You may have heard of the Associate Professional in Human Resources, aPHR certification at some point in your HR career. You may have considered obtaining it, but you’re not sure if it’s worth the time, effort, and cost. In this article, we’ll explore the aPHR certification, what it entails, and whether it’s worth pursuing based on a real-life case study.
What is the aPHR Certification?
The aPHR certification is a professional certification offered by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). It’s designed for entry-level HR professionals who are just starting their careers and have less than two years of HR experience. The certification covers the foundational knowledge and skills needed to succeed in HR.
There are no specific eligibility criteria to take the aPHR exam, and the exam is common for HR and non-HR professionals. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and covers six functional areas of HR: Learning & Development, Compensation & Benefits, Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Compliance, and Risk Management.
Once you obtain the aPHR certification, it’s valid for three years, after which you must recertify by completing continuing education credits or retaking the exam.
Is the aPHR Certification Worth It?
Now that we’ve covered the aPHR certification, let’s dive into the real question: Is it worth pursuing? The answer to the question varies depending on the qualification of the aspirant.
Should You Pursue the aPHR Certification?
Based on Sarah’s case study, it’s clear that obtaining the aPHR certification can have benefits, such as standing out in the job market, advancing your career, and gaining valuable knowledge. However, it’s important to consider your personal and professional goals, as well as the cost and time commitment.
If you’re an entry-level HR professional with less than two years of experience, the aPHR certification may be a good fit for you. It can help you build a solid foundation of HR knowledge and skills and demonstrate your commitment to your career.
Now, let’s move on to the case study. Meet Jane, an HR assistant at a mid-sized manufacturing company. Jane has been working in HR for about a year and a half and has been considering getting the aPHR certification. She’s heard mixed reviews about the certification and isn’t sure if it’s worth the investment.
To help Jane Make Her Decision, Let’s Explore the Benefits of Getting the aPHR Certification:
Validation of HR knowledge and Skills:
The aPHR certification is a validation of your knowledge and skills in the foundational principles and practices of HR. It can help you build a solid foundation of HR knowledge and skills, which can be invaluable as you progress in your career.
Demonstrates Commitment to Your Career:
Obtaining the aPHR certification shows that you’re committed to your career in HR, and it demonstrates to employers that you’re serious about your profession and willing to invest in yourself.
Competitive Edge in the Job Market:
Having the Associate Professional in Human Resources certification can give you a competitive edge in the job market, especially if you’re an entry-level HR professional. It can help you stand out from other candidates and demonstrate your dedication to the profession.
Now, Let’s Look at the Costs and Potential Drawbacks of Getting the aPHR certification:
The cost of the aPHR certification exam is $300 for HRCI members and it is higher for non-members. There may also be additional costs for study materials and continuing education credits.
The aPHR certification is focused on the foundational principles and practices of HR. Suppose you’re further along in your HR career and have already obtained other certifications, such as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). In that case, the aPHR certification may not be as valuable.
After considering the benefits and drawbacks, Jane decides to go ahead and get the aPHR certification. She studies diligently and passes the exam on her first try. A few months later, she’s promoted to HR coordinator at her company, with a pay increase and additional responsibilities.
In conclusion, the aPHR certification can be a valuable investment for entry-level HR professionals who are looking to build a strong foundation of HR knowledge and skills and demonstrate their commitment to the profession. However, for those who are further along in their careers and have already obtained other certifications, the certification may not be as valuable. As with any certification or professional development opportunity, it’s important to weigh the costs and potential benefits before making a decision.