To jumpstart your career in HR, enrolling in HR courses for beginners and learning the basics will get you well on your way. With so many courses and accreditations offered, it can be overwhelming to find the one that’s right for you. Between online HR certifications, real-life classes, and (free) online HR courses, there are a lot of options to choose from.
We’ve compiled a list of nine HR courses for beginners that we think are worth checking out to help you get started.
Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR)
Administrative HR for Beginners
Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)
Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Oxford Home Study Centre
Please note that this list is compiled based on publicly available information. We have not tried the courses ourselves, with the exception of AIHR’s courses.
1. Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR)
Of course, this is our favorite! We created The Academy to Innovate HR, or AIHR, to offer certification in various areas of HR, including sourcing and recruitment, data analytics, and digital skills. The courses offer a lot of value to HR professionals of different experience levels, including those just starting our their HR careers.
All courses are created by HR practitioners for HR practitioners and have a flexible, bite-sized structure, which means you can learn anywhere and anytime.
Here’s our full list of HR certification courses:
Alternatively, you can opt for Full Academy Access, giving you unlimited access to all our current and future courses. For 12 months, you can access over 40 courses and 13 certificate programs. This route saves you a lot of money as well.
All AIHR courses are globally accredited by SHRM and HRCI. As a student, you also get access to AIHR’s global practitioners’ community, where you can share experiences and discuss best practices. You can also download useful HR templates, guides, and resources.
Visit the Academy to Innovate HR here.
2. Administrative HR for Beginners
Administrative HR for Beginners on Udemy is an introduction to the role and duties of Human Resources. If you are a small business owner who wants a deeper understanding of HR, someone looking for a job in HR, or an administrative professional whose duties include HR, this online HR course for beginners is for you.
The course provides a general introduction to the HR function, with insight into taking your HR responsibilities to the next level.
- Exploring the role of HR from administrative and compliance to strategy and business growth
- Learning where to begin with an HR audit
- Discovering the process of recruiting great talent, from job analysis to writing interview questions and job postings
- Learning about a performance management process with more impact.
The course is suited for anyone interested in HR, management, and related fields. No advanced preparation or prerequisites are needed.
3. Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)
When it comes to HR certification for beginners, it’s hard to find a program that better fits the description than this one: The first-ever HR certification designed for professionals who are just beginning their HR career journey. This certification by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) aims to help you fast-track your career growth and give you the confidence to launch into the HR profession.
The aPHR certification is created for professionals who are just starting in HR and enables you to prove your knowledge of foundational Human Resources. Topics include:
- Compliance and risk management
- Employee relations
- Talent acquisition
- Compensation and benefits
- Learning and development
To be eligible for the aPHR, you must have a high school diploma or global equivalent. No HR experience is required.
Another HRCI certification that can be insightful for budding HR professionals is the Associate Professional in Human Resources – International (aPHRi). This program is similar to the aPHR but provides you with an HR credential for any location.
4. Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)
Going beyond theory, SHRM offers a Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) program that provides you the opportunity to prove not only what you know but also how you can apply that knowledge on the job. This HR certification program is an excellent option for beginners to learn about the field and bring their HR journey to the next level.
This certification is open to students regardless of their job title as long as they perform HR-related duties within their role. However, SHRM recommends having a basic working knowledge of HR practices and principles or a degree from an Academically Aligned program.
To prepare for the exam, you can choose from flexible self-study and instructor-led options depending on your learning style.
5. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Whether you’re starting out in your HR career or already working within a support level role, the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice will provide you with a solid foundation in all areas of HR and develop the essential skills and confidence you need to progress your career further.
The course covers four core areas:
- Business, culture, and change in context
- Principles of analytics
- Core behaviors for people professionals
- Essentials of people practice.
This course is suited to individuals who are:
- Looking to get into HR or progress in a new HR role
- Working at a support level, e.g., HR Administrator/HR Officer
- A non-HR manager with people management or HR responsibility
- For people who are UK or overseas-based
The course leads to CIPD Associate Membership and is a fully online HR course.
6. Compliance Prime
Compliance Prime provides training in the form of webinars. They offer continuing education courses on the latest HR practices, rules, and regulations, perfect for new HR professionals to begin their learning journey. When you follow an HR webinar from Compliance Prime, you can also earn HRCI and SHRM credits.
Some lessons coming up in 2024 include:
- New Hire Onboarding
- Payroll Tax Changes for 2024
- Transform HR: From Complaint Central to Strategic Powerhouse
Check out the Compliance Prime site for a calendar of webinars and find the right one for you.
7. Oxford Home Study Centre
Oxford Home Study Centre offers year-round enrollment in HR courses covering core aspects of HR, such as:
- Basics of HR management
- Training and development.
OHSC offers both free and paid course options, making it a great learning opportunity for HR beginners. The study center is based in the UK, but the courses can be accessed globally.
8. CHRMP Foundation/Associate
Designed as an HR certification for beginners, the CHRMP foundation/associate course is a comprehensive course that lays the foundation for those entering the HR field.
With six modules, this HR course takes you through the basics, including:
- HR Operations
- Talent Acquisition
- Compensation & Benefits Planning
- Job Analysis
- Learning and Development
- Employee Engagement
At the end of the completed modules, you will sit for your exam to be certified. After the course is over, CHRMP offers one year of support for their recent grads. With a great support system, this is an easy choice for those looking for HR courses for beginners.
9. HR Fundamentals
HR Fundamentals online course is a useful introduction to HR aimed at beginners in the field. This self-paced online course takes you through five pillars of HR:
- What HR means
- HR practice
- People and strategy
- Performance, engagement, reward, and recognition
As an HR basics training course, Future Learn has put together this course alongside the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Allowing you to move at your own pace, this HR course is a worthwhile option for those who want to make a career change.
Before you go
If you’re looking to get into HR, HR courses for beginners are a great first step to building foundational HR knowledge and expertise. These courses provide essential insights and skills that help you start a rewarding career in the evolving field of Human Resources. Look for programs that include practical aspects such as case studies, real-world scenarios, and interactive exercises. This will allow you to apply your learning and gain hands-on experience in HR practices.
A combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application equips you with the confidence and competence to successfully navigate the complexities of the HR function.
If you’re interested in the field of HR, online HR courses for beginners are a great way to learn the basics of HR at your own pace and schedule. Check out one of the many courses mentioned above, many of which also offer less extensive courses if you’re not quite ready to invest in an HR certification.
Choosing the right HR course for you can be difficult, especially with so many options. There are a few things to keep in mind: timeline, budget, certification, and how many hours/week you can dedicate to learning. After narrowing down your criteria, choosing the right HR course for you will become much easier. Many of the courses mentioned above are self-paced and online, so you can fit them around your busy schedule.
Finding a course that offers online options and a flexible schedule is key for many who want to take an HR course. Also, discuss with your manager if there’s a learning and development budget available for you to use if any of these courses match your career development goals. If there’s a lack of budget, perhaps there is flexibility in scheduling one hour a week to dedicate to learning.