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Colorado Christian University

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Compensation Management

Compensation management is a concentration within the human resource management field. This area of study is difficult to find online, but on-campus programs are widely available. Review some of the courses you'd take while studying compensation management, and check the employment outlook and salary potential for related jobs.

What Is an Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Compensation Management?

Compensation management involves the fair and equitable establishment of pay rates. You might be involved in negotiations of payroll and benefit programs, such as healthcare and retirement. You could learn how to plan and administer performance-management systems, bonuses or merit-pay guidelines.

Compensation management is typically an area of study offered in bachelor's degree programs in human resource management; however, human resources is an area of study more commonly offered at the master's degree level. Online bachelor's degree programs in human resources do exist, but many of these programs are offered at for-profit universities. Another option is to enroll in a bachelor's degree program in business management with a concentration in human resource management. These programs consist of general education courses and courses in both business and human resource management.

Online Degree Options Bachelor's degree in human resource management, business management with a concentration in human resource management
Certification Offered at select schools to prepare students for certification exams
Common Courses Accounting, quantitative analysis, employee benefits, employee compensation, training and development
Career Outlook (2016 - 2026) Job growth of 5% (compensation and benefits managers)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Is Certification Available?

Some schools offer certificate programs related to compensation management. These are typically short-term programs consisting of about three courses. Generally, these programs are open to students of all educational backgrounds, and they are designed to prepare students to take exams offered by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, including the Compensation Management Specialist (CMS) exam.

What Courses Could I Take?

Human resources courses will teach you about group processes and human behavior. You'll also take basic business courses, including accounting, information technology, business law, human resource management, organizational behavior and quantitative analysis. Some topics you might study in the human resource curriculum include:

  • Human resource practices
  • Staffing
  • Employee benefits
  • Employee compensation
  • Training and development

What Careers and Income Are Available to a Compensation Management Specialist?

Candidates with bachelor's degrees and certifications could land the best opportunities. A bachelor's degree could prepare you for entry or mid-level employment in non-profit, business or government entities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of compensation and benefits managers was projected to grow 5% from 2016 - 2026, with a median annual wage for this title at $121,010 in 2018 (www.bls.gov).