I can tell you from experience and from the numbers … earning a professional human resources certification is NOT easy. The pass rate for the majority of HR certifications are somewhere between 50-70%! To be successful, you will need to commit your time (to study), AND resources (mainly money) to be successful.
So what truly is in it for you (WIIFY) by earning your professional human resources certification? Your ultimate reason maybe different, but the most common reasons include:
- Professional Marketability
- Respect of Business Leaders & Peers
- To Earn More Money AND/OR to get Promoted
- To Satisfy A Personal Commitment to Yourself AND the HR Profession
Marketability of Earning a Professional Human Resources Certification
Marketable, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is wanted by purchasers or employers. And as such, employers want professional human resources certification within its ranks. Human Resources certification is recognizeable on resumes, email signatures, LinkedIn pages and employment applications. Many employers have a high preference for candidates that have earned at least one professional human resources certification.
Currently, according to a recent survey conducted by Payscale.com, only 34.2% of all HR professionals have at least one HR certification. Earning a professional human resources certification, by default, sets you apart and increases your marketability in landing that HR role or being promoting within your existing organization.
Don’t believe me? If you have not already looked, check out any recruitment board that advertise HR positions. You will see many of the posting “highly prefer” human resources certification.
For those of you who that are transitioning into the HR profession for the first time or looking to switch HR specialties (ex. compensation/benefits to HR Generalist), professional human resources certification is critical in marketability.
Instant Respect of Business Leaders and Peers
There is a certain level of competency that the business and your peers expect of you as a human resources professional. And sometimes, the offer letter isn’t enough. Dependent on the HR certification you have earned, most require a combination of proven knowledge and experience.
HR Certification is well-known to business leaders as it has been around since the late 70s. It is also known to other HR practitioners on all the requirements needed to acquire and maintain the credential.
By earning the HR Certification, you have instant crediability with the business and with your fellow HR peers. Now the direction your crediability bar moves, after interacting with the business and your HR peers, is completely dependent on you!
Earn More Money & Get Promoted
I am going to start with a reality check. Just because you gain HR certification does not automatically qualify you for or entitle you to a raise or a promotion. As with any development effort, it is what you do with it after you obtain the skill. How are you able to move the bar forward? How are you able to deliver results above and beyond what is expected of you? How are you helping other team members succeed? The certification is either a solidification of your existing high contribution to the business or the start of above and beyond results, if you are expecting money and a new title.
Now that I have addressed the myth, lets talk about some facts. Studies suggest that there are 3 main observations to those who earn their professional HR certification:
- Pay for certified professionals, over time, is greater than non-certified professionals
- HR Credentials Help With Career Progression (within 5 years)
- Higher Level HR Professionals Are More Likely To Be Certified
(not many of us will earn enough to get this car, but its nice to dream.)
Professional Human Resources Certification – Investment in You!
If you play a sport, how do you validate you are good at it? You win trophies! If you are great at school, how do you prove that you are a cut above the rest? You win awards and scholarships! You can follow the same logic to most professions from accountants to lawyers to insurance agents to financial advisers. They all have professional credentials you can earn and display at the end of your name.
How did you feel when you won that trophy or earned that scholarship? It was not only a great feeling, it was validation that you are knowledgeable, skilled and there is a difference between you and everyone else.
You can equate this to obtaining a professional human resources certification. It is satisfying your commitment to understanding that people are the key to success and YOU are the expert in unlocking talent and aligning that talent to above and beyond business outcomes.
Additionally, setting a goal to obtain certification is a commitment to your own personal and professional development. Once you go through the process, the knowledge and the marketability can never be taken away! You could even use the benefits of certification to run your own business or transfer into other business roles.
So What Are You Waiting For?
So there are more reasons that exist on why you should earn a professional human resources certification, but only one person knows them … YOU!
If you have room to develop and grow around the HR domain, then there is nothing but excuses that lie between you and all these benefits and more. So what are the next steps you say? Which certification should I pursue? How do I begin to prepare? Well my friend, this is why this site exists.
What are your thoughts on the value of professional human resource certification? I would love to hear from you!