A record number of candidates sat for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification exams from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) in 2010.
Despite that fact, only 13 percent of eligible HR professionals are certified. However, recent estimates show that between 40 and 60 percent of open mid-level or higher HR positions either “require” or “prefer” certification. In plain language, 13 percent of the workforce commands roughly half of the open HR labor market.
In this tough employment landscape, candidates need every advantage. Professional certification is a no-brainer. There is a raging chat room argument as to what is more valuable, a master’s degree in HR or HRCI certification. There are pros and cons to both sides. The fact that this argument won’t go away tells most experts they are equally valuable to one’s career. However, a master’s degree costs about $35,000 and takes two years of effort, while HR certification costs about $1,500 with a prep class, and takes 10 weeks.
Many people mistakenly assume the new eligibility requirements from HRCI will make it tougher for candidates to qualify for admission to the certification exams. For some, this is true. For others, it is easier to qualify.
While the PHR and GPHR exams require four years of professional HR experience and the SPHR requires seven, all three give credit for education. Subtract two years from the eligibility requirement if the candidate has a bachelor’s degree and subtract another one if he or she holds a master’s. This means that some PHR candidates only need one year of professional experience before they qualify to sit for the exam.
It is not a question as to “whether” you need certification; the question is “when.” CAI offers a Web-based, evening PHR/SPHR Certification Study Course. For additional information visit http://bit.ly/phr-web.
Photo Source: Corey Ann