What are the benefits of an HR certification?

Certification
Elga Lejarza-Penn, aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, GPHR

In today’s competitive world, having a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree is not always enough to meet your career goals. HR certifications are used to boost qualifications for new jobs and promotions and to establish a reputation as a competent HR professional. What has not been clear, however, is exactly what value these credentials provide and how to determine which certification is right for you.

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According to a recent study by PayScale, 34% of 102,000 respondents have at least one certification, and the vast majority held an HRCI or SHRM certification. Among HR Vice Presidents, as many as 51% are certified while 35% of HR Managers and 13% of HR Administrators hold this credential. These statistics alone point to the perceived value of certification for career growth.

How does certification affect my pay?

The PayScale study confirms that another benefit of becoming certified is a pay increase. SHRM certifications reportedly provide as much as 5.7% pay boost, while HRCI certifications can provide up to a 16% increase. In addition, HR certifications are showing increasing value over the past 10 years as the percentage of increases continues to rise.

In addition to pay increases, what measurable value is there for certification?

The studies show that certification is particularly valuable in early career and that it increases chances of being hired for all HR professionals. In terms of business impact, a report from HRCI showed that companies that place a premium on HR certifications outperformed the stock indexes by an average of 51% over a 5-year period. These numbers imply a direct link between the competencies of HR professionals and their organizations’ bottom line.

So which certification should I choose?

In 2018, the most popular certification was the PHR, followed by the SHRM-CP, then the SPHR and the SHRM-SCP just a little behind. Glassdoor has reported twice as many employers preferring an HRCI certification to a SHRM certification, while LinkedIn and Indeed surveys show the exact opposite. These inconsistent findings may demonstrate conflicting business needs, or it can imply that the perceived value among certifications is still somewhat ambiguous. 

What is the primary difference between HRCI and SHRM certifications?

  1. The number of continuing education units required
  2. Industry recognition
  3. The basic components of the test
  4. Eligibility qualifications

 Understanding the differences between these certifications will help you to determine which one is right for you. Perhaps you may need both an HRCI and a SHRM certification? To find out more, talk to an HRTrainingClasses.com professional today. To see how much you know already, answer the following question. You will find the answer in our upcoming newsletter.

If you would like to learn more about our SHRM-CP®, SHRM-SCP®, aPHR™, PHR®, SPHR® Exam Prep Courses and Boot Camps please check out our upcoming Exam Prep Trainings and check out our Student Testimonials and Success Stories.

Sources:

Greengard, Samuel. 2016. Workforce.com – Value of HR Certifications, https://www.workforce.com/news/hr-credentials-evaluating-their-value#:~:text=About%2012%20percent%20of%20HR%20professionals%20in%20the%20U.S.%20hold%20a%20certification.

PayScale, The 2018 Market Value of HR Certifications for HR Pros: U.S. Edition, https://hratt.shrm.org/sites/hratt.shrm.org/files/US-HR-Certification.pdf

Taylor, Tess. 2020. The Value of HR Certification: PHR or SHRM-CP?, https://blog.cake.hr/the-value-of-hr-certification-shrm-cp-or-phr/

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