Some websites, such as Alison.com, Lynda.com or Udemy, provide free or low-cost classes that include HR management or employee compensation.
Professionals also can tap free or low-cost online courses tied to their industry, says Lin Zhang, director of human resources at Coursera. "Really having that in-depth knowledge of the client you are working with would give you a strong voice at the table to advise them on people-related strategies and decisions," Zhang says.
HR professionals can also go deeper by taking online undergraduate and graduate level courses. Those just starting out in their careers could look into an online human resource management master's degree, says Shelley Robbins, senior faculty chair for master's programs in business at Capella University.
"If you don't have any business background and you want to work in human resource management, take the MBA path, because that will really give you both," she adds.