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Should Human Resources Professionals Get a Certification?

A certification isn't required for most Human Resources jobs. And yet, over 1/3 of HR professionals have one. So why do so many HR professionals spend their time, effort and money on getting a certification?

What can HR certification do for you?

There are a lot of good reasons why an HR certification might be a good investment, including:

  • Certified expertise: An HR certification shows employers that you have a particular set of knowledge and skills, validated by passing a comprehensive certification exam.
  • Increased pay: Payscale salary research found that those with an HR certification earned 31.6% more than those without a certification.
  • Career advancement: The same report found that having an HR certification also increased HR professionals' chances of being promoted.
  • Relevance: To renew your certification, you will usually need to complete additional professional development or training within a certain period of time. This helps ensure that your knowledge and skills remain relevant and up-to-date.

Which certification is right for you?

The certification you choose will depend on your goals, as well as the industry and location you work in (or want to work in). Do your research to see which credentials are in demand in your area, as well as the specific knowledge, skills and experience employers want.

Your background and work experience should also factor in to your decision. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers two credentials for experienced HR professionals. Each credential requires a different combination of education and work experience.

If you are interested in SHRM certification, review the SHRM eligibility criteria and decide which credential is right for you.Exams are offered only during certain time periods (SHRM calls them "exam windows"). So be sure to check the certification application and testing schedule, too.

Need help getting ready for the SHRM exam?

Our online SHRM certification exam prep class can help you get ready to take the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam. The class is taught by a SHRM-SCP using the proven SHRM Learning System. And it's fully online, so you can learn at your convenience.

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