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Is Earning an HR certification worth it?

Should or should you not opt for professional certification in HR depends upon your career aspirations – whether you are aiming for the top positions, how soon do you want to reach there, at what level of your HR career you are at the moment, and so on.

A certification isn’t mandatory in HR, unlike formal education (like graduation); but earning a professional HR certification can give you an edge and the credibility by providing latest knowledge, resources and skills.

Let’s see what the statistics have to say about the merits of professional HR certifications.

Should You become a certified HR professional?

Data from BLS suggests the number of professionals in human resources opting for HR certification has grown to 22.4%. In comparison, only one in 20 Americans got certified back in the 1950s.

What does this indicate for your HR career? This is an indication of rising competition in the talent industry, and employers’ elevated confidence in the value of HR certifications. Data suggests,

• Being certified is associated with higher earnings among people with similar education level. (PayScale) A certified HR professional earns about 11% higher than the one without it.

• The higher up a professional progress in HR career, more likely is she to posses an HR certification. To put it simply, you will find that most senior-level HR professionals possess at least one HR certification. If you have the plans to rise in the career ladder of HR, getting certified can place you in the league of senior HR professionals enjoying the top view.

Benefits of HR Certification and Courses

Certifications are preferred over HR management training courses as they are considered a symbol of higher order skillsets and high-level understanding. Explained below the benefits of taking the certification route.

• Certified HR Professionals Inspire Credibility

Organizational leaders view certified HR professionals to be more beneficial for the organization by the virtue of their commitment to the professional (reflected by the certification status). This helps HR professionals garner trust and credibility from employers.  

• Certified HR Professionals bring international outlook

Most popular HR certifications, including HRCI, TMI, SHRM, are globally valid and their examinations are taken par international standards. As a result, certified HR professionals become a part of a larger international HR community, and become versed with global processes.

• Certified HR Professionals get an early promotion

Certified professionals are likely to get promoted over their counterparts in similar HR career, shows many studies and surveys, including PayScale. Certification, thus, is used as a differentiating factor.

• Certified HR Professionals remain relevant

Certified HR professionals are continuous learners. The certainty is because all recognized certifications require recertification after a certain period of time. This keeps one abreast of the times and policies of the day. This insulates HR pros from layoffs by making them a valuable resource.

• Certified HR Professionals get higher pay

The median pay of certified HR professionals is higher than non-certified HR pros, shows PayScale study. The ROI on certifications is even greater than certificate programs or other online learning options.

HR certification is a quick route to augmenting one’s candidature. It inspires credibility and proves to employers one’s aptitude for continuous learning and keeping with change.


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