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The Best Online Human Resources Certificate Programs (2023 Rankings)

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By Fatima Mansoor

best online hr certificate programs

The best online human resources certificate programs can help you build the skills and credentials you need to achieve a thriving career in the field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of human resources specialists and managers is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations, making it a promising and in-demand field.

But with so many programs to choose from, how do you know which one is the right fit for you? Don’t worry, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the top online Human Resources Certificate Programs.

With a variety of courses and options available, it’s easy to find the perfect program for your needs.

From learning about effective recruitment strategies to understanding labor laws and regulations, taking an online human resources certificate can equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in today’s competitive job market.

Each program offers a comprehensive curriculum taught by experienced industry professionals, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for whatever HR throws your way. You’ll not only gain a competitive advantage in the job market, but you’ll also have the opportunity to network with other HR professionals.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.


How We Chose the Best Online Human Resources Program Online

Remember– the function of Human Resources is not just about hiring and firing. It’s about attracting the right talent at the right place, and at the right time. An essential branch of talent management is employee retention which is the core of Human Resources. The way HR policies and processes are designed impacts the motivation, job satisfaction levels, and employee turnover in an organization.

When choosing the best online Human Resources Certificate Programs, we followed a rigorous selection process, evaluating each program based on the following criteria.

  • Curriculum: We looked for online Human Resources Certificate Programs with a comprehensive curriculum that covers all essential topics in human resources. It includes employment law, compensation and benefits, employee relations, HR analytics, and organizational development. A well-rounded curriculum ensures students acquire all the skills and knowledge to be effective HR professionals.
  • Flexibility: We considered HR certificate programs that offer flexible scheduling and self-paced learning. It allows students to manage their time effectively and balance their education with their work and personal responsibilities.
  • Reputation: We evaluated the reputation of each online program by looking at feedback from current and past students, employer recognition, and industry awards. The program’s reputation is crucial because it can impact the quality of education and job prospects for graduates.
  • Cost: We looked for online HR certificate programs that provide value for money and are affordable for students. Quality education should not come at an exorbitant cost, so we sought programs that offer students a good return on investment.
  • Faculty Expertise: We looked for programs taught by experienced and knowledgeable faculty members with expertise in human resources. Programs with qualified faculty ensure that students receive a high-quality education and access expert mentorship.
  • Student Support: Adequate student support, including academic advising, tutoring services, and career counseling, are all integral elements. Strong student support ensures students have the resources they need to succeed academically and professionally.

After carefully evaluating each program based on the abovementioned criteria, we narrowed down our selection to the top online HR Certificate Programs that met our high standards.

Are you ready to explore them?


What Are the Best Human Resources Certificate Programs Online?

1. Chief Human Resources Officer Program by Wharton (Emeritus)

Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Program (Emeritus) Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Program (Emeritus)

This intensive, 9- to 12-month program is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to drive powerful change within your organization. By going beyond your current role, you will become a key player in shaping the future of your company. Whether you are a seasoned HR professional or just getting started, the CHRO Program can help you reach new heights and achieve your career goals.

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Regularly $20,000 (flexible payment plans available, discounts often offered)


The program runs for 9 to 12 months virtually. This program includes a two-day on-campus networking session and graduation ceremony.

The CHRO Program is designed for senior HR leaders with a minimum of 10 years of work experience who are steeped in the complexities of human resources and possess a deep understanding of all aspects of HR management, industrial relations policies, practices, and operations.

This program is exclusive and ideal for strategists, organizational orchestrators, and compliance regulators. Fluency in written and spoken English is required, as well as international exposure, which is preferred. Participants are often tapped for the counsel they offer to senior leadership or the board of directors.

Upon completion, you will earn a Wharton digital certificate and gain exclusive access to networking opportunities and tuition assistance for further online electives from Wharton Executive Education.

What You Will Learn

  • Discover new and innovative HR management theories and approaches, gaining valuable insights into the field.
  • Identify turnaround strategies and effective leaders, collaborating with peers and faculty worldwide.
  • Gain expertise in accessing and utilizing data to measure, refine, and communicate HR goals, equipping you with the tools to oversee effective leadership transitions and succession models.
  • Acquire the necessary skills to optimize your organization’s efficiency, effectiveness, and readiness to tackle upcoming challenges.
  • Attain advanced knowledge and skills to excel in a fast-paced HR role, allowing you to thrive and succeed.

Click here to learn more and to request a free brochure with more info.


2. HR Management and Analytics: Unlock the Value of Human Capital by Wharton (Emeritus)

HR Analytics Certification at Wharton | Online HR Management Certificate Program HR Analytics Certification at Wharton | Online HR Management Certificate Program

Wharton's HR Management and Analytics online program seamlessly blends theory with practical application, ensuring that students not only learn the latest HR management techniques but also how to implement them in real-world scenarios. 

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Regularly $2,800 (flexible payment plans offered, discounts sometimes available)


The program runs for 2 months, with a weekly commitment of 4-6 hours.

By opting for this program, you’d be able to gain insights and expertise from Wharton’s renowned faculty in HR management and analytics through this program. With a focus on industry-relevant applications, you’ll work with real data sets and learn about topics such as leadership, change management, and employee well-being.

The faculty, who are leaders in their fields, will guide you through the program, sharing their deep research and knowledge. No prior analytics experience is required, and the program is designed to be accessible to professionals from various backgrounds and industries.

The program includes case studies, assignments, and real data sets illustrating key concepts. As highlighted by one of the program’s participants, Achuthan Kutty Prabhakaran, the assignments and case studies will allow you to apply concepts learned and think logically.

What You Will Learn

  • Learn how to use HR analytics to improve collaboration between employees and departments, driving innovation and efficiency toward achieving goals.
  • Learn key factors in measuring performance such as Process vs. Outcome.
  • Develop and oversee people analytics projects to align with organizational goals.
  • Analyze data to distinguish skill from luck, recognize internal biases, and comprehend staffing cycles.
  • Develop a work systems mindset emphasizing employee strength and retention rather than individual job roles.
  • Revamp your organizational structure to attract top talent and gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Click here to learn more and to request a free brochure with more info.


3. Professional Certificate in Human Resources Management by Rice University (Emeritus)

Professional Certificate in Human Resources Management | Rice University Professional Certificate in Human Resources Management | Rice University

Whether you are looking to launch your career in HR or to accelerate your progress within it, Rice University’s Professional Certificate in Human Resources Management can be your key to success. With a curriculum that emphasizes hands-on experience and a flexible part-time learning commitment, the program is designed to prepare you to tackle the most pressing challenges facing HR professionals today. 

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Regularly $2,600 (flexible payment plans offered, discounts sometimes available)


The program runs for 7 months, with a weekly commitment of 10-15 hours.

This program is designed for recent graduates or early-career HR professionals and individuals working alongside HR interested in complementing their theoretical knowledge with practical experience to transition to an HR role. It is also suitable for entrepreneurs or small business owners who want to gain a universal perspective of industry best practices for their organizations.

With a focus on areas such as emotional intelligence, workforce planning, performance appraisal, and employee wellness, this program covers the fundamentals and complexities of managing today’s workforce.

What You Will Learn

  • Gain an understanding of HR professionals’ key responsibilities and requirements and learn to navigate the challenges of an evolving work environment.
  • Develop the skills to build and maintain a performance-driven culture while fostering employee engagement and ethical leadership practices.
  • Learn about data-driven performance management strategies that focus on building a high-performance culture.
  • Develop your skills in employee relations and discover how it can help boost overall organizational performance.
  • Discover how to implement best practices in employee care to drive organizational success and a healthy work environment.
  • Understand how to promote employee well-being through ethical leadership, DE&I, change management, professional development, technology, and workforce planning.

Click here to learn more and to request a free brochure with more info.


4. Human Resources Essentials Cornell Certificate Program (eCornell)


$3,750 for the full program


The program runs for 3 months with a weekly commitment of 3-8 hours.

The Human Resources Essentials certificate provides a comprehensive overview of key HR concepts and skills needed to excel in the field. It’s designed for those new to HR, perform HR alongside other roles, or need to understand the role. By completing this program, you’ll be equipped to hire the right team, communicate effectively, and handle any workplace issues that significantly impact your organization.

Enrollment in this program includes a one-year access to Symposiums – virtual Zoom sessions with Cornell faculty and experts focusing on diversity and inclusion topics such as equity, inclusive leadership, and cross-cultural conversations. You can attend as many sessions as you want throughout the year, with no compulsion.

What You Will Learn

  • Equip managers with the skills to provide constructive performance feedback, accurately assess employee performance, and minimize legal risk.
  • Analyze organizational and HR practices to identify potential negative impacts of unconscious bias and implement mitigation strategies.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of employee development opportunities available within the organization.
  • Conduct a thorough analysis of the root cause of a situation and identify key stakeholders who should be involved in an intervention.
  • Utilize different aspects of interpersonal communication to navigate challenging conversations effectively.


5. The Human Resources Certification Program (HRCI – PHR/SPHR) (Udemy)


Regularly $74.99 (discounts often available)


The course consists of 21 sections, 522 lectures, and a total length of 31 hours and 33 minutes.

This course has no prerequisites, making it accessible to anyone with the motivation to succeed.

Upon finishing the program, you’ll be eligible to seek certification from prestigious organizations like

The Human Resources Certification Institute(R). With this certification, you can earn distinctions like aPHR, ideal for those starting in HR, PHR certification to establish yourself in the field, and SPHR certification, which cements your position as a leading HR professional.

This program caters to individuals at different stages of their HR career journey. It is suitable for young professionals embarking on a new journey, experienced professionals seeking to establish themselves in the HR field, and seasoned professionals.

What You Will Learn

  • Learn how to align Human Resources strategies with broader business goals and objectives to improve organizational performance.
  • Develop skills to effectively plan and manage workforce needs, including recruitment, selection, and retention of employees.
  • Explore various approaches to employee development, including training and career planning, and learn how to create a culture of learning and growth.
  • Understand the principles of compensation and benefits and learn how to design and implement effective reward systems that attract, retain, and motivate employees.
  • Learn how to handle employee relations issues and maintain positive labor relations, including resolving conflicts and managing workplace diversity and inclusion.


6. Digital HR 2.0 Certificate Program (AIHR)


$975 for a single certificate program.



This course is designed to equip HR professionals with the skills necessary to thrive in today’s digital age. You’ll learn to leverage technology to streamline HR processes and improve the employee experience.

From recruiting and onboarding to performance management and employee engagement, this course will provide you with the tools you need to succeed in the ever-evolving world of digital HR. With a focus on practical, real-world applications, this course is perfect for anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve and make a real impact in their organization.

What You Will Learn

  • Create digital employee experiences that are effective, engaging, and memorable through the application of design thinking methodology.
  • Optimize HR processes through analysis, automation, and reduction of errors to increase efficiency.
  • Master the art of digital change management to effectively implement digital projects and drive digital adoption throughout the organization.
  • Hone your digital mindset, skills, and expertise to become a digital innovator and propel the organization forward in digital initiatives.


7. Certificate in Human Resources Management- York University





The program covers a range of topics related to HR management, including recruitment and selection, performance management, employee relations, compensation and benefits, and more.

Upon completing the program, students will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage HR functions within an organization. The program is designed for individuals new to the field of HR or those looking to advance their careers in this area.

You’d earn the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation by completing the coursework of this program, which is recognized by the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA).

What You Will Learn

  • Learn how to manage human resources effectively.
  • Understand the principles of organizational behavior.
  • Gain knowledge of finance and accounting in the context of HR.
  • Learn how to plan and manage human resources.
  • Develop knowledge of occupational health and safety practices.
  • Learn how to design and implement training and development programs.
  • Learn how to recruit and select candidates effectively.
  • Understand compensation and benefits management in HR.


8. Strategic HR Leadership (SHRL) Certification (Human Capital Institute)




It’s a 2-day program.

HCI recognizes the importance of HR leaders and their role in enhancing the performance and engagement of their teams. That’s why they introduced Strategic HR Leadership certification, an immersive course that provides practical, hands-on training to help you become a more effective people leader.

You will improve your team’s performance and engagement by aligning your team’s objectives with business strategy and analyzing team roles. Upon completion of the course, you will be equipped with practical tools and templates that can be immediately applied to enhance your leadership skills.

What You Will Learn

  • Ability to self-assess and improve your team leadership skills, including effective communication, accountability, team member development, and inclusivity.
  • Create a team charter to set clear expectations and goals for your team.
  • Help your team understand the larger purpose of their work and its connection to the organization’s strategy.
  • Use a team charter to define roles and responsibilities, establish performance standards, and measure progress toward goals.
  • Build a shared purpose among team members by creating a vision that aligns with the organization’s mission and values.


Final Verdict

To sum up, pursuing an online human resources certificate program can be a great investment in your career. With so many excellent options available, there has never been a better time to get started.

Among the top picks, Emeritus stands out with its comprehensive and innovative programs, delivered by renowned faculty members from top-ranked universities worldwide. Explore the plethora of options today and choose your best fit!


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