Should You Get CIPD Certified?

Whether you’re starting out as a fresh graduate, looking to develop your career as a HR professional, or hoping to take your career in another direction, you might consider getting CIPD qualified.  Many debate whether getting certified would actually help their career or not and everyone has a different opinion to share.
So how do you know if getting CIPD qualified is worth it for you?  The honest answer is: you don’t.
Everyone is in a unique position with a different situation and what works for you may not work for someone else.  What you can do is assess your circumstances, weigh the pros and cons, and make an educated decision based on that.
For Fresh Graduates
If you’re a recent graduate looking for an HR role, your relevant field of study will make a difference (assuming you have limited HR experience).  If you’ve graduated with a HR degree, you’ll already be familiar with the foundation of HR and it’s probably not essential for you to pursue CIPD qualification at this time.
If you’ve studied something completely unrelated to HR, it may be beneficial for you to start the CIPD foundation level to let employers know that you’re serious about pursuing a career in HR.  Getting certified is a recognisable investment of time and resources and can give you a competitive edge.
One important thing to note: CIPD certification doesn’t come cheap!  If you’re just beginning your career, make sure your finances are in order before starting anything.  It’s not a one-off cost either; there are different levels of CIPD to advance to and continuing education to keep the credentials once you have them!
For Experienced or  Semi-Experienced HR People
While CIPD is well respected and may give you the advantage if you’re neck and neck with another potential candidate, nothing beats real world HR experience that comes after time.  If you’ve already got a lot of HR experience under your belt, you may not find extensive certification beneficial.
On the other hand, getting CIPD certified can help you develop your role and lead you in a specific direction.  You may find that being qualified also entitles you to additional benefits such as quicker promotions or a salary increase.
For HR Hopefuls From Another Field
If you have the time and resources to invest in this venture, getting CIPD certified will definitely help you if you’re looking to transition into HR after developing experience in another area.  The courses will help you understand the basics and give you a great start for the direction you want to go in.

If you’ve looked into it and found that it’s just not feasible at that time for whatever reason, there are other alternatives.  Many people use recruitment as a stepping stone in order to land a HR position, which can work well if you’ve got the patience.

Another thing to remember is that although you may hear stories about some companies only hiring those CIPD qualified, every organisation is different.  Companies of different size, industry and even mission statement will offer different opportunities; sometimes it’s just finding the right company to give you the HR experience you need.
Becoming CIPD qualified is an investment of time, money, and effort, but offers many rewards in return.  Even if you are still on the fence about it, the good thing is that there is no time restriction and you don’t necessarily have to make a decision about it right this moment.  You may even find that after waiting a couple months or a couple years, you’ll be in a better situation to make a decision!