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Which HR certification option is right for me?

hr certification hr essentials Jun 26, 2024

Which HR certification option is right for me?

You’re not alone – people are asking these questions all the time…………

  • HR Certification is all the rage, but is it something I really need to do?
  • What is the right one for me?
  • How do I go about getting ready?
  • Where am I going to come up with the funds to do this?

There are so many choices, it can be overwhelming to even decide if you want to get HR certified to begin with. People call us all the time and often we recommend it’s not right for them. But, our team is passionate about HR certification because we know that it drives careers and increases salaries of HR professionals.

HR Certification has been around for over 50 years. At the beginning, a select few were certified and the certification set apart those that were top in the field. Today, a majority of HR professionals are certified, and it has become a qualification of many job postings. So, if you are at the early or mid-pint of your career, you’ll find that certification can really help get you to the next level.

Take these five steps to begin the process and determine the right next step for you.

Step One – Why are you doing this?

For some, it’s personal pride in a career that they have great depth in. For others, it’s a way to get the next role. Any reason is good as long as it’s one that makes sense for you. But don’t lose sight that this is expensive and going to take a lot of work, so be sure that the end justifies the means.

Step Two – Evaluation of the various certifications

Both SHRM and HRCI offer the certifications for most HR roles. The most common are the PHR, SHRM-CP, SPHR and SHRM-SCP. These are for those with generalists background that have a great overall knowledge of human resources. In addition, there is now the aPHR for those entering HR or with other responsibilities that want a more basic exam. Then you can take the micro certifications, one focused on CA laws, Global certification, HR Business partner and others! These HR certifications generally are something to consider if you are focused on a specific area of HR and want to show future employers you know your stuff.

Step Three – Compare and think about what is going to work for you

Some of classes are self study, others offer live sessions. And nowadays, there are live virtual sessions. You are going to have questions, and you want to be sure any program you select will allow you to ask questions and get your questions answered quickly. You might want to study on your own, there are plenty of books on Amazon for all the exams, but then you are really on your own.

Step Four – Be realistic about your other obligations

SHRM would say you need to study 120 hours for certification. Our experience is that 40-50 hours will generally do the trick, but that is still a lot of time. Can you carve out some time during the work day to attend classes or listen to recordings? Are your evenings blocked with running family around? Is there someone who can help? This is a critical piece to figuring out the best way for you to get this done.

Step Five – Have a back-up plan!

We cannot tell you how often “life happens” to our students. You have the best of intentions to study four hours a week, and then a family member becomes sick, your job changes, you are just confused by all the material. Don’t get locked into a commitment for certification. Understand this is a journey and the destination doesn’t have to be in eight weeks. You want to sit for the test once and pass!

Think through these options and consider what is right for you. Don’t worry about what others are thinking, you have to do what will work for you, your life and your career. One last tip we hope will be helpful DOWNLOAD OUR STUDY PLAN to see what our 12 week process might look like.

Thanks for reading!

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