Business Department

Human Resource Certificate Program

Highline College’s Human Resource (HR) Certificate program prepares students to become HR professionals. Based on the bodies of knowledge required by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Professionals (SHRM)*, the program presents graduates with the knowledge and skills that enable them to successfully work as HR professionals. Courses are designed for working adults who want practical information and skills that they can apply whether they are currently performing HR activities or are preparing to transition into the HR field from other occupations.

Courses may be taken singly or as a series in pursuit of the Human Resource Certificate.  Students can earn the certificate through the Continuing Education program by completing the eight core HR courses. Alternatively, students can earn an academic certificate by completing the eight core HR courses and three related business courses. Classes are small and available in several formats including face-to-face, online, and hybrid (part face-to-face and part online). Face-to-face classes are scheduled on weekday evenings or on Saturdays at Highline’s Des Moines campus. Instructors are experienced HR practitioners with in-depth knowledge of HR theories, laws, and practices.

*Highline’s HR certificate programs are not currently approved or certified by the HRCI or SHRM.

Human Resources Certificate Course Requirements

Why Get a Certificate in Human Resources from Highline College?

Graduates of the Highline College HR Certificate Program are prepared to perform HR generalist duties as well as having the foundational knowledge to pursue other HR specialties.  These are some of the jobs that program graduates may pursue:

Human Resources Assistant: Entry level position that provides administrative support for human resources operations, distributes and receives employment applications, performs data entry for human resources information systems, maintains personnel files, and assists in benefits administration.

Human Resources Generalist: Professional level position that performs activities in talent acquisition, employee relations, workforce training and development, performance management, benefits administration, onboarding, human resources related policy development and administration, and employment related compliance. Examples of activities include developing and implementing recruiting plans to fill staffing vacancies, counseling employees, conducting exit interviews, communicating benefits plans, and maintaining logs and filing reports to comply with affirmative action regulations.

Human Resources Specialist: Professional level position that administered specific human resources functions, such as benefits, talent management, compensation, and workforce development. Examples include administering the benefits open enrollment process, analyzing recruitment process effectiveness, assessing and implementing workforce training, and analyzing and modifying compensation schedules.

Human Resources Administrator/Coordinator: Often the job titles for a one-person human resources department. Performs the professional level functions of a Human Resources Generalist and in addition, advises management on the development and administration of human resources policies, organizational structure, workforce development, and the human resources related effects of the organization’s business plan.

Human Resources Manager: Program graduates who also have significant operational supervisory or management experience may be qualified for management-level human resources responsibilities. Human Resources managers plan, direct, and allocate resources for human resources programs, analyze the effectiveness of those programs, and provide advice to organizational leaders and supervisors. They may manage specific human resources programs in large organizations or they may manage the entire human resources function and supervise human resources staff in small organizations.

Learn about the instructors teaching the Human Resource Management Certifcate at Highline College.


Highline College Business BAS