It is possible to start your human resources career without a specific HR qualification. Getting an HR assistant or officer role can be dependent on a good set of GCSEs, but once you start considering your HR career progression, you will also need to think about what additional qualifications or experience you need to reach your goal.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the best known route to get the training you need and they offer a variety of courses to help you, and your career, develop. To know which course you need, Sarah Koppen, career and CPD lead at the CIPD says: “the first step would be to understand where you are currently, and where you’d like to move towards.”
For many in HR, this really means evaluating whether you’d like to remain an HR generalist with a broader knowledge base or become an HR specialist where you have a in-depth knowledge in a specific area. This will help direct the career course you’d like to follow and inform what training you do.
The CIPD offer three levels of accreditation:
- Foundation for entry level HR roles
- Intermediate for those who have some experience in human resources
- Advanced for those who want to become chartered members of CIPD
There are many benefits to gaining these qualifications. Not only will they help your career develop but you will be able to command higher salaries too. Many of the courses can be done online or remotely so you are building up valuable experience on the ground at the same time.
Many HR leaders will want to see that you have the relevant training, but don’t underestimate the importance of real experience and building industry connections. There is only so much a qualification can prepare you for.
To help you understand more about furthering your HR career, we’ve created ‘The Complete HR Career Development Guide’. In the guide, we speak to industry experts about their own experience of getting qualifications and what advice they’d give to those in the early stages of their HR career. There’s also lots more information about salaries, job roles and whether or not you should specialise.