The practice of human resources has moved well beyond the days when companies referred to the department simply as “personnel.” Back in the day, little formal HR training was required — you learned on the job how to do payroll, read timecards and enroll employees in benefit programs. Indeed, experience within the company was more important than advanced degrees or continuing education to move up into management.
Not so anymore. You need to have at least a bachelor’s degree to even get your foot in the HR door and advanced HR training to move up. Colleges and universities have stepped up to meet the demand with more than 260 undergrad and 120 graduate human resource programs available in U.S. schools. Yet even those are not always sufficient to land you that plum promotion.
Specialty HR Training
It’s just as likely that as an HR professional, you’ll deal with a wide range of employee issues on top of payroll and benefit administration these days. Priorities today in human resources include:
- Labor relations
- Compensation negotiations
- Harassment prevention
- Professional development
Certifications through online e-learning opportunities are some of the most popular and effective means of getting the various types of HR training you need to succeed in the 21st century personnel office. Additionally, certifications are practical means by which you can highlight your commitment to the field and your expertise and credibility in these specialty areas of human resource management that have become such an integral and vital part of every business.
Voluntary vs. Mandatory
To weed out potential candidates in a good job market, employers often require HR certifications for entry, or at least for managerial, positions. And though they may not be required, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers prefer to hire those candidates who have voluntarily achieved training beyond college.
Potential certifications that provide a wealth of online learning courses for HR training usually come through professional associations such as:
- The Society for Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Certification Institute
- International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Some of the most recognized certifications that allow you to put professional designation letters behind your name are:
- Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
Seminars and webinars in various specific topics not only boost your HR knowledge, but also give you a strategic advantage over other candidates when you’re looking to move into a better job. Since professional certifications require you to take a wide range of continuing education to recertify on a regular basis, consider HR training in areas such as:
- Talent development
- State regulations
- Federal mandates
- Trends such as “ban the box”
- Social media policies
- Workforce analytics
- Integrated financial systems
- Changing workforce demographics
HR training beyond college also can help prepare you if your degree is not specifically in human resources. Related degrees, such as business management or industrial psychology, may ideally prepare you for a career in HR. But it’s those added certificates and designations that prepare you to handle each new issue as it arises, boost your creds among your peers and get you noticed by upper management. Start your next HR class today at the Learning Pinnacle course library.