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Degree Overview: Associate of Human Resource

Majors Overview May 27, 2013

Associate degree program in human resources prepares students for roles in an organization’s personnel department. Human resources associate degree program cover employee-related topics, so students can gain an understanding on how to help maintain a productive workforce.

Human Resources Associate Degree Program

Students who are enrolled in human resources associate degree program will study the career fundamentals of employment regulation and labor law. Schools might offer an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) option. Students learn about benefits and compensation, interpersonal relationships, and payroll. Students will also gain strong decision-making, management, interviewing, and communication skills. These two-year associate degree programs are usually available at universities and colleges; some degree programs are available online. Applicants are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Students will complete courses in administration and business, along with general educational requirements. Depending on the associate degree programs, some will offer a capstone that allows students to garner real-world experience in human resources. Program course topics may include the following:

•Employment law
•Compensation
•Human resources management
•Marketing
•Training and development
•Accounting

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

From 2008 to 2018, employment outlook for human resource professionals is expected to grow by twenty-two percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). The above-average rate is due to different laws being passed to set standards in aspects, including wages, health care, maternity leave, and retirement plans. The job opportunities are better for individuals who specialize in an area, including training. In January 2012, human resource professionals earned an average annual salary between $34,018 and $66,735, according to Payscale.com.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Associate degree program graduates may either pursue a bachelor’s degree in human resources management or seek immediate entry-level employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals who want to have better odds of securing a job should have a relevant bachelor’s degree. The human resources management major might be offered as a concentration within a business program or its own program.

There are different organizations that offer credentials to human resources professionals in order for them to validate their experience and expertise. The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certifications are offered by The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM – www.shrm.org), both of which may be obtained once applicants pass an examination and all prerequisites are met. Students who have earned their associate degree and interested in earning a Professional in Human Resources certification, they will be required to have a minimum of four years of professional human resources experience while a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification requires seven years of experience.

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