Online Human Resources Certificate Program | Penn Foster Career School

Online Human Resources Certificate

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Learn new job skills or refresh your existing human resources management knowledge with the Penn Foster Career School Online Human Resource Management Essentials Certificate Program. The program will cover topics on how to professionally hire, train, retain, and manage the type of employees that will help businesses succeed. And you can complete this program in as little as five months! If you are considering a degree in human resources, course credits from this program can be transferred into the Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources or Human Resources Management Associate Degree at Penn Foster College, which is licensed in Arizona.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To enhance the skills and knowledge required to contribute to a human resources team.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify features, founders, and benefits of various management perspectives, skills required by managers, and the need for an ethical business structure and a diverse business environment
  • Explain specific responsibilities of and skills needed for human resource management (HRM), types of illegal discrimination, and techniques to conduct successful interviews and choose prospective employees appropriately
  • Discuss the features and examples of various compensation strategies, calculate appropriate pay increases, and analyze features of total compensation
  • Describe the legally required social insurance programs for employees in the United States, the difference between group and individual insurance, the requirements for qualified pension plans, and evaluate benefit packages to determine comprehensive plan coverage

Course 1

BUS110 Principles of Management 3 credits

This course will review the functions of management and its role in planning, leading, organizing, motivating, and controlling.


  • Define and correctly use business terms.
  • Explain the importance of communication.
  • Identify the steps of managerial decision making.
  • Explain the relevance of the basic skills required by managers.
  • Describe major components of various management perspectives.
  • Discuss the ever-increasing employee diversity and the management activities required for the changing workforce.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Management: A Real World Approach

Course 2

HRM201 Human Resources Management 3 credits

Learn the basics of human resources management and practices.


  • Discover techniques for selecting, placing, assessing, developing, and compensating employees.
  • Examine other HR goals and processes, such as labor relations, employee rights and disciplinary procedures, and high-performance work systems.

Research Project: Using the Dictionary of Occupational Titles

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

Course 3

HRM210 Compensation Management 3 credits

Discover the basic components of a total compensation package (salary, bonus, and benefits).


  • Explore the development, implementation, and maintenance of a program.
  • Analyze the impact of internal and external equity.
  • Examine additional factors that must be considered for the overall success of a program.

Research Project: Compensation Management

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Compensation

Course 4

HRM320 Employee Benefits 3 credits

This course examines employer and employee objectives for benefit plans.


  • Discover legally required social insurance programs for employees in the United States.
  • Learn about the characteristics of group insurance and individual insurance in the categories of life, medical, dental, and disability.
  • Compare managed care plans with traditional medical expense plans.
  • Study the general requirements that must be met by qualified pension plans with respect to eligibility and plan coverage; nondiscrimination in benefits and contributions; funding; vesting; limitations on benefits and contributions; payout restrictions; and top-heavy rules.
  • Learn the difference in pension benefit formulas.
  • Discover general features of pension funding instruments and when each might best be used.
  • Interpret qualified and nonqualified pension plans.

Research Assignment: Employee Benefits

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Employee Benefits

Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows XP® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Human Resource Management Essentials sample lesson, click here.

Human Resources Management Essentials Program Details

The Penn Foster Career School Online Human Resources Management Essentials training program will teach you about:

State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Human Resources Certificate Online Program

The Human Resources Management Essentials Certificate is comprised of courses designed to provide you with comprehensive exposure to relevant skills for the human resources field. Here are a few qualities that efficient human resources managers have in common:

  • Honest: Handling employee issues and concerns requires that you are ethical and responsible.
  • Social: It’s important to be welcoming and approachable.
  • Flexible: You are able to handle stressful situations in a calm and productive way.
  • Organized: A business has a lot of moving pieces to keep on track.

I am proud to have graduated from Penn Foster and I would do it all over again if I had to. All of the instructors and the Student Service Reps are polite, caring, respectful, and knowledgeable. They are all willing to help and they take pride in their jobs and each student they speak to.

- Tuesday C., Penn Foster Graduate

My overall experience with Penn Foster was great. You are allowed to go at your own speed, and the school gives encouragement to keep you going. I would recommend Penn Foster.

- James R., Penn Foster Graduate

I really liked that the Penn Foster programs are so systematic. Each lesson builds on what you have learned and it all works together. I also liked the feeling of being part of a class, even though I did all the classes online. Thank you, Penn Foster for being there for me. I am proud of myself for graduating.

- Miriam S., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Human Resources Management Essentials Certificate academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What is the difference among Penn Foster College’s Human Resources Associate Degree, Penn Foster College's Human Resources Undergraduate Certificate, and Penn Foster Career School's Human Resources Essentials Certificate programs?

The difference among the three credentials (associate degree, undergraduate certificate, and essentials certificate) is based on the amount of coursework that is required to earn each credential. The associate degree requires the most coursework, with the essentials certificate having the least. Credits earned in the undergraduate certificate are transferable to the associate degree program, and the essentials certificate credits are transferable to both the undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs. Penn Foster College is licensed in the state of Arizona.

More FAQs >

The completion of a certificate-level program does not typically qualify a student for employment. Completion of this program may assist students who have previous academic or work related experience improve their chances for promotion or entry-level employment.

Find us on Google+