Resource Management degree offered through Limestone’s Extended Campus prepares students for HR positions such as benefit manager, compensation manager, human resources recruiter, training and education manager, or a labor relations specialist. Limestone also offers students the opportunity to receive grants through the corporate partnership program; Limestone maintains relationships with many regional corporations that make funds available for eligible students. So, though the most expensive school on our list, its credit hour rate is still extremely affordable relative to national rates and is made even more affordable through its grant initiatives.
Limestone College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.