Certificate in Human Resources Essentials

Develop the Skills to Break Into the HR Field


Program Details

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: Varies
  • Times: Flexible
  • Cost: $3,435

Next start date:

January 8, 2024

Or get started now in a self-paced session

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About this Program

From startups to corporate giants, the challenge of attracting, hiring and retaining great employees remains a constant. Skilled human resources professionals play an important role in tackling this challenge and are in high demand today. Entry-level roles such as HR specialist, HR assistant, recruiting coordinator and payroll analyst have become pathways to a thriving career in just about any industry.

In this certificate program, you’ll learn the foundational competencies required to succeed as an HR professional. We’ll explore the functional areas connected with this role: operations, recruiting, compensation and benefits, training, employee retention and morale, performance management, payroll, and compliance with all applicable employment policies and regulations. Acquire the range of knowledge and skills needed to break into this dynamic field.

▸ Related Article: Getting Started in HR

▸ Related Article: 4 Ways Leaders and Managers Differ

Designed For

Those looking to enter the human resources field, including early-career professionals and individuals who want to transition from other job roles into this field.

Experienced HR professionals or those with significant supervisory or managerial experience should consider taking the more advanced Certificate in Human Resources Management.

See Requirements

Video Overview

Hear from instructor Ranodda DeChambeau about the Certificate in Human Resources at the University of Washington and how it can prepare you to enter the growing field of human resources.

Duration: 02:12


  • The scope of an HR professional’s responsibilities and how to succeed as part of an HR team
  • Human resources information systems (HRIS) and simple data analysis tools for HR reporting and decision making
  • How to ensure compliance with organizational policies and regulations regarding sensitive issues
  • Ways to foster workplace ethics and advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging goals
  • How HR functional areas work and how to apply your HR skills to common problems in each area


  • Practice what you learn in group-based simulations of various HR cases and scenarios
  • Analyze data using spreadsheets and practice data-based reporting
  • Create a project plan that includes communication strategies and measures of success


You may be eligible to apply for a UW Certificate Scholarship or Rotary Scholarship to cover most of the costs of this program. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and the potential of the program to positively impact your career. For more information, see the Scholarships page.

Career Stats


Alumni working in field

Top Employers

Amazon, Adobe, Aegis Living, Boeing, Bright Horizons, Microsoft


Projected job growth for HR specialists in Washington state (2018-2028)


Average salary for HR specialists in Washington state


Connect with an enrollment coach to learn more about this offering. Or if you need help finding the right certificate, specialization or course for you, reach out to explore your options.

Program Overview

Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.

Learning Formats

Online, Self-Paced (Quarterly Start)

Online, Self-Paced

Enjoy the flexibility of learning at your own pace, with instructor support along the way. Courses are 100% online, with no class meetings or fixed deadlines — so you can start anytime. You have up to four months to complete each course and up to two years to complete the program. Learn More »

Online, Group-Paced

Online, Group-Paced

Start and finish your program with the same group of students, with frequent opportunities to interact with your instructors and classmates along the way. Courses are 100% online, with set due dates for assignments but no class meetings. Learn More »

Program Sessions

Online, Self-Paced

Online, Group-Paced

Closed Sessions

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