Top HR Certifications to Help You Advance Your Career in Human Resources

The field of Human Resources is no longer just about handling employees and doing administrative tasks; it has evolved completely to cater to the needs and wants of the existing workforce. An HR professional has to stay aware and up-to-date with industry trends and practices. Therefore, textbook knowledge can only be useful at a certain limit, in resolving employees’ conflicts or handling a unique task, practical knowledge is needed. 

Since it is vital to stay relevant in the world of HR, many HR professionals opt for pursuing online HR courses. HR certification can support an individual’s long-term career success. Studies have also proved that HR professionals who further their education through certified HR courses have the potential to increase their earnings by 44% over the life of their careers.

Moreover, getting certified can also help you:

  • Improve your knowledge, skills, and experience level
  • Boost your job performance with the use of new skills
  • Showcase commitment and up-to-date knowledge to current and future employers  
  • Create a competitive edge and increase your value in the job market
  • Build a future-proof career in HR

Top HR Certifications

Here is a list of the best HR certification courses that you can consider:

Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by HRCI

Program Overview: The Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) is a renowned institute among HR professionals who want to continue their education. The institute’s most popular certification is the Professional in Human Resources (PHR), with certification levels in the senior and global areas of Human Resource Management careers. 

Candidates have to acquire the associate level certification (aPHR) and then advance to the PHR, Senior PHR, and Global PHR. There is also an internet-only version of this certification, complete with a digital badge with the exams proctored by Pearson.

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Who Can Benefit: Human Resources professionals who are just starting with limited experience to senior and global leaders in HR.

Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible, candidates must meet one of the following conditions: 

  • A year’s experience in HR and a Master’s degree
  • Two years of experience in HR and a Bachelor’s degree
  • Four years of experience in a professional-level HR position

All candidates must participate in an HRCI-approved training course and be accepted after applying.

Cost of the program: Programs and costs vary widely by provider, and there is a non-refundable application fee of $100, and the exam cost also varies by level. A PHR exam fee is $395, while a GPHR exam fee is $595.

Senior HR Professional (SHRP) by HRAcademia

Program Overview: The Online Senior HR certification exam is developed by HRAcademia to meet the needs of senior human resource professionals worldwide while adopting a universal perspective with respect to the human resource discipline. The best thing about HRAcademia’s online SHRP program is that any HR professional can gain this certification easily and without hassle, from the comfort of their home or office.

Who Can Benefit: This certification is for those individuals who already have a CHRP certificate or are currently in managerial positions and have a say in the business and HR strategy of an organization.

Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for the SHRP program, an individual must meet one of the following conditions:

  • At least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position
  • At least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Bachelor’s degree
  • At least seven years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a high school diploma. 
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Cost of the program: The exam fee is $679. 

Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) by ATD

Program Overview: The Association for Talent Development (ATD) provides a comprehensive certification, known as Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPLP). This certification covers various topics relating to talent development across multiple skill sets and aptitudes.

The program can be accessed in person, online, or through weekend workshops, depending on the individual’s convenience. The exam follows a rigorous process, therefore, candidates appearing for the exam must prepare well in advance; many individuals even take six to nine months to study for this exam. 

Who Can Benefit: This certification is for HR and talent development professionals, who tend to continue building their talent development capabilities.

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must have five years of related work experience and a deep knowledge of employee talent development principles. 

Cost of the program: The preparation course is $1,895 for non-members, with the option to add a two-day workshop for $495 extra. Members of ATD can avail of discounts.

Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) by HRPA

Program Overview: The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) offers the exclusive Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) credential. Candidates must complete a series of nine subject areas relevant to HR by taking college courses through a network of colleges and universities in Canada, which are reviewed for approval, then sit for challenge exams. There is also a workforce readiness program to support those individuals who want to pursue a career in HR.

Who Can Benefit: The CHRP is a good fit for those who are already pursuing studies in HR or who have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. 

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Eligibility Requirements: The HRPA has some distinct requirements to be eligible to earn CHRP certification. In order to acquire the certification, the candidate must become a member and participate in CHRP’s course and exam schedule.

Cost of the program: The cost of the program can vary. To be eligible, the individual needs to become a member of HRPA, and membership costs depend on the applicant’s status, what month they joined, and whether they reside in Canada or outside Canada. Courses and exams also carry their own fees.

Final Tips

Earning an HR certification through any of the above-mentioned organizations speaks volumes in that you are interested in developing skills and competencies to become more effective in your career. Even though the value of a certification varies, it depends on whether an accredited educational institute issues it and if it is even approved for learner credits or not.

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