As a career choice, human resources will always be an option. After all, as long as there are people in organizations, they have careers and aspirations that need to be managed – for the mutual good of the said people as well as the organizations they work for. There is thus always a need for a HR professional, and thus, if you are good with people and a role in this field excites you, go for it.
The question, then, is about the route to take; more specifically, about the choice of qualification(s) that would be the right one(s) for a HR career. Read on below for options you can pick when determining your career path in this field.
No formal qualifications
Though not so common, the absence of formal HR qualifications does not preclude you from a junior HR role.
- You could work as an HR assistant, provided you have good academic scores.
- You could also take on a role that serves as a stepping stone of sorts, such as in recruitment.
- You could take on a non-HR role within the HR department, such as an administrative position
Such roles help you get a foot in the door, and are often an opportunity to pick up relevant practical skills and experience that will make the transition into an HR career much smoother.
Choosing to pick up a postgraduate HR qualification is a sensible choice. This gives you a deep insight into the sector and allows you to build a strong core academic foundation in the field. There is a wide choice in terms of degree courses from recognized universities, and there are also flexible learning options. When deciding to take up a degree, do carefully consider the suitability of your choice in terms of money and time being spent versus the expected payoff and your priorities.
Taking up a HR certification is certainly becoming popular as an educational and a professional option. In the US, the number of people earning certificates has grown by 50% since 2005. Certificates are great in that they offer practical knowledge in a much shorter time frame, and the coursework prepares students for certification exams in their field. Certifications also endorse advanced knowledge in a subject.
Qualifications from an industry body
When it comes to HR, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is considered one of the foremost professional bodies in the field. CIPD qualifications often set the standards others follow, and are held in high regard by most – if not all – employers looking to fill in HR roles; in fact, for more senior roles, such qualifications could well be prerequisites. In the case of CIPD, there are foundation, intermediate and advanced levels, each of which has awards, diplomas and certificates. There is also a range of learning options: full time, part time, or distance learning, as well as fast track learning. Additionally, earning a CIPD qualification often includes a level of CIPD membership, yet another demonstration of conformance to CIPD standards.