I’ve made references to friends, family, and Facebook (the three Fs) lately about spending nights and weekends studying, or about a big exam coming up, etc. I’ve fielded more than a few inquiries into what I’m studying for, so I figured I’d just put this out there to set the record straight.
I’m studying for an industry certification exam in Human Resources, called the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification.
No, this isn’t something I’m required to do for my job. Frankly, my current job has little-to-nothing to do with Human Resource Management. But previous work that I’ve done has focused heavily on the core components of HRM, and eventually I think my long-term career goals will be in HRM, so it seemed like a good move.
No, having this certification isn’t going to guarantee me some new job, nor is it going to necessarily result in more money in this job or the next. And yes, I paid for the exam out of pocket, along with some prep courses, practice exams, and other study materials. Yes, this means that I have spent about $500 on an exam that won’t necessarily mean more money for me in the short term.
So why am I doing it? Frankly, it’s been five years since I started my final semester of graduate school, it’s been almost three since I took my last intensive Six Sigma training and certification program at my company, and it’s been almost two years since I took the first week of a three-part course called “School of Mortgage Banking” through my employer. While this new job I’ve been in for the past nine months has had lots of opportunities for me to learn new things on a daily basis, I like the idea of continuing my formal development.
Besides, I like documented milestones and achievements. I like that I have “BSBA” (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration) and “MBA” (Master of Business Administration) credentials through the university system, and “BB” (Six Sigma Black Belt) through my employer. I think having a “PHR” certification demonstrates a commitment to the subject of Human Resource Management, and will hopefully set me apart from other candidates down the road when I’m considered for opportunities in that field.
And it’s just kinda cool having more letters to add to your name and resume.
If you’re actually intrigued by all of this, feel free to check out more details about the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, the Society for Human Resource Management or their certifying affiliate, the Human Resource Certification Institute.
And wish me luck on my exam this Saturday. Later that evening I’ll either be looking to celebrate or to drown my sorrows. Either way, let me know if you want to help.