Which Way Do I Go?
As the Director of Certification for AHRM since the HRCI/SHRM certification split, the number one question I am asked is “What certification exam should I take? Should I take them both?” I wish I had a simple answer. My best answer is, whichever one you want to take but not both. This answer gets me no high fives just looks of wonder. But it’s true. For now, both HRCI and SHRM certifications carry great prestige and frankly similar content. Neither one went and re-wrote their entire exam content upon going their separate ways. They are both based on core HR knowledge and competencies, just with their own slightly different take on it.
Both HRCI and SHRM have stepped up their games on the marketing front and that part is appreciated. Their communication with certification holders and prospects has increased significantly which has inspired more HR professionals to discuss certification and that is good for the profession. While I have no simple answer, I can help you consider your options and make the best choice for you. With the help of a little online research, we’ve put together a chart comparing the aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP certifications. Click here to view the chart on the AHRM website.
Whichever way you go, August is a good time to decide. Prep courses for exams start in September. If you are looking for a classroom style in-person prep option, the best one in town is Davenport IPEx prep for SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP (www.davenport.edu/ipex ). If you decide you want to pursue the PHR or SPHR, TEA (The Employers Association www.teagr.org ) is offering a web based study option.
Amber Brueck, AHRM 2016 Director of Certification