Gain More Education to Improve Your HR Career
Roberta Chinsky Matuson | Monster Contributing Writer
There usually comes a point in your career when you know you need more education to move up in an organization. Deciding to continue your education is the easy part; figuring out the best way to do it is the real challenge. Nowadays, there are a number of choices.
Choices include certifications offered by HR professional associations such as the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). HRCI issues the Professional in Human Resources Certification (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification (SPHR). These certifications require passing the examination and fulfilling other requirements such as a minimum two years of HR exempt-level experience.
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Nonprofit educational associations also offer certifications, including the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS). This program was designed by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is administered by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Candidates pursuing this certification must complete 10 courses and pass the CEBS national examinations. Courses are generally offered through colleges and universities.
Some colleges and universities are now offering certificate programs in human resources. These programs generally require a bachelor’s degree or relevant experience and can be fairly intense. For example, Penn State’s program requires individuals to take six 30-hour courses. They are often noncredit programs, so you won’t have credits to apply toward a degree if you choose to go for one later.
Many universities offer master’s degrees in HR as well as MBAs with HR concentrations. If you are not 100 percent sure you will stay in the HR field, you might be better off pursuing the more general MBA.
If you think earning a master’s degree will take too long, look at universities that offer intensified programs that allow you to earn your degree in less time. This may require attending class four nights a week or on weekends to cut the number of years it would normally take in half.