An associate degree in human resources program introduces you to the core business administration theories, ethics, and legal issues required to succeed in entry-level HR positions.
This degree can allow you to explore your interests and specialty preferences while also qualifying for positions that assist with the day-to-day tasks of human resource management.
Furthermore, an associate degree provides the curriculum equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, as well as the core knowledge to specialize in personnel and human resources roles involving recruitment, hiring, benefits, and training and development.
What is a Human Resources Associate Degree?
Human resources (HR) is the primary administrative field in business. HR professionals handle a wide range of job duties, from hiring employees to managing payroll.
HR professionals are also needed in virtually all industries that function as a business.
Associate degree programs in HR help train students in the ethics, employment laws, and other skills necessary for a range of entry-level careers in the field.
Typically, these degree programs help prepare graduates to begin their careers in HR or to pursue further education, such as a bachelor’s degree that students can usually complete faster with their associate degree than without.
Here, we examine some common features of these associate degree programs.
Types of Human Resources Associate Degrees
There are a variety of HR associate degree programs available for students to choose from.
For instance, students can choose from an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in the field.
The specific titles for these programs may include human resources specialist, human resource management, or human resource administration.
AAS degree programs in HR typically help prepare students to begin their careers and may contain more practical, hands-on training for the field.
AA degrees in HR usually include more liberal arts courses, while AS degree programs commonly require more science- and math-related courses and are more technical in nature.
However, all of these degree programs help students complete general education requirements that can fairly easily transfer to 4-year institutions.
This allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in HR or another related area in less time. The different types of associate degree programs in HR also still qualify students for multiple HR-related careers.
Why Earn an Associate Degree in Human Resources?
If you want to get into the profession as quickly as possible, an associate degree may be a good option.
It can save you time and money while also laying the groundwork for you to pursue a bachelor’s degree part-time while working or full-time later.
If you want to work in management, you’ll most likely need a bachelor’s degree.
“The more formal education a student can get, the better,” says Rue Dooley, SHRM-SCP, HR Knowledge Advisor for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).