Human resources (HR) is a very rewarding career. If you want to make connections and help companies grow from the comfort of your own home, there are plenty of affordable online human resources degree programs for those wishing to join the field. Even the cheapest online human resources degree can equip you with valuable, employable skills.
Online programs are ideal for students who have personal commitments and cannot attend in-person classes. They are affordable, flexible, and accessible. Dive in to discover everything you need to know about the cheapest online schools for human resources.
Can I Get a Human Resources Degree Online?
Yes, you can get a human resources degree online. Online HR degree programs cover the same curriculum as in-person students to help them become human resource professionals in the field. Online students earn a quality college education and technical skills the same way traditional students do.
Why Should I Get a Human Resources Degree Online?
You should get a human resources degree online because they offer a lower average cost and a flexible schedule. Online students have more time for personal commitments and do not have to worry about travel time or expenses. Online HR degrees are just as worthy as traditional ones, giving students the skills and knowledge needed to become human resources specialists.
What Are the Most Affordable Online Human Resources Degree Programs in the US?
The most affordable online human resources degree programs are those at the associate or bachelor’s degree level. Master’s level degrees tend to cost more. Below, we list 5 of the cheapest online HR degrees.
Cheapest Human Resources Degree Programs Online That Will Help You Stand Out
- Associate Degree in Human Resource Administration at Lakeshore Technical College
- Human Resources – Associate of Applied Science (AAS) at Minnesota State Community and Technical College
- Online Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management at Florida International University
- BS Human Resource Leadership at Amridge University
- Online Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education at the University of Arkansas
How Much Does an Online Human Resources Degree Cost?
An online human resources degree costs anywhere from $140 per credit to $600 per credit. This price range varies mostly depending on degree level. For the most part, higher-level degrees get more and more expensive. For example, an affordable associate’s degree could be anything less than $200 per credit, while an affordable master’s degree could be less than $650 per credit.
Institution type is another deciding factor for the price of a program. Public institutions cost less than private institutions, and two-year programs cost less than four-year programs. No matter the tuition costs, there are always ways to lessen your financial expenses. Most schools offer scholarships, grants, and loans to help students enjoy and afford their education.
Will Getting a Human Resources Degree Online Save Me Money?
Yes, getting a human resources degree online will save you money. Online students enjoy the convenience of not having to pay for on-campus accommodation and transport fees. Also, the average credit per hour cost of online education is often lower than that for in-person programs.
Online Human Resources Programs vs In-Person Human Resources Programs
Although online human resources degrees are extremely beneficial, attending classes in person also has its advantages. Below, we go into more detail about the pros and cons of both formats so you can be sure to have the best school experience possible.
Benefits of an Online Human Resources Degree
- More flexibility. Online education offers more flexibility than in-person classes. Time schedules, deadlines, and class start times are easier to manage. This flexibility is valuable for those who may have many other duties to attend to throughout the day.
- Accessibility. Online degree programs are more accessible. Students don’t have to leave their houses or spend time traveling to and from campus. As long as students have the right technological equipment, they can attend a school from anywhere in the world.
- Development of discipline. Gaining your education through online classes forces students to learn self-discipline and self-management. Discipline and self-motivation are both important skills that these students will need in the field. It will come in handy in academics, the professional work field, and life itself.
- Wider variety of students and connections. Thanks to its accessibility, online programs have students from varying cultures and locations. Students will be exposed to varying cultures and perspectives and can network with students worldwide.
- Affordability. Online tuition rates tend to be lower than in-person tuition rates at a public school or private institution. The provider of the online courses can’t charge students for campus upkeep or facility usage, so students end up paying less.
Benefits of In-Person Human Resources Degree Programs
- More hands-on experience. In-person human resources programs offer more hands-on experience than online ones. Students participate in multiple simulations in a classroom environment and earn real-world experiences.
- Easier networking opportunities. Although taking online classes exposes you to a wider variety of people, in-person classes allow students to make actual connections more easily. Bonds will be easier to form since you interact with everyone directly and physically.
- Distraction-free. In-person human resources programs are taught in a more focused environment than an online one. Although online degree programs are accessible from home, students are subject to any distractions there might be in their house. In contrast, in-person classes are monitored to ensure that everyone is focused on learning.
- More direct interaction with teachers. Earning your degree in an in-person setting allows students to interact directly with their college or university professors. Although teachers have to give attention to all of their students, learning in person is more interactive than online degrees.
- More structured learning. In contrast to self-paced online learning, in-person classes usually give you a clear structure to follow. Some students learn better with guidance and encouragement, and those learners will thrive in in-person classes.
Online Human Resources Degree Career Options
Getting a human resources degree online equips students for the best jobs in the field. Some possible jobs you can get include management analyst and training and development manager. Not only are graduates of these programs sure to find work after school, but they can expect high salaries as well.
Human Resources Job Outlook
Human resources is one of the fastest-growing and in-demand fields in the nation. The job outlook of the top human resources jobs can range from four percent to over 14 percent, most having an outlook higher than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be 14,800 new human resources management positions by 2030.
Human Resources Salary
According to PayScale, the average salary for a human resources management bachelor’s degree holder is around $64,000. Master’s degree holders average $72,000, while PhD holders earn as much as $95,000.
Can I Enroll in an Online Human Resources Program for Free?
No, you cannot enroll in an online human resources program for free. Although you can likely find some free courses that will provide you with knowledge and free training, you’ll always have to pay to gain any certificates or degrees in the field.
However, students pursuing human resource degrees can make use of financial aid to cover a large portion of their fees. Verify your eligibility and apply for as many scholarships, grants, or loans as possible. Some students have even been able to cover all their education expenses.
Cheapest Online Human Resources Degree Programs
|Lakeshore Technical College
|Associate Degree in Human Resource Administration
|$143.45/credit hour (in state);
$215.18/credit hour, (out of state)
|Minnesota State Community and Technical College
|Human Resources – Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
|Florida International University
|Online Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management
|$228.81/credit hour (in state); $345.87/credit hour (out of state)
|BS Human Resource Leadership
|University of Arkansas
|Online Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education
|Master of Science / Human Resource Management
|$855 per 3 credit hours
|Metropolitan State University
|Human Resource Management BS
|Louisiana State University
|Online Master of Science in Leadership and Human Resource Development
|Indiana Wesleyan University
|Online MS Human Resource Management
|Master of Science in Human Resource Strategic Management Degree
Human Resources Degrees Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Online Human Resources Programs
We chose the most affordable human resources degree programs based on tuition and general costs information from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.
The Cheapest Online Human Resources Degree Programs: A Deep Dive
Common Online Human Resources Degree Courses
Although each online human resources degree program varies, there are vital and quality core courses that almost all of them offer. Below, we detail some of the most common HR degree courses that you might encounter in your program.
This course teaches students the principles, techniques, and practices used when determining employee benefits. Topics covered include incident report handling, client handling, and financial planning.
Students learn to examine compensation policies and practices. They learn to evaluate salary structures, create performance-based pay, and go over pay equity laws. Most of these courses are offered with hands-on experiences.
Human Resource Law
Courses in Human Resource Law focus on employment law and how to deal with legal issues in organizations. Topics may include discrimination laws, unfair labor practices, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Students learn to draft employment agreements, terminate professional relationships, and address social media in the workplace.
Human Resource Management
Courses in human resource management focus on the overall skills and tools necessary in the field as a whole. Topics include recruitment, developing policies, employee development, and compensation/benefit strategies.
This course educates students on the behavior of people within organizations. The topics may include teamwork, communication, politics, and organizational culture. Through the analysis of values, emotions, attitudes, and personalities, students learn to predict these behaviors.
Can I Apply for Federal Aid to Finance My Online Human Resources Degree?
Yes, you can apply for federal aid to finance your online human resources degree, as long as the educational institution is accredited. Applying for federal aid is one of the best ways to make the cheapest online human resources degree programs even more affordable.
Options to Help Pay for an Online Human Resources Degree
There are several financial aid options available to students to lessen the cost of their education. Some of the most common financial aid options include grants, loans, and work-study programs. We dive into the details below.
Federal and State Grants
Federal grants are granted by the federal government, usually via FAFSA, while state grants are from your local government. State grant requirements and deadlines may vary per state. Grants, unlike loans, do not need to be repaid and are granted to students based on merit or financial need.
Federal and Private Loans
A loan is a type of financial aid that has to be paid back within a set amount of time. Federal loans tend to be more accessible and usually do not have many eligibility requirements, while private loans are more selective and volatile. Private loans tend to offer higher sums and can be requested directly from the lender instead of going through a third party. Private loans may be the best option for you.
A work-study program is a type of financial aid in which the student works part-time at a company that pays for part of their schooling. Usually, work-study programs take place at the educational institution in which the student is studying. Students can usually get opportunities for work-study through FAFSA as well.
Cheapest Human Resources Degree Programs Online
There are countless cheap human resource degree programs from associate degrees to Master’s Degrees in Human Resources. Below, we detail five affordable and notable programs for each level.
Most Affordable Online Human Resources Associate Degrees
- Lakeshore Technical College | Associate Degree in Human Resource Administration. This program helps students break into the business management & administration career area with a specialization in human resources. Graduates are qualified for jobs such as human resources assistants and training and development specialists.
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College | Human Resources – Associate of Applied Science (AAS). This AAS equips students with the ability to support companies and employees with HR knowledge. On top of HR courses, the program also consists of courses in accounting, business, English, communication, economics, psychology, and sociology.
- Marion Technical College | Associate of Applied Business (AAB) Management in Human Resource Management. This AAB program will teach students how to handle functions such as recruitment, compensation, benefits management, and talent management. According to the program’s website, it is ranked #11 in affordability by the SR Education Group.
- Western Iowa Tech Community College | Human Resources Management | AAS. This program equips students with the necessary skills for entry-level work in the HR department of industry and business. Some of the courses include Employment Law, Training and Employee Development, and Principles of Management.
- Chippewa Valley Technical College | Associate Degree in Human Resources. This 60-credit program teaches students to develop training programs, manage employee-employer interactions, and create organized workforce plans. Students can easily transfer their credits to a four-year institution.
Most Affordable Online Human Resources Bachelor’s Degrees
- Florida International University | Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management. This BBA program is aligned with the curriculum guidebook of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Some of the major courses include Training and Development, Happiness at Work, and Managing Diversity.
- Amridge University | BS Human Resource Leadership. Through this program, students will learn how to take on management roles in the HR industry and govern employees. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher to graduate.
- University of Arkansas | Online Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education. This online degree program has an option for summer classes. It includes a capstone course to fully train students for practical usage of skills in the HR field.
- Metropolitan State University | Human Resource Management BS. Students in this program learn HR principles and theories. Students will also be able to partake in student memberships to help them throughout their HR program.
- Colorado State University Global | Online Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Colorado State offers a 120-credit Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources. Students take classes such as Organizational Development, Compensation and Performance Management, and Applying Leadership Principles.
Most Affordable Online Human Resources Master’s Degrees
- Amberton University | Master of Science / Human Resource Management. Students enrolled in this master’s degree program are eligible to apply to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional Exam. The program aligns with the curriculum of the SHRM as a whole.
- Louisiana State University | Online Master of Science in Leadership and Human Resource Development. The program is taught by reputable faculty and university professors who are the best in the field. Graduates of the program have become successful HR professionals as human resource directors, chief learning officers, and organizational development specialists.
- Indiana Wesleyan University | Online MS Human Resource Management. This MS program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). In the program, students focus on solving real-life problems in the human resources field.
- Bellevue University | Master of Science in Human Resource Strategic Management Degree. This master’s program helps students learn new skills and construct a professional development plan. It’s also fully aligned with the SHRM Curriculum guidebook.
- Fort Hays State University | Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Human Resources Management. This program teaches Advanced Sociological Research, Total Compensation, and Professional Development. Students are required to complete 30 credit hours, all of which can be done completely online.
Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Most In-Demand Human Resources Jobs With an Online Human Resources Degree
|Human Resources Job
|Training and Development Managers
|Human Resource Specialists
|Human Resources Managers
|Compensation and Benefits Managers
Best Jobs With an Online Human Resources Degree Explained
An online human resources degree can score you some of the best, high-paying, and in-demand jobs in the field. Below, we explore the five jobs listed above, detailing their average salaries, the highest-paying states for the job, and the minimum experience required.
Is an Online Human Resources Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online human resources degree is worth it. Whichever degree level you pursue opens up a world of opportunities in the human resources field without even having to leave your house. Employers recognize these degrees just the same as in-person degrees. Not only are they more flexible and accessible, but they save you money and time as well.
While looking for the cheapest online human resources degree program, be sure to keep in mind your personal goals, affordability, and curriculum content. So long as you work hard on your education, these affordable online degrees can set you up for success.
Additional Reading About Human Resources
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Cheapest Online Human Resources Degrees FAQ
Yes, all degree levels can get you a job. An associate degree equips you with technical skills for entry-level jobs, while higher degree levels gear you for higher-ranking management jobs. As stated by PayScale, a human resources master’s degree holder can make up to $72,000 a year.
Yes, employers trust online degrees just as much as in-person degrees, so long as you get them from reputable and accredited colleges and programs.
Yes, you can encounter low-quality education if you go for the cheapest possible programs, but this can also happen among expensive programs. This is why you must go through the program details carefully. The price is never an indicator of a program’s quality.
Yes, hybrid programs tend to be cheaper than in-person education, but they may also cost more than a 100 percent online program. Prices will also vary depending on the ratio of in-person to online classes you take.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.