Getting HR Certifications: Is it worth it?

There are mixed reviews on whether or not obtaining certification is worth it. Some HR professionals will tell you that it’s not or that they have never used the things that they’ve learned. Others will say that it is. My take is that the value of the certification will depend on the person- so there is no one size fit all here. I can recall when I was attempting to get into HR, reading the job descriptions of the roles that I wanted became a habit for me. I wanted to know what employers were looking for and how I measured against that. In almost every job description I read, it stated PHR/SPHR required or preferred. I figured that if it was included in the job description that it had to be somewhat important…. right? So I started to learn more about what I needed to do to become certified.

Now further along in my career, I reflect back and realize that there were some employers who cared about the certification and others who cared about the degree and or experience. I concluded that what’s really expected can sometimes be ambiguous and subjective, depending on the company. So what did I do? I decided to get it all. Yes, it was time consuming and yes it was a big investment. However, I wanted to take away the no’s. I didn’t want to be dismissed from an opportunity because I didn’t have this or that- so I got them all. I wish I had a better feel good answer to share regarding whether I think it’s worth it or not. My truth is simply that it’s a personal decision that must be made irrespective of any one particular employer. I think as long as people think enough to put them in job descriptions for HR professionals- they may just be worth considering.