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Human Resources: Is Training Certification Worth It?

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In the past 20 years or so, acquiring a human resources certification has become more important for professionals. This is particularly true for the professionals trying to distance themselves from their competitors in the business landscape. Meanwhile, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) is an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. It has awarded over 115,000 professionals with the certification in just a span of the last decade. Moreover, most executives hold HRCI in high regard. Still, job-seekers don’t need certification presently to obtain entry or mid-level employment in the field of human resources. Consequently, professionals will need to decide for themselves if the time and money invested in earning these credentials are worth the potential benefits that come with them.

Do I Need an HR Certification? 

As said earlier, professionals working in human resources really don’t need an HR certification. This is simply because the employers of these professionals don’t always require these credentials in the U.S. when looking for an HR candidate.

Hence, it would certainly raise the question of whether it is even worth it to pursue an HR certification. Does all of the time and money you devote to online HR certification courses and earning these credentials merit any advantage that they may bring? Let’s find out.

Benefits of HR Certification

International Recognition

You may be going to work for an international company. Or, you may go to a country outside of your own. Then, the HR certification is certainly excellent for helping you deal with international employers.

According to a study by the HRCI, it is reported that professional certification is second only to graduate degrees when it comes to the ones that credential employers value the most. Also, in several fields, most of the employees viewed certification as the best-performing qualification. They took it as a tool for return on investment (ROI) and career advancement.

More interestingly, one does not even need to hold a certification specific to the international market. World-renowned HR certifications such as GPHR and PHRi may be valuable. Even then, the HR professionals of other countries revere others like SPHR and SHRM-CP. This is since they consider these certifications to add value and professionalism to international HR departments.

Career Advancement

There are better options available for you, than just HR certification, to prove your worth. You may be about to break into the field of HR. Or, it can be that you may have been there for a while and want to move up. Still, you can assure yourself with the fact that the options aren’t going to dry up.

The HRCI study mentioned in the previous point also reports that 96% of employers consider HR certifications to be crucial. Similarly, when reviewing job applications, they would opt for a candidate with certification instead of those who don’t have one. To put it in a concise manner, having certification helps you stand out from others. Moreover, certification also increases your chances of getting a job or a promotion.

What’s more, is that companies can give employees with HR certification a financial incentive. A five-year study from 2011-2015 says companies that employed five or more HRCI-certified professionals enabled their stock prices to outperform companies that had fewer certified professionals by a margin of 51%.

Better Salaries

Getting an HR certification does require money, but the financial benefits that follow, far outweigh any of the initial costs. These initial costs come from paying for the certification exam.

Other than opening up better opportunities for you, like getting senior positions that also come with higher salaries, holding an HR certification automatically ensures that you can earn more money. The HRCI-commissioned study reports that professional certification was the sole qualification that employers greatly valued and displayed a higher willingness to pay for. And even though graduate degrees are desirable, didn’t generate that same willingness for higher pay.

A study by analyzed HR salaries in 20 metropolitan areas and found that professionals with specialized certifications have the potential to earn up to $19,000 more than their uncertified counterparts.


All in all, HR certification is most certainly worth the time and investment if you want to stand out in today’s competitive HR landscape and get further opportunities to advance in your career. Granted, there will be money to spend on your end for study materials, time to prepare for the courses, as well as taking endless practice tests, getting an HR certificate will eventually be worth it as it will pay for itself when you get higher salaries than your colleagues for the same amount of work.

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By John Alex

John Alex is a freelance writer, experienced blogger and a professional social media coach. Currently he?s working with ...more

John Alex is a freelance writer, experienced blogger and a professional social media coach. Currently he?s working with less

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