Want to jump straight to the answer? The best HR training programs for most people are Administrative Human Resources (HR) for Beginners by Udemy or Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization by Coursera.
HR training programs are essential if you want to learn more about managing people and understand how to apply ethical practices toward hiring and rewarding your employees.
Whether you are an entry-level HR professional or have been in the industry for decades, many programs can help you expand your knowledge and take your career to the next level.
The Top 5 Best HR Training Programs
- Administrative Human Resources (HR) for Beginners by Udemy – Best for entry-level HR professionals
- Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization by Coursera – Best for practical learning material
- SHRM Certification by SHRM – Most flexible learning structure
- Diploma in Human Resources by Alison – Best free HR course
- HR Management and Analytics by Wharton – Best for experienced HR professionals
After reviewing dozens of HR training programs on the market today, we narrowed it down to the top five best programs to advance your career. Continue reading to learn more about which option is right for you.
Administrative Human Resources (HR) for Beginners by Udemy – Best For Entry-Level HR Professionals
- Introduction to HR basics
- Takes one hour to complete
- 4.4 out of 5 star rating
- Certificate upon completion
If you want to learn the absolute basics of HR, then the Administrative Human Resources for Beginners course by Udemy is an excellent option. This course introduces the various roles and duties of human resources, and students can expect to learn the basics of everything from administration and compliance to strategy and business growth.
Whether you are a small business owner, looking for a job in HR, or are an administrative professional whose duties include HR, this course will ensure that you receive a deeper understanding of human resources.
So far, more than 12,000 students have taken the course, and given it an overall rating of 4.4 out of five stars. The course spans eight lectures and only takes around an hour and 10 minutes to complete. You also get access to an hour of on-demand video, three articles, three downloadable resources, full lifetime access, access on mobile and tv, and a certificate upon completion.
The best part about doing this course is that you don’t need to pay extra for the certificate, making it easier for beginners to showcase their skills and knowledge on a resume.
The course focuses heavily on recruitment processes and increasing performances and touches on how to conduct an HR audit. No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required to complete the program.
The regular price is $26.99, but Udemy usually offers discounts throughout the year that you should look out for.
Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all courses.
Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization by Coursera – Best For Practical Learning Material
- Robust intro to HR principles
- Completed by over 120,000 students
- Offers hands-on experience
- 6 months to complete
Learn how to become a better manager of people with the Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization by Coursera. In this course, you can develop the proper skills and strategies for hiring, managing performances, and rewarding employees.
If you want to understand how to manage a pre-existing team of people or if you need to refresh your HR knowledge, then the Coursera specialization will suit you best. With a robust introduction to the key principles, policies, and practices of human resource management, you will be able to consider alternatives to management duties.
So far, more than 124,073 students have already enrolled, giving the course an overall rating of 4.8 out of five stars. This course is particularly enticing for anyone who enjoys practical learning, as it includes a hands-on project that you will need to complete before receiving your certificate.
There are five modules in this specific specialization, and with six instructors across the board, you can expect to learn from a variety of different teaching methods. The course takes approximately six months to complete and offers a self-paced learning schedule.
The specialization includes a sharable course certificate, course videos and readings, practice quizzes, graded assignments with peer feedback, and graded quizzes with feedback.
With Coursera specializations and courses, you can enroll for free, but you will need to pay a $49 per month fee to complete the course and receive a certificate. However, financial aid is available for this course as well as a 7-day free trial.
SHRM Certification by SHRM – Most Flexible Learning Structure
- Flexible self-paced options
- Access to a practice exam
- Instructor-led classes available
- Great value for HR professionals
Obtaining an SHRM certification is of great value to any HR professional looking for additional credentials. SHRM provides two certificates, including the SHRM-CP (certified professional) and SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional).
It’s important to note that these SHRM certificates are not for beginners, and the general eligibility criteria for these certificates include:
- Individuals that perform general HR duties
- Basic working knowledge of HR practices and principles or a degree from an Academically Aligned program is recommended
- Individuals that have a work history of at least three years performing strategic HR duties
- Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have devoted 1,000 hours per calendar year to completing HR duties
One of the best parts of completing either of these certificates is how flexible they are because SHRM makes sure there is a self-study option. With this option, you can personalize your learning with bite-sized content topics, making it easy to study if you don’t have a lot of time.
You also get access to exam preparation with a practice exam that includes actual retired exam questions, a report to break down your scores, and a document that will help you understand how to improve and learn from your results. If it’s easier for you to learn with physical copies, SHRM can also provide printed learning modules, although an additional fee plus shipping applies.
However, if self-paced learning isn’t for you, SHRM also offers instructor-led classes for both certificates. Classroom, virtual, or hybrid options are available throughout the year, and each option includes the SHRM Learning System.
The prices for these certificates are different depending on whether you are a member or not. Nonmembers will generally have a higher fee to pay.
The standard exam fee is $375 for members and $475 for nonmembers, with a $50 application processing fee.
Diploma in Human Resources by Alison – Best Free HR Course
- Completed by 250,000 students
- A total of three assessments
- Three ways to receive a certificate
- Perfect for students on a budget
It’s no secret that some human resources courses can be expensive, so if you want to learn on a budget, the Diploma in Human Resources by Alison is the perfect place to start.
Studying online with Alison is an excellent alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to find in-person classes and spend hundreds of dollars. Free doesn’t mean lackluster, especially not for Alison courses. The Diploma in Human Resources is an extensive and informative program that will help you establish the significance of a strategic HR plan.
So far, more than 252,000 students have enrolled in this course, making it an incredibly reliable resource to further your education in HR management. Teaching you how to hire, train, and motivate employees effectively—this free course is essential for increasing your skills and success.
There are seven modules in this course, including topics such as:
- Introduction to resources management
- The recruitment process
- The selection process
- Training and development
- Managing employee performance
- Organizational culture
- Managing employee motivation and retention
There are three assessments—two during the course modules and one final course exam that will test you on everything you’ve learned so far. To complete this course and receive your certification, you have to achieve 80% or higher in each assessment.
You can expect to complete this course within 10-15 hours, with a self-paced structure that allows you to complete modules when you can.
One of the beauties of taking an Alison course is the certification options it offers. You can choose from a digital diploma, a physical diploma, or a framed diploma. Alison will deliver these certificates to you with free shipping. However, if you opt for a digital copy, you will receive this in a PDF format immediately upon completion.
Now, although the course is technically free, there is one downside. If you wish to receive a certificate, you will need to pay a small fee. Here is a quick overview of the prices:
- Digital Certificate — $26.27
- Printed Certificate — $33.78
- Framed Certificate — $46.29
However, you can purchase a premium plan for $10 per month for a 50% discount on certificate prices.
HR Management and Analytics: Unlock the Value of Human Capital by Wharton – Best For Experienced HR Professionals
- Big-name company participants
- Holistic view of HR management
- Real-world examples
- Certificate upon completion
If you’re an experienced HR professional, general manager, small business owner, or business consultant, the HR Management and Analytics: Unlock the Value of Human Capital course by Wharton is extremely beneficial to invest in.
Big-name companies that have participated in this program include Google, Home Depot, and The Emirates Group, to name a few. Combining theory with practicality and flexibility with rigor, this program will help you understand the basic principles of HR, leverage data analysis, and design an organizational structure for recruiting top talent.
Giving you a holistic view of strategic HR management and people analytics, Wharton provides some of the more advanced programs for career growth.
The program offers seven modules, including topics such as:
- Introduction to people analytics and performance evaluation
- Motivation and reward
- Tasks, jobs, and systems of work
- Strategic staffing
- Collaboration networks
- Talent management and analytics
- Managing your career as an HR professional
In this program, you will receive frameworks with video lectures, real-world examples delivered through video and live online lectures, application to data sets with individual feedback, and a debrief of learnings through a combination of recorded and live video lectures.
You will also earn a digital certificate upon completion that will be sent to the email address you use to enroll for the course, so make sure this is accurate.
Because this Wharton program is comprehensive and offers an advanced catalog of content and material, it is a little on the expensive side. Currently, you can enroll in the course for a fee of $2,800. You can also get $280 off by using a referral code.
However, there are payment options available, and you can choose to pay in two or three installments.
How to Find The Best HR Training Program For You
There are a few factors that go into finding the best HR training program. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose the right course, so we put together this methodology of the three most essential elements to consider before investing in an HR training program to help advance your career.
The first thing you should consider before investing in an HR training program is if you will receive a certificate. Not all courses offer these, and sometimes you will need to pay an extra fee for one.
Certification will help you prove that you have taken the course, and shareable certificates, like the one from Coursera, help you easily showcase your education on platforms like LinkedIn.
Flexible Learning Structure
Flexibility is certainly critical to consider before taking an HR training program. Are you a student elsewhere? Do you work full-time? Do you have kids to look after? Finding a course that offers a flexible learning structure will help you fit everything in without additional stress.
The courses from SHRM and Alison are excellent examples of programs with flexible structures. SHRM offers self-paced and instructor-led options, with appropriate tools to excel at your own pace. On the other hand, the Alison course lets you complete modules at your own pace, with an expected completion time of between 10-15 hours.
Each course will offer different pricing packages depending on the topic, duration, and how comprehensive the material is. You should find a course that offers flexible payment options and lifetime access to the material.
Both the Udemy and Wharton programs offer a one-time fee for lifetime access, and Wharton even offers payment plans, as it’s certainly on the pricier side.
The Top HR Training Programs in Summary
Overall, the Udemy and Coursera courses are our top two recommendations for the best HR training programs on the market today.
Administrative Human Resources for Beginners by Udemy is an excellent option for entry-level professionals learning the basics of HR duties and management. It takes only one hour to complete and gives you a certificate upon completion and lifetime access, making it the perfect way to kickstart your career in HR.
The Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization by Coursera is a slightly more advanced course that will suit those looking for practical learning materials, with each specialization offering a hands-on project.
However, SHRM, Alison, and Wharton all provide substantial and knowledgeable learning material for HR-specific tasks and duties, which is especially true for beginners or HR professionals who haven’t been in the industry for a long time.