Accelerated Human Resources Degree Online [2021 Guide]

An Accelerated Human Resources Degree online can help you get what Forbes has ranked as one of the Top 10 Jobs: HR. Compare HR Degree Programs [2021 Guide].

An Accelerated Human Resources Degree online can help you get what Forbes has ranked as one of the Top 10 Jobs: HR.

HR employees looking at applicant's resume

Human resource management has:

  • An average annual salary of $85,000
  • Salary growth that is above average
  • More job openings than any other role in Glassdoor’s top jobs list

Human resources is a growing job market. Every company with at least 25 employees should have at least one person in human resources, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Here’s how you may enter the HR field as quickly as possible.

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Accelerated Human Resources Degree Programs Overview

quote by Kevin Ryan

A concentration in human resources can help prepare you for the common challenges you will find. Most schools will offer you a Bachelor in Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources.

You will likely receive training in business skills like:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Information technology
  • Marketing

Typical business courses related to HR you’ll take could include:

  • Building Effective Teams
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Management of Human Resources
  • Managing Employee Performance
  • Managing Labor-Management Relations
  • Managing Organization Change
  • Staffing the Organization
  • Training and Employee Development

When you’re finished with your degree, you may have an understanding of how businesses operate as a whole and particular skills for working in HR.

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Careers with an Accelerated HR Degree

human resources degree careers and salary chart

What makes human resources a good major is that it is always in demand. Every industry, company, and organization with more than 25 employees typically has a human resources department. These companies include law firms, hospitals, universities, restaurant chains, and financial services.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job market for human resources will grow by 6-9% by 2029.

Career Annual Median Salary
Human Resource Manager – Private Company $121,390
Human Resource Manager – Technical Services $120,980
Compensation and Benefits Manager $116,240
Training and Development Managers $105,830
Human Resources Manager – Manufacturing $103,200
Human Resources Manager – Government $95,950
Human Resource Manager – Healthcare $91,250
Administrative Services Managers $90,050
Compensation and Benefits Specialist $62,080
Human Resources Specialist $59,180

You may start on the ladder to human resources without a post-secondary education. But to advance higher, you usually need a bachelor’s degree. Graduates with a master’s or PhD in Human Resources online may open doors to some of the most lucrative HR opportunities.

Accelerated Human Resources Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions

Usually, you will have to wait until September to start your degree. Luckily, you do not have to go the usual route. Education is drastically changing, and you can use this to your advantage. Check with your school. Most likely, they will have start dates this month. And next.

You can decide when the best time is for you to start your degree. Or you can start now when you feel motivated and excited.

Accelerated Human Resources Degree Programs Online

track runner

Are you a self-starter? Do you have the time to take classes at a faster rate than normal? Some online classes are accelerated, meaning you can travel through a class at almost double the speed.

Instead of taking 16 weeks, your class may only take you 8 weeks, maybe less.

Some schools allow you to pay a set amount for a 6-month term. During that time, you can earn multiple credits toward your business degree in human resources. The only limit to how many credits you can earn is the time you have available for schoolwork.

3 Ways to Accelerate Your Human Resources Degree Even More

someone taking a test, working in HR, and sitting in class

If you are already working in human resources, you may see that potential job opening in management just over the horizon. You may not have 4 years to twiddle away at a degree when you know the sooner you have your human resource degree, the sooner you can be considered for higher level jobs.

There are 3 stellar options to get you ready in less time than you think!

1. Test Out of College Classes (Up to 1 Year’s Worth)

Did you know you don’t have to take classes to get credit? You can register with the College Level Examination Program and may take up to 30 credits without attending one class. You might complete 5 college classes in 5 hours.

A College Level Examination Program exam is typically a 90-minute exam that can earn you up to 6 credits. Even if you don’t ace the exam, you may still get the credit if you only get a grade of 50%.

Up to 66 of the credit hours you need for a bachelor’s degree are “general education.” Those are usually classes you aren’t that interested in taking anyway, so why not try and test out of them?

2. Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience

If you are pursuing a degree in human resources but have been already working in a related field, you may want to use this option for earning credit.

You can present workplace certificates and training as part of your portfolio. The school might give you credit for the following:

  • Earning a certificate in professional in human resources
  • Being a senior professional in human resources
  • Training at the Boston University Corporate Education Center
  • Office training at the U.S. Office of Personnel

If you have any prior work training and certifications, check with the American Council on Education for the recommended credits you can earn. You might have up to 15 credits waiting for you already!

3. Stay Continuously Enrolled with the Max Course Load

Just because everybody else takes 30 credits in a year doesn’t mean that is all you are allowed to take. A typical class schedule may take you 4-5 years to complete a human resource degree.

But, you can take more classes than the typical student. Most colleges allow for up to 18 credits per semester. That gives you an extra class each semester. But, summer is a semester too. Meaning that you might be able to earn 54 credits in 12 months.

It would be a very busy time and require a lot of dedication, but if you test out of 30 credits, submit a portfolio for 15 credits, and take 54 credits a year… In 18 months, you might have 126 credits.

Transferring Your Existing College Credits

Credit that you have already earned from another college class or degree may be used to meet your human resource degree requirements. The 3 qualifiers are that:

  1. Your college was accredited
  2. You actually passed the class
  3. The class matches your new degree

But even if you don’t need a certain previous class for your human resource degree, you do still need to cover those general education electives. There will always be a science, literature, or history class requirement that you may use previous credit to fill.

Human Resources Degree Accreditation

logos of organizations

The biggest fear you might have regarding an online degree may be: Is it going to be valid? Not all online degrees will be. You are smart to think about that.

That’s why you need to look for a degree program that is accredited. Because your degree is most likely a business degree, you would be looking for accreditation from:

You can also take regional accreditation for these independent boards as proof of the school’s high standards.

Being accredited means that an independent third-party has reviewed the school and verified its quality.

Lower Tuition Costs

FAFSA site screenshot

A bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on human resource management could be 120-180 credits. With most universities charging by the credit hour, that could add up to a fairly high bill.

The good news is you may take fewer classes and pay less tuition. Remember that you can earn 30 credits by exam through College Level Examination Program. That might only cost you $890 for a year of classes instead of thousands of dollars in tuition.

You may also want to look into all the financial aid opportunities available to you. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Then, look to state funding, private organization scholarships, and university scholarships. Your current employer might also offer tuition assistance.

Do It Quick, then Take Your Pick

female HR manager shaking hands to applicant after interview

Are you ready for that management role in human resources?

Give yourself 2 years. If you’re able to test out of classes and earn credit through a portfolio, you may save thousands of dollars and still earn your degree.

Then, because almost every company business with at least 25 employees has a human resources department, you may start pursuing work in this lucrative field!

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.