What’s your next step?  Here’s what you need to know about human resource programs to advance your career (or maybe just get into the field).

Congratulations on wanting to advance your career in HR! Whether you are already in the field or are looking to make your mark, you need to consider the status of your educational training to date and what you want to do professionally in the next 5-10 years.  Do you have the proper training or degree to reach your career goals?  If not, here are a few human resources programs that you should consider before taking the next step.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Are you considering a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resources or a similar field?  If so, then we highly recommend that you check out this list from the SHRM on some of the best human resource programs in the United States for those pursing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Or you can check out this list of the best Bachelor of Science degree programs, also from the SHRM. Another good resource is the 40 Best Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degrees for 2017 from College Choice, which includes the programs cost upfront, which is a plus.

Master’s Degree Programs
For those of you who already have some job experience in the HR field and want to take that next step in your career, a master’s degree is a great option.  Here’s a list from the SHRM of the top Master of Arts programs in human resources and this is a list of the top Master of Science programs in human resources. Consider all of your options though, because depending on your career goals and what you want to do with your degree, some might be a better fit for you than others. An arts degree or a science degree might be a good choice for some people but not others. Plus, other options exist including a business degree with focus on human resources.

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Quick Note About Online Degree Programs
Generally, online programs – whether it is for a bachelor’s degree or for a master’s degree – can be a great way to further your education. However, you need to consider your ability to stay self-motivated when work and personal commitments might get in the way of your studies.  To put it bluntly, online degree programs are not the best way for some people to learn. Some individuals need an in-class education in order to learn. So if you are interested in an online degree program due to work or personal commitments, just keep that in mind when weighing your options.

If you work in HR or looking into an HR degree, one website to be sure to check out is the Society of Human Resource Management. They offer some great tips and information on changing trends and things you need to be successful.

Human Resource Certificate Programs
Are you looking for a certificate program instead?  Then take a look at the HR Certificate Institute.  They have a listing of the best certificate programs out there including: aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi, and SPHRi. However, with so many different certificate programs to choose from, it’s hard to know which one is right for you.  That’s why we recommend using their free online tool to help you select which certificate program might be right for you.

For those of you considering a certificate program, be sure to bookmark the HR Certificate Institute website for some great news and information on the field of HR.

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Best of luck to those you furthering your education. What human resources programs have helped you further your education and progress your career?  Share your thoughts, tips, and comments below!