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Human Resources Professional

The Human Resources Professional course prepares you for a career in human resources. This course explores the foundational aspects of HR, including human resource laws, hiring disciplines, and labor relations. You will learn industry-recognized practices that align with the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

By the time you finish the course, you will be equipped to start your career in this growing field. Additionally, you will be prepared to take the HRCI's Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification exam. The PHR certification recognizes that an individual holds the knowledge and experience needed to excel in human resource management.

You will also learn information useful to sitting for certification exams taken at more advanced stages in a human resources career, including the SHRM's Certified Professional exam and the HRCI's Associate Professional Human Resources exam.

6 Months / 120 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

Monroe County Community College

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Learning Method


Self-Paced. Study on your own schedule

Contact Us for additional information

Human Resources Professional

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Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES419

What You Will Learn
  • Comprehensive knowledge needed to sit for the PHR Certification Exam
  • A broad overview of human resources practices
  • Skills for handling recruitment, performance appraisals, and training processes
  • Strategic decision making for compensation and job evaluation
  • Foundational knowledge of U.S. laws and regulations regarding employment practices
  • OSHA rules governing employee health and safety
  • Strategies for implementing retention initiatives
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 120 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Learn how to contribute to company strategy planning so you can be a more valuable member of the team
  • Prepare for PHR certification and set yourself apart
  • Open the door to new career opportunities and higher salaries after obtaining your PHR certification, including jobs such as: HR generalist, Recruiter, HR Representative, HR Assistant, HR Specialist, HR Manager, Compensation and Benefits Manager, and more


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  1. Introduction to Human Resources
    1. Introduction
    2. Opportunities in the HR Field
    3. Skills for Success
    4. Getting into the HR Field
  2. HR's Role in Strategy
    1. Introduction
    2. Let's Talk Strategy
    3. Vision and Mission Statements
    4. Policies
    5. Metrics
  3. Recruiting and Hiring Employees
    1. Introduction
    2. Writing a Job Ad
    3. Preparing to Interview
    4. Reviewing Résumés and Interviewing Candidates
    5. The Job Offer
  4. Training Programs
    1. Introduction
    2. The Basics of Training
    3. The Analysis, Design, and Development Phases of Training
    4. The Implementation and Evaluation Phases
  5. Compensation and Benefits
    1. Introduction
    2. Things to Consider When You're Planning Compensation
    3. Strategic Decisions for Paying Employees
    4. Job Evaluation
    5. A Look at Benefits
  6. Employee Health and Safety
    1. Introduction
    2. What Is OSHA?
    3. Knock, Knock, OSHA Is Here!
    4. Protecting Against Workplace Hazards
    5. Investigating, Recording, and Preventing Accidents and Illnesses
  7. The Legal Environment
    1. Introduction
    2. Basic Employment Law Terms and Facts
    3. Equal Employment Opportunity—Past and Present
    4. What Is Discrimination?
    5. Additional Employment Laws
    6. What Happens When an Employee Files an EEOC Claim?
  8. Marking HR Decisions
    1. Introduction
    2. HRIS Software: A High-Tech Tool for Decision-Making
    3. Making Decisions in a Growth Strategy
    4. Making Decisions in a Retrenchment or Stability Strategy
    5. Job Analysis as a Tool for Decision-Making
  9. Affirmative Action
    1. Introduction
    2. Creating an Affirmative Action Plan
    3. The AAP: Putting It All Together
    4. More Parts of an AAP
    5. Still More Numbers for the Government
  10. Diversity
    1. Introduction
    2. What Is Diversity—and Why Is It a Good Thing?
    3. Managing Diversity and Handling Conflict
    4. Demonstrating Leadership in Promoting Diversity
    5. Diversity Training
  11. Employee Rights and Discipline
    1. Introduction
    2. Laws That Protect Your Employees' Rights and Privacy
    3. Monitoring Employees
    4. Disciplining Employees
    5. Disciplinary Strategies
    6. Documenting Employee Behavior
  12. Termination
    1. Introduction
    2. Alternatives to Firing
    3. Preparing for a Termination
    4. Separation Agreements
    5. Wrongful Discharge
  13. Investigations
    1. Introduction
    2. Why It's Important to Investigate Problems?
    3. The Steps of an Effective Investigation
    4. Getting Ready to Conduct Your Investigation
    5. Conducting Your Investigation
    6. Wrapping Up Your Investigation
  14. Managing Labor Relations
    1. Introduction
    2. A Quick Look at the History of Unions
    3. Why Employees Join a Union?
    4. How Unions Work
    5. Collective Bargaining
    6. What Happens When Negotiations Fail?
  15. Creating a High-Performance Workplace
    1. Introduction
    2. Ask for Your Employees' Suggestions—and Act on Them
    3. Delegate Authority
    4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
    5. Ask for Feedback
    6. Let Your Employees Have a Life!
  16. Global Human Resources
    1. Introduction
    2. Staffing Strategy and Culture
    3. Understanding Cultural Differences
    4. Practicing HR in Other Countries
    5. Choosing Your Global Employees
    6. Additional Issues for Expatriates
  17. Retention
    1. Introduction
    2. The Top Reasons Why Employees Leave a Company
    3. Encouraging Workers to Stay With Your Company
    4. Stay Interviews
    5. Succession Planning
  18. Motivation, Rewards, and Recognition
    1. Introduction
    2. The Roots of Motivation
    3. Fun Ways to Motivate Your Workers
    4. Nine Strategies For Creating a Great Rewards Program
  19. Preparing for the PHR Exam
    1. Introduction
    2. Externships and Internships
    3. The Basics of the PHR Exam
    4. Studying for the PHR Exam
    5. What to Expect on the Day of the Test?

Instructors & Support

Anna Smith

Anna Smith has worked in the human resources field for 30 years and has taught at the university level for over 20 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Spalding University, a master's degree in management from Webster University, and a Master Online Teaching certificate from the University of Illinois.  She is also a certified Professional in Human Resources from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, and an SHRM Senior Certified Professional. Her experience spans many areas of human resources, including recruitment, labor relations, and affirmative action plans.




There are no prerequisites for taking this course, other than basic computer knowledge.

However, if you plan to take the PHR exam after completing the course, you will need one of the following:

  • A minimum of one (1) year of experience in a professional level HR position with a master's degree or higher, OR
  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience in a professional level HR position with a bachelor's degree, OR
  • A minimum of four (4) years of experience in a professional level HR position with less than a bachelor's degree


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • HR
  • PHR / SPHR – Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide


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Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

Will this course prepare me for a certification?

Yes, this course prepares you to sit for the Human Resource Certification Institute's PHR exam. However, you will need experience in the human resources field before you are eligible take this exam. Please reference the Prerequisites section for more information.

When can I start the course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via email) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Can I get financial assistance?

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.

Do I need experience in human resources to take this course?

No. You do not need to have experience in human resources to take this course. However, you will need experience as a human resources representative to take the PHR exam, administered by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).

Are human resources professionals in demand?

Yes, human resources professionals are currently in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment of human resources specialists will continue to increase 7 percent through 2026. Additional HR professionals will be needed to help companies with increasingly complex employment laws and health coverage.

Is there an internship with this course?

While there is no specific internship with this course, you will be given instructions and insight on how you can obtain an internship or externship upon the completion of your coursework and financial obligation.

What is the PHR Exam?

The PHR Exam, or Professional in Human Resources Exam, is a prestigious certificate awarded by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). By achieving this designation, you will effectively show potential employers and those in the industry that you possess the knowledge as well as practical experience in human resource management necessary to pass this thorough exam.

Why is certification important in this field?

Obtaining certification shows that you are dedicated to advancing in your career. Many organizations consider the certified Human Resources Professional to be motivated and knowledgeable, giving them a competitive edge in the field.

How much do HR specialists make?

HR specialists can make a great salary in a job where they help fellow employees daily. While a lot of factors will go into determining your exact salary, such as years of experience and location, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the median salary for HR specialists is over $60,000.

What type of test is the PHR exam?

The PHR exam consists of 150 mostly multiple-choice questions requiring you to select the best possible answer using your HR knowledge and experience. There are a variety of test items including workplace scenarios. Each question is weighted the same, and there is no partial credit for answers.

Where will I take the PHR exam?

The PHR Exam must be taken at a proctored Pearson VUE testing center. Pearson VUE has testing centers nationwide, and you can search for the one closest to you by visiting

Does PHR certification expire?

Once you've earned PHR certification, it is valid for three years. In order to maintain your PHR certification, you will be responsible for earning 60 recertification credits (continuing education) during that three year period. If you do not earn the required 60 credits, you must retake and pass the PHR exam in order to remain certified.

What is involved in the job of a HR Specialist?

HR specialists are defined as early career HR professionals. You job duties in this position will typically revolve around recruiting and on-boarding new employees including screening candidates, performing background checks, conducting preliminary interviews, and helping with orientation of new employees. Your overall goal, and the indicator of success in your position, is to ensure that the best possible employees are hired into specific roles within your organization. When you're not actively hiring or on-boarding a new employee, you will be responsible for current employee satisfaction and ensuring productivity remains high.

What does a typical day look like for a HR Specialist?

A typical day for an HR specialist will involve tasks such as updating employee records related to hiring, transfers, promotions and terminations; explaining policies and procedures to new hires; ensuring new hire paperwork is completed; addressing work complaints; informing applicants of duties, benefits, work hours, etc.; coordinating job postings; reviewing resumes; and conducting background and reference checks. There may also be additional duties depending on the size of the organization you work for and the area in which you specialize.

Is there room for advancement in a HR Specialist career?

There is absolutely room for advancement in your career as an HR specialist. You can choose to specialize in an area of HR such as recruitment and hiring or benefits. You can also go the opposite direction and continue to add to and broaden your skillset and HR experience in order to move forward in your career and obtain an HR generalist position. Additional education, certifications and on-the-job experience can help you make the move into a role as an HR manager or HR director, and even beyond.

What is the difference between a HR Specialist and a HR Generalist?

While HR specialists and generalists often work together, their roles are very different. An HR specialist will typically have a well-defined role, and will focus on the same things each day. For example, an HR specialist in charge of recruitment and hiring is not going to be involved in benefit selection or termination procedures. An HR generalist has a much more varied role. In this type of role, you would be required to wear a lot of hats, and would see a constantly changing daily routine with many different jobs duties encompassing a large portion of overall HR tasks for a company.

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About Certification

Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI)

The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) is a globally-recognized organization that has been credentialing HR professionals for over 40 years. The organization has developed eight certifications that span all stages of a professional HR career as well as continuing education opportunities to help professionals stay up-to-date on best practices. Each of HRCI's certifications have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA).