Let’s cut right to the chase.  Having an HR certification is a good thing. How good you ask?  There are certainly some industry level debates going on in regards to which specific certification has the most clout.   Recent data suggests that it doesn’t necessarily matter which certification you hold just as long as you have one. Both quantitative and qualitative data* suggest that having an HR Certification of any kind will not only boost your effectiveness in the field but also your earning power and your potential for promotion.

Right now there are two juggernauts in the HR industry that offer accreditation.  HRCI (Human Resources Certification Institute) and SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management . Depending on your level of experience, and location both organizations offer entry level and advanced certification designations.  HRCI Certification has been around since 1976 and their most recognizable certification is the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) designation.  SHRM was founded in 1948 but has only offered the offical SHRM certification since 2014 (certified coursework was begun in 2003).

HRCI claims approximately 140,000 credentialed HR professionals across 100 countries and SHRM claims approximately 60,000 HR professionals have earned the new SHRM-CP credentials.  Though HRCI has been the gold standard for four decades, they are obviously at risk of losing some ground since SHRM boasts a membership of almost double at 275,000 members across 160 countries.

Many of the professionals we work with in the industry see both certifications as equally important. Some people have taken it upon themselves to continue to renew PHR certifications that they have held for years, while beginning the initial coursework with SHRM in an effort to become dually certified. Regardless of the certificate that you hold, it’s apparent that having a certificate from either HRCI or SHRM is a valuable commodity that increases the likelihood that your industry knowledge and your industry.

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