Labor Relations Degrees: Bachelors, Associates & Online Info

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What will you learn in a labor relations degree program? Read about degree requirements, the pros and cons of an associate and bachelor's degree and potential careers.
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Studying Labor Relations: Degrees at a Glance

Labor relations programs, or programs relevant to this subject, may be available under various titles, including employment and labor relations, labor studies, human resources or business management. These programs are typically designed to teach students about employees, their interactions and the way organizations develop labor policies and solve labor problems.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resources specialists were projected to see a 21% growth in employment from 2010-2020, which is faster then average, while human resources managers may see a 13% growth in employment for the same time period. In May 2011, the BLS stated that human resources specialists earned a mean annual salary of about $59,000, while human resources managers earned a mean annual salary of about $109,000.

Associate Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want to transfer to bachelor's degree programs or work as assistants Individuals who want to enter careers in labor relations or human resources, or those who want to prepare for graduate studies
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) Human resources assistant ($38,000)* - Human resources specialist ($59,000)*
- Human resources manager ($109,000)*
Time to Completion 2 years 4 years
Common Graduation Requirements - General education coursework
- Specialized courses or concentration option courses
- Possible business core
- Labor relations coursework
- Possible internship
Prerequisites High school diploma - High school diploma
- Completion of previous college coursework for transfer students
Online Availability No Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Associate Degrees in Labor Relations

Associate degree programs in or related to labor relations are designed to teach students fundamental concepts in the management of businesses and their employees. Typically, these programs will not prepare you for an entry-level position in labor relations or human resources. However, 2-year programs can help you transfer into 4-year programs, which are better-suited in terms of preparation for a career as a human resources specialist or human resources manager.

Pros and Cons of an Associate Degree in Labor Relations

Pros

  • An associate degree program can prepare students to transfer into a bachelor's degree program.
  • An associate degree program includes general coursework, resulting in a well-rounded education.
  • While limited, human resources assistant positions may be available.

Cons

  • An associate degree program doesn't typically prepare students for management careers.
  • Human resources assistants earn less than the national, annual average.*
  • Programs specifically in 'labor relations' are rare.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Associate degree programs covering labor relations will commonly include general education courses, as well as business, human resources or labor management courses. In some cases, business and labor courses may be available under multiple concentration options, while other programs may offer them as core coursework. Such a program is typically composed of about 20 courses, totaling 60 credit hours. Some courses may include:

  • Labor studies
  • Labor management
  • Organization and management
  • Human resources management
  • Business communication

Online Course Info

Associate degree programs with the specific 'labor relations' title may be rare, and online programs in this field are not commonly available. However, online associate degree programs in business administration, business management or human resources management may be available. These programs typically address labor relations subjects and can prepare students for similar academic and professional goals.

Getting Ahead with this Degree

Because these degrees may not lead directly to employment, getting ahead with this degree may be achieved while in school. In order to successfully transfer into a bachelor's degree program, you will need to meet certain GPA requirements for previous college coursework. Additionally, obtaining work experience while earning an associate degree might be useful. This could be accomplished through a part-time job, a full-time job or an internship.


Bachelor's Degrees in Labor Relations

At the bachelor's degree level, labor studies and employment relations programs may be more common than at the associate degree level. In some cases, these programs can be designed as transfer options for students who have already completed previous college credits, including an associate degree program. Additionally, human resources management bachelor's degree programs, or business administration programs with human resources concentrations, can also include labor relations courses. Such programs can include an internship or capstone experience and advanced coursework. In addition to experience, those who want to advance in the field may need to earn a master's degree.

Pros and Cons of an Associate Degree in Labor Relations

Pros

  • A bachelor's degree can prepare you for human resources specialist and management positions.
  • Human resources managers earn a mean annual salary that is greatly above average.*
  • Upon graduation, you can be qualified to enroll in a graduate program, such as a Master of Business Administration program or law school.

Cons

  • Several years of experience will be necessary for advancement.
  • Job prospects for human resources managers are expected to be best for those with additional credentials, such as a master's degree or certification.
  • May compete with associate degree and master's degree holders for jobs.

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Bachelor's degree programs in employee and labor relations, or human resources, can be offered as standalone options or as shortened transfer options for students with previous college credit. Standalone options can include general education coursework, and both types of programs will provide advanced coursework that will teach you to communicate with and manage employees. Such coursework could include:

  • Employment law
  • Benefits and compensation
  • Organizational behavior
  • Labor relations
  • Training

Online Course Info

Employee and labor relations degree programs, as well as human resources management programs, are available in online formats. These programs may have specific computer hardware and software requirements, which are necessary to complete the coursework. An online program could be useful to you if you have personal or professional obligations that necessitate a flexible schedule. However, real-world experiences, such as internships, may be limited when completing online courses.

Getting Ahead with this Degree

Voluntary certification for human resources professionals are available through multiple organizations, such as the Society for Human Resources Management, and can be useful when seeking employment. Work experience is also beneficial when applying for work as either a human resources manager or specialist and can commonly be earned at a lower-level position, such as human resources assistant.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. Business Administration - Human Resource Management
      • B.S. Management - Human Resources
      • B.S. Psychology of Human Relations
      • B.S. Management - No Specialization
      • B.S. Business Administration - No Specialization
      • B.S. General Studies - Business
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BSBA in Human Resources
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Ashford University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Human Resources Management
      • B.A. - International Business
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Human Resource Management
      • BS - Organizational Leadership
      • BS - Business Management
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management: Human Resource Development Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Applied Management
      • BS in Business Admin.
  • Campus and Online Programs
    8. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Human Resource Management
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Business Admin: Human Resources
      • B.A. - Business Admin: Management
      • Business Administration, BA - Management
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Regent University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - HR Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business
      • Bachelor of Applied Science in Management and Leadership
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - General Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Leadership Studies

Featured Schools

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • B.S. Business Administration - Human Resource Management
  • B.S. Management - Human Resources
  • B.S. Psychology of Human Relations

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Kaplan University

  • BSBA in Human Resources
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • BSBA - Investment

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Ashford University

  • B.A. - Human Resources Management
  • B.A. - International Business

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Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business

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Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Human Resource Management
  • BS - Organizational Leadership
  • BS - Business Management

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Herzing University

  • B.S. - Business Management: Human Resource Development Concentration
  • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration

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Grand Canyon University

  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • BS in Applied Management
  • BS in Business Admin.

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Virginia College

  • Bachelor: Human Resource Management

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