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Best Human Resource Courses Compared

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We spent an entire week familiarizing ourselves with the best human resource courses available. The best course for most is The University of Minnesota’s Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization. It tests its students’ proficiency in the course material, it covers all aspects of HR management, and it is taught by six professional instructors.

The Best Human Resource Course for Most

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University of Minnesota Human Resource Management

Best for Most

University of Minnesota’s course packs five courses into one, is taught by six professionals, and is 100% online. The course costs less than $50 per month, and works just as well for beginners and experienced HR pros.

The University of Minnesota’s course is the best for most because it is comprehensive, taught by six professionals, and can be taken by beginners or HR veterans. The program is a combination of five different courses and includes a final project to test students’ knowledge. It covers everything from payroll structure to performance reviews, and students receive a shareable certificate upon completion. 

The Best Human Resource Course Options to Consider

  1. University of Minnesota Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization – Best for Most
  2. AIHR Academy Strategic HR Leadership – Best for Human Resource Leaders
  3. SHRM Certification – Best Certification Tests
  4. eCornell Strategic Talent Analytics – Best for Implementing HR Data and Analytics
  5. AIHR Academy Diversity and Inclusion – Best for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

When It Makes Sense to Invest In a Human Resource Course

It makes sense to invest in a human resource course when you’re beginning a new career in HR, when you’re not satisfied with your current income, or when you have a specific HR-related problem that needs to be addressed. 

If you’re starting a new career in HR, investing in a human resources course is an excellent way to ramp up your knowledge. This is especially true for individuals who do not have much formal education on the subject. There are courses that walk you through everything there is to know about managing people effectively, which can set you up for success in your HR career. 

If you aren’t satisfied with your current income, earning an HR specialization will make you a more desirable employee. Upon completion of most human resource courses and exams, students are given an industry-recognized certificate. With an HR certificate, employees have more leverage to ask for higher pay or find better job opportunities.

Niche human resource courses can be great for managers who need to solve organization-specific problems. Issues can include little knowledge of HR analytical tools, lack of diversity in the workplace, or disputes between employees. If you need an answer to a specific HR problem, the right course can show you how to handle the situation effectively. 

#1 – University of Minnesota Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization — The Best for Most

Coursera logo

University of Minnesota Human Resource Management

Best for Most

University of Minnesota’s course packs five courses into one, is taught by six professionals, and is 100% online. The course costs less than $50 per month, and works just as well for beginners and experienced HR pros.

Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization offered by The University of Minnesota is the best course for most human resource managers. It can be found on Coursera and is taught by six professional instructors. This is a comprehensive course that bundles five different HR management courses into one. 

The first course included is called “Preparing to Manage Human Resources”. It focuses on motivating employees and the importance of legal context in developing innovative HR management strategies. Students will learn how to award employees, manage performance, and hire employees. 

The second course, titled “Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding Employees” is focused on helping you find the most qualified candidates for your company. It teaches the People Manager Value Proposition, which shows HR managers how to find talent that helps the company reach its specific goals. It also looks at social media, hiring analytics, and employee retention. 

The third course is called “Managing Employee Performance” and is focused on overseeing workers post-hire. This section is dedicated to helping HR managers get the most from their employees. It covers performance appraisals, positive and negative feedback, and setting expectations. 

Course number four, called “Managing Employee Compensation”, is all about benefits, long-term incentives, short-term incentives, salary structure, compensation philosophy, and organizational objectives. It also gets into the details of creating incentive plans, comprehending stock options, finding pension and health insurance providers, and complying with regulations. 

Finally, the fifth course is titled “Human Resources Management Capstone: HR for People Managers”. This section covers all the key practices, policies, and principles of HR. It gives students the chance to practice their new skills in real-life situations. Students will be given challenges and are required to create multi-step action plans to solve them.

Students are not required to complete all five, but those who do will receive a shareable certificate. This is a fully online course and students have flexible schedules. Beginners are welcome. The course takes about six months to finish with about four hours of weekly study required. It costs $49 per month with a 7-day free trial. Students can cancel anytime.

Start your free trial on Coursera here

#2 – AIHR Academy Strategic HR Leadership — The Best for Human Resource Leaders

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AIHR Academy Strategic HR Leadership

Best for Human Resource Leaders

Strategic HR Leadership is THE course for running an entire HR department or organization. It has five courses plus a final Capstone project to test your skills. It packs in over 30 hours of assignments, video lessons, and quizzes, all for under $1000.

Strategic HR Leadership created by AIHR Academy is a course designed to help HR leaders create impactful strategies for entire companies. It contains five sub-courses plus a final capstone assignment. The course is packed full of video lessons, quizzes, and assignments. It covers operating models, business administration, lean management, and more. 

The first course is titled “HR Management” and includes three modules. It teaches leaders how to handle the responsibilities and challenges of HR management. It covers how to be a dynamic leader, how to connect people and business, how to create trust within your company, and how to create a company culture and make necessary changes to it. 

“Mini MBA” is the second course and includes four modules. It covers how to navigate through market changes, how to identify opportunities in a company, and how to develop value as a company. Students will learn how they can create an HR strategy that helps the bottom line and develop insights into company operations. 

The third course is called “HR Strategy” and has three modules. Students will learn how to use KPI metrics to measure effectiveness, how to create an HR Services Delivery Model, how to identify company priorities, and how to analyze HR customers. It also covers how to match company goals with your HR strategy. 

Course number four is titled “Lean Management” and includes two modules. It covers how to create the most efficient, flexible, and valuable HR strategy for your company. Students will learn in-depth details on HR processes, teams, and functions, and how they can create an agile strategy that can adapt to changing business climates. 

The final course has three modules and is called “HR Operating Models”. It is designed to help students understand what works best for their specific company from an operational perspective. It shows students how to create an HR Operating Model with its step-by-step process. 

After students complete the five courses, they will be prompted to complete the Capstone Project. It covers information taught during the previous courses and is meant to test students’ skills and knowledge. 

Students will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. The course is online and self-paced, and students can finish it in 10 weeks by putting in three hours of work per week. This course costs $997, and students are given 12 months to complete it. 

The course comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. It is intended for advanced HR leaders, so beginners and intermediate-level managers should not enroll.

#3 – SHRM Certification — The Best Certification Tests

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SHRM Certification

Best Certification Tests

Passing an SHRM exam earns students a professional certificate. Students can access books, ebooks, webinars, instructors, and local SHRM chapters for exam prep. Early-bird applicants get $75 off.

Earning an SHRM Certification is the best way to prove you have adequate knowledge and skills in HR management. Completing one of the two tests gets students a certification they can renew every three years. Students must complete a four-hour 160-question test on the computer. The tests cover 15 functional areas and eight behavioral competencies. 

In addition to the tests, SHRM provides students with helpful resources for learning the material. Students can study in teams, learn from instructors, or study alone using SHRM Learning System’s preparation options. It provides books, eBooks, and study webinars. Students can also meet up with a local SHRM chapter for studying. 

The SHRM-CP test is for HR employees with operational roles, while the SHRM-SCP test is for senior-level employees and is harder to pass. The standard price for both costs $475 each for non-SHRM members or $375 each for SHRM members. Those who apply for early-bird pricing get $75 off, and there are discounts for students and military personnel. 

#4 – eCornell Strategic Talent Analytics — The Best for Implementing HR Data and Analytics

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eCornell Strategic Talent Analytics

Best for Implementing HR Data and Analytics

Strategic Talent Analytics is dedicated to helping HR professionals understand data and analytical metrics. Students will learn how to use data to create persuasive presentations for organizational executives. The course can be completed 100% online in just two weeks.

For an in-depth look into the data and analytical side of HR management, check out eCornell’s Strategic Talent Analytics course. This course specializes in evaluating HR data, conducting analytics, and using both to create positive results within an organization. Students will learn the meaning of certain results and metrics and how to tell persuasive stories using them. 

The course teaches how to use analytical best practices and critical thinking to communicate, present, and evaluate analytical findings. The persuasive story lessons give HR professionals a more commanding voice in meetings by using strategic data to influence how an organization should move forward. Students will also learn how to link HR data to business outcomes. 

This is an instructor-led and completely online course. It takes two weeks to complete with three to five hours per day. It is meant for CHROs, HR VPs, analysts, HR directors, HR managers, and HR associates. Those interested in enrolling must request pricing information directly from eCornell’s website. 

#5 – AIHR Academy Diversity and Inclusion — The Best for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

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AIHR Academy Diversity and Inclusion

Best for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

This AIHR course provides 42 quizzes, assignments, and videos teaching diversity and inclusion initiatives. Students will not only learn how to create a diverse workforce, but also an inclusive work environment. It comes with a two-month money-back guarantee

If your organization is initiating a diversity and inclusion program, consider enrolling in AIHR Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion course. This course teaches HR managers how to drive cultural change, how to understand intercultural differences, and how to learn inclusive communication using a modern approach. 

The program covers how to address issues facing specific identity groups within an office. It covers legal considerations and how to create an inclusive workforce. It covers conversational situations, equal pay, and cultural conflicts. The course includes a Capstone project at the end which tests students and has them implement a real-life plan. 

One of the modules included looks specifically at an organization’s culture. It explains why culture changes may be necessary, and how to manage and make the desired changes. It teaches students how to get helpful tools, navigate the culture design process, and create cultural foundations. Students will also learn exactly how this will impact their organization. 

Another module covering intercultural differences shows students how to handle diversity within international companies. Students will learn how to implement merger and acquisition intervention strategies, build international teams, and create a work environment where employees of all backgrounds feel supported.

This online course includes 42 video lessons, quizzes, and assignments. Students can complete the course in 10 weeks by putting in three hours per week, and they have access for 12 months. AIHR’s Diversity and Inclusion course costs $997. It also comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. 

Methodology for Choosing the Best Human Resource Course

Before picking which human resource course is best for you, take a look at how the following criteria apply to your specific situation.

Course Format

Courses can be online or in-person, live or recorded. Choosing whether you want an online or in-person course is up to personal preference, but most of the top courses these days are only available online. Some students will prefer a live course, while others may prefer to go at their own pace. There is no right or wrong format here, but it is something you must consider before making a buying decision. 

Study Time Requirements

Course lengths can vary from only a couple weeks to six months or more. Many of the online programs allow students to go at their own pace, so completing them can vary depending on the number of hours applied per week. 

If you’re an HR newbie, it may be worth spending a couple months learning the ropes. However, if you’re a manager looking to solve a specific problem, you’ll want to choose a shorter course. 

Specialization

Different courses cover different topics, and it’s crucial that you pick one relevant to your needs. Those who need a full exploration of the topic will want to purchase a comprehensive course. There are also courses that specialize in niche HR subjects, and these are helpful for experienced professionals who only need help with certain topics. 

Knowledge Testing

Knowledge testing is something that everyone should look for in a course. Examples of these include quizzes, assignments, exams, and projects. Choosing a course that tests your knowledge ensures that you’re ready to apply the material to real-world situations. Courses with knowledge testing are also more likely to include a shareable certification. 

Coursera logo

University of Minnesota Human Resource Management

Best for Most

University of Minnesota’s course packs five courses into one, is taught by six professionals, and is 100% online. The course costs less than $50 per month, and works just as well for beginners and experienced HR pros.

Summary

The University of Minnesota’s human resource course is the most comprehensive and best for most people. AIHR has helpful courses for HR leaders and diversity initiatives, and eCornell’s course helps with HR data and analytics. For a certification from an exam provider, consider enrolling for an SHRM exam and its respective study material. 

It’s important to pick a course that uses quizzes, exams, or assessments to test your knowledge. Before choosing which course is for you, also consider what it specializes in, the course’s format, and how much time you will need to put in. Enrolling in a course is great for beginners, employees looking for a better career, and leaders who need to solve specific issues. 


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