There’s a lot of discussion around which type of human resources qualification is best for people attempting to get into the industry, or to develop their HR careers.
Many people swear by HR qualifications from the globally recognised professional body for HR, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Others argue that undergraduate and Master’s degrees in HR are just as effective at equipping you with the skills and knowledge you’ll need to thrive in the industry.
So which is actually better: a CIPD qualification or an HR degree? We decided to take a closer look.
These professional qualifications are offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the most prestigious professional body for the human resources and learning and development sectors.
CIPD qualifications are widely recognised and respected by employers in the UK and across the world, and are considered to accurately reflect the hands-on skills and knowledge HR professionals need at work. This makes them a popular choice with both young professionals starting a career in HR and established professionals looking to continue their career development.
CIPD qualifications are organised into three different levels which reflect their difficulty and level of advancement. They are:
- Level 3 Foundation: Roughly equivalent to A Level standard
- Level 5 Associate: Roughly equivalent to an undergraduate degree
- Level 7 Advanced: Roughly equivalent to a postgraduate degree
Level 3 is designed for HR beginners, while Level 5 prepares you for HR management and Level 7 focuses on the skills needed for senior strategic HR roles.
Pros of a CIPD qualification
They can be completed 100% online
Most CIPD qualifications can be completed entirely online, whenever you have the chance to study in your day. You’ll be free to work through the qualification at your own pace, watching video lectures, taking part in interactive tasks and benefiting from online or phone support from your personal tutor.
This means that CIPD qualifications are a great choice if you’ve got existing commitments that you’ll need to fit your study around, like childcare or full-time work, for instance, because you’ll be able to fit your qualification completely around your schedule.
They’re a globally recognised qualification
The CIPD is an internationally leading professional body for the human resources and learning and development sectors, with over 150,000 members worldwide. CIPD qualifications are recognised by employers in many different countries popular with expats such as the UAE and Australia.
They’re good value for money
With the average price of an undergraduate degree in England now costing £9,000 a year in tuition fees alone, entering further education is an eye-watering prospect for a lot of students who don’t have a tens of thousands of pounds to spare.
CIPD qualifications are generally a lot more affordable than traditional undergraduate degrees and provide you with the same knowledge for a fraction of the price.