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5 Free HR Courses and Resources for 2021

5 Free HR Courses and Resources for 2021

With human resource professionals facing more challenges and changes in the workplace than ever before, it can feel overwhelming to keep up. One way that HR professionals and employers can feel more prepared for 2021 is to brush up on industry knowledge with free online resources.

To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of accessible online resources and courses that HR teams can use in 2021.




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1. BernieU

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Enrollees receive a badge and diploma to certify course completion
  • Are there quizzes/assessments? Yes, there is a quiz at the end of each course

Brought to you by BerniePortal, BernieU offers convenient, compelling and comprehensive, free online HR courses that are suitable for HR veterans as well as newbies. BernieU is the only resource on our list that focuses solely on human resource courses, and the courses include video classes as well as additional downloadable resources. Most recent courses include HR Prep 2021 and Intro to Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, and the courses can be taken for HRCI and SHRM continuing education credits.


2. Alison

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Yes
  • Are there quizzes/assessments? Yes

In addition to 20+ HR courses, Alison offers hundreds of other online courses across nine distinct categories. There are three different course types: Certificate Courses, Diploma Courses and Learning Paths. Their HR courses range from the hyper-niche (Human Resources in the Food Service and Hospitality Sector) to the more general (Diploma in Human Resources).




  • Cost: Free, but there are additional paid add-ons
  • Certificate: Available with paid option
  • Are there quizzes/assessments? Available with paid option

Coursera aggregates courses from partner organizations and universities into one place. They have over 45+ HR courses that you can take for free, or pay a fee for a more robust version of the course (including assessments and downloadable certificates. Some of their offered courses include Organisational Behavior: Know Your People and Adapt Your Leadership Style.


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4. Ascent by US Small Business Administration

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: No
  • Are there quizzes/assessments? No

The U.S. Small Business Administration created Ascent, which is a free educational platform for female entrepreneurs that is organized by major topics that are called “Journeys.” Each Journey is divided into Excursions, which are tools that help the learner master each self-led topic. One of the Excursions is a human resources chapter all about managing people, from assessing skills gaps in your company to writing job descriptions and more. This resource is specifically designed to cover HR for entrepreneurs.


5. FutureLearn

  • Cost: Free for 14 days
  • Certificate: Yes, with paid option
  • Are there quizzes/assessments?:  Yes, with paid option

Similar to Coursera, FutureLearn aggregates courses, certifications and degree programs from universities and cultural institutions around the world. Also, like Coursera, there are free and paid options for FutureLearn. For the free options, you have access to the course and any materials for 14 days. Some of their HR courses include: Human Resource Management and HR Fundamentals.


How Else Can HR Professionals Level Up in their Career?

While free classes are a great way to brush up on knowledge and stay inspired, there are also HR certifications that can help HR professionals reach the next level of their career. 

Depending on your industry, level of education, and experience, a certification can not only help enhance your organization, but it could also help boost your pay. According to Payscale, the amount of the pay boost varies significantly depending on the particular type of credential, industry, work location, and job level.

Find out more about different HR certifications and which one is right for you here.

Register Now for HR Hiring Guide CE Course

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