Top certifications to future-proof your HR career

Like many other commodities, talent to operate in a competitive market. There are a number of people with good qualifications and impressive work experience, and standing out from the crowd can be quite a task. It is imperative to do what it takes to be noticed, and a good HR certification is fast becoming a preferred tool, especially when it comes to high-profile HR jobs. For those on the HR career path, this can often give a boost to one’s progress.

Adding a human resource certification to your credentials is no guarantee of a raise or a promotion; it though is an assurance of a lot of learning and skill development, which are bound to hold you in good stead in your professional growth.

Picking the right certification is important. Where you are in your career path, and where you want to be, both are key determinants of your choice. Read on to choose from some of the top HR certifications currently available:

Entry-level certifications

These work well for someone at the start of his or her HR career path. Of short duration, these also have the lowest admission thresholds.

  • Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR): A great choice for entry-level HR professionals, this requires no prior work experience. Hence, college students working towards an HR career could get a head start, as could someone looking to switch to an HR career. This is offered by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).
  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR): Designed for professionals with 1-4 years of HR experience and/or a high school diploma, bachelor’s or master’s degree, this gives them a chance at advanced development. This is offered by HRCI.
  • Talent Management Practitioner (TMP): Offered by the Talent Management Institute (TMI), this is suitable for those with 0 to 2 years of work experience and/or a bachelor’s/master’s degree or a TMI-recognized certification. The certification is designed to reengineer the understanding of talent management, as a first step to launching a profession in the field.

Career advancement certifications

A human resource certification is sought not just for knowledge but also for advancing your career and earnings. Pick from the following if you have up to two years of experience or an advanced degree:

  • SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP): Offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), this suits HR professionals with 0-4 years’ experience and an HR/non-HR degree.
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR): This certificate from HRCI is suited to experienced HR professionals looking to advance towards leadership roles. Eligibility includes 4-7 years’ experience plus a bachelor’s/master’s degree or a high school diploma.
  • SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM–SCP): Offered by SHRM, this is designed for HR professionals looking to jump to C-Suite roles within the next couple of years. You need 3-7 years’ experience plus a bachelor’s/master’s degree or a high school diploma.
  • Senior Talent Management Practitioner (STMP): Targeted at those with at least 5 years of HR experience plus a bachelor’s/master’s degree or TMI-recognized certification, this is a good choice for mid-career HR professionals seeking to catapult themselves into talent management roles.
  • Global Talent Management Leader (GTML): For those with 7-12 years’ experience in HR or related sub-functions, this TMI certification is designed to accelerate the progress of mid-career professionals in HR and talent management. It includes study material from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

International certifications

If you work with cross-continental teams, you might do well to seek out an international HR certification. Some of the best ones are listed below:

  • aPHR International (aPHRi): Similar to aPHR, this is designed for non-US HR professionals or those who will be working with an international team. Eligibility is at least a high school diploma.
  • PHR International (PHRi): The next step for aPHRi-qualified professionals, this requires 1-4 years’ experience and at least a high school diploma.
  • SPHR International (SPHRi): A further qualification for a PHRi-holder, you could pick this if you have 4-7 years’ work experience and at least a high school diploma.
  • Global PHR (GPHR): This needs 2-4 years in a professional-level HR role and at least a high school diploma. The global HR experience comprises direct, cross-border HR responsibilities for two or more countries/regions.
  • Associate Fellow Program in Talent Management: Perfect for those looking to take on higher talent management responsibilities, this TMI certification requires 7-12 years’ experience and at least a bachelor’s degree. The blended learning culminates in a MasterClass at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Global Fellow Program in Talent Management: For those seeking a transformational learning experience in talent leadership, this certification from TMI is a great choice. Participants include senior professionals, academics, researchers, consultants, and experts in HR who have 10-20 years’ experience, and the program includes a live-and-learn experience at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
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