Human Resource Management Certificate: Program Overview

A human resource management certificate program is usually designed for individuals working in the field who want to pursue professional certification or advance their careers. Programs provide training in advanced human resources topics and allow students to develop competencies in the field.

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Human Resource Management Certificate

A certificate program teaches human resource professionals what they need to know about this changing field. Students prepare for professional certification through studying subjects from the HR Certification Institute Body of Knowledge. Some programs may be designed to meet the specific requirements for certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Additionally, students advance their skills, allowing them to return to work and implement what they have learned right away.

Education Prerequisites

Some programs have no education prerequisites. However, many schools do prefer students have a bachelor's degree when entering a program.

Course Topics

The curriculum of a certificate program is designed to help students learn how to handle human resource challenges and issues. A program covers management strategies, workforce planning, employee rights, organization, training, recruiting, compensation systems, benefit programs and labor relations. Students also learn methods for lowering risk in human resources and ensuring employee satisfaction while balancing that with the well being of the company. Other topics covered in a program include:

  • Performance management
  • Human resource technology
  • Training program design
  • Employment law
  • Human resource metrics
  • Organization development

Popular Career Options

While a human resource management certificate is usually designed for those already working in the field, after completing a program, individuals may qualify for advancement or additional duties. Individuals are prepared for work in corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies and small businesses. Completing a certificate program can allow individuals to:

  • Qualify for certification exams
  • Upgrade current certifications
  • Move from another field to human resource management
  • Qualify for promotion

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 13% increase in employment of human resources managers is expected between 2010 and 2020 ( The BLS reported in May of 2012 that these professionals received a median income of $99,720 annually.

Continuing Education Information

Many certificate programs prepare students for certification from the HR Certification Institute. The HR Certification Institute offers certifications based upon education, work experience and passage of an exam ( Certification options include Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR).

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