Hello! I’m new to Human Resources (7 months). I definitely want a career and to be quite honest, make a lot of money. I wanted to know if anyone got their masters degree in Human Resources and recommends it or if studying and acquiring certifications should also suffice. I’m currently trying to decide between aPHR and SHRM. Thanks!

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I think a certification is the way to go if the motivation is money. Most roles do not require a masters and won’t pay much more for it - it won’t hurt, but you may not see a big enough ROI. Also, a masters may not advance your career much faster as experience often outweighs education for hiring managers in my experience.

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Manager 1 - the test wasn’t bad, I used the SHRM system to study and I thought it prepared me well. The practice tests (by unit and full tests) were definitely helpful. Two things that frustrated me:

1) the questions don’t always make sense - some have two correct answers (even according to the study materials) but only one that’s counted as right; others I felt didn’t give enough information to determine the best answer. Practice tests helped with this - it didn’t get rid of those questions, but I started to figure out what the test likely wanted

2) the practice test makes you think the testing format has two breaks - this is not the case! You get one break. I would have planned my time differently/practiced differently if I’d known that

Good luck! As long as you study you’ll be fine

I agree with the above comments. would focus on gaining more experience and networking, before I would considering getting a masters in HR.

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There are also also different degree concentrations you can pair with your HR experience. I would research a variety of programs/concentrations in depth before deciding.

I would consider doing a joint degree like HR and business if you really want to get your masters. Otherwise I agree, the roi in terms of time and money could be much greater if you go the certification route. I see the masters becoming less and less necessary or required for jobs every single day. Most employers are more than willing to hire someone without if they have the necessary skills, especially if you put in the work and get certified where necessary.

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Agreed. Certificate over masters. Good luck!

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My advice is never pay for additional degrees that are above the minimum expectations. Once you hit the minimum expectations, focus on networking and gaining leadership experience to move into a company that pays top of market (e.g. tech).

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I'm new to a HRBP role ~ 6 months. I got the PHR about a year ago, since I'm at the same company it didn't make a difference, but when I was applying externally I think it helped me get phone screens. But I don't think it's needed pending your role/company, good for learning purposes though

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However, since you are already in the role I think you should try to aim for the 2 years experience to get PHR/SHRM rather than aPHR, since it a newer and really just a knowledge exam, while the others are applying laws/theories to problems.

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Certifications are great to brag about but if you can’t communicate how your impact can directly benefit the business you won’t reach the compensation you are seeking. My MBA w/concentration in HR has helped me far more than my SPHR or DEI Cert from Cornell.

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Experience is key, much moreso than certifications/degrees (Bachelor's is the exception - most corporate roles nowadays require one).

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At this stage in your career, I would focus on collecting new experiences in your field and building the fundamentals. A certification is a good way to learn those fundamentals while collecting the experiences that make the learning applicable. That said, I would strongly encourage you to look into either an MBA program or a Master’s Program in Industrial Organizational PSYC in about 5-7 years. The MBA would be my choice - you will not learn the business fundamentals or the financial strategy details in a standard HR role. The most successful HR leaders I know have a very strong business acumen that makes them both fungible and masterful at problem solving. Good luck to you, sounds like you are on the right path!

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Thank you so much! I definitely was thinking I needed more experience so that way anything I learned in school I could apply real life previous work applications

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I don't know if this helps because my company may just be weird.
But we rejected someone with an HR masters and SHRM cert but 0 work experience for someone with no degree or cert but 8 years of general work experience (non HR, customer service). 🤷‍♀️

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Interesting but also I totally get it! I think there is a balance between titles/certs and actual experience

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Following along because I’ve been thinking of getting my masters!

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