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Dear Workforce How Valuable Are HR Certifications in Career Growth

I aspire to be a vice president of human resources one day, and wonder if I need a certification. How important is it in pursuing my career goal?
September 7, 2011
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Related Topics: Your HR Career, Career Development, Employee Career Development, Workforce Planning, Dear Workforce
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Dear On a Mission:

To reach your goal, you'll need to be among the best, rising through the HR rep, HR manager and HR director levels in an organization. The HR discipline is filled with great VP examples on both sides of this question—those who have certification and those who don't. You've got to be progressive, business-savvy and results-oriented, and you can do that without certification, as many have.

So here's the bottom line: Certification is valuable to everyone, but common sense dictates that the economic and career-path value is greater for those who are early in their careers. If you are at the HR manager level or below, and can make the time to pursue certification, do it now. You'll differentiate yourself from the herd, whether you plan on staying forever in your Fortune 500 HR shop or intend to switch jobs and companies in the next couple of years. Certification can be—and is—used as a "résumé sorter" by many companies when it comes time to hire their next HR manager, HR director or vice president of HR.

Certification isn't required to get where you want to be. That said, if a significant portion of companies use it to evaluate candidate criteria, it makes sense to have it. The quicker you gain the necessary experience at the rep, manager and director level, the quicker you'll get to your goal of being a VP of HR. Expand your pool of opportunity if you have the time and resources to pursue certification. Good luck in your pursuit.

SOURCE: Kris Dunn, vice president of corporate human resources, SourceMedical, Birmingham, Alabama, June 11, 2008.

LEARN MORE: Kris Dunn expands on certifications and their value in Workforce.com and on his blog, the HR Capitalist.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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Dear Workforce Newsletter

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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