Keen on employment law

I’m working as an HR officer and am not CIPD qualified, but have a first
degree in anon-business related subject. I currently have a choice between
undertaking an MSc in HRM or an LLM in employment law. The MSc is CIPD accredited,
whereas the LLM is not. However, I feel that I would find the LLM more
interesting and am keen on becoming an employment law specialist. I’m not sure
where I would stand with the CIPD following the LLM and they don’t seem to want
to tell me either.

Professor Towler says:

My first reaction is that I think this is very much a question of deciding
what you want to do because you have two very different options available. The
reason I say this is because, as I mentioned in last week’s article, the HR market
is made up of a wide range of different niches and you have to decide where you
want to fit in.

The MSc is an extremely valuable qualification and it will build on your
previous learning and experience particularly, for example, if you have a CPP.
It is also likely to put you in a strong position to upgrade your CIPD
membership and it is definitelya strong step forward in developingyour career.

In terms of your career options though, you are still likely to be in much
the same niche you are in at the moment and the question you have to ask is
whether this is where you want to be. Judging by your comments, the indications
are that you would rather move into employment law.

Employment law is a very specialised subject and, as you probably know, is
growing more important and more complex all the time. In many ways, it is
probably the major growth area in HR and is likely to stay that way for the
foreseeable future.

In my own CIPD branch, for example, there is a seemingly insatiable demand
for seminars and presentations on employment law so if you feel this is what
you want to do there is plenty of scope and opportunity.

That said, there are two points I would make about following an employment
law qualification. The first is that the subject can be as dry as dust, as much
of it is based on precedent and can become very complex indeed. The second is
that the main source of employment is likely to be either in a solicitor’s
practice or a specialist consultancy.

This is a difficult question to advise on, but why not start by asking
around your local CIPD branch and see if there are people you can talk to about
their experiences. This will at least give you some practical views to help you

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