Benjamin Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” I know this to be true because my grandmother supported this by instilling in me that education is the one thing someone can never take from you. An HR Certification, will challenge you to learn more about the HR field and reinforce many principles you may already know. Once you’ve completed the certification it will signal to employers and colleagues that you are well versed in HR competencies. Think of it as a good housekeeping seal of approval on your resume!
As a first step to determining if a HR Certification is for you, it is worthwhile to identify where you are in your career path and where you would like to go. With that in mind, identify which certification makes the most sense for you to pursue. It is a good idea to meet with your manager, cover career goals, and your interest in a certification. Your manager may offer support as you purse an HR Certification and there also might be a chance that your company will support your efforts financially as well.
Aside from determining if you will obtain a certification, it is also important to consider which certification is best for you. Common certifying institutions are the HR Certification Institute, WorldatWork and SHRM. Each offer varying levels of certifications for those at different career stages. If you can’t decide, find someone who possesses the certification you are interested in pursuing and ask them questions. They may tell you their journey and give you tips for along the way. At the time I received my PHR, my manager was a support system and pushed me to pursue the certification. Along with a support system, having the time and energy to dedicate to preparing for the exam is also crucial. Though sometimes life doesn’t slow down, try to have a plan for allowing time to study.
There are an abundance of reasons one should purse an HR Certification, but there are also reasons one might not want to go after a Certification. If HR isn’t your passion or you are considering a career move out of HR and business in general, that might be a good reason! If you have a career passion that is untapped and outside of the HR field, this might be a good time to explore other certifications in different career areas.
Any certification is sure to take time and energy but will always be worth it in the end.
Did you know that AgCareers.com events like the Ag & Food HR Roundtable and our webinars can earn you SHRM credits? Learn more about our events on AgCareers.com.