What is SHRM's Academic Initiative (AI)?
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What is SHRM's Academic Initiative (AI)?

Academic Initiatives’ mission is to help create better-prepared entry-level HR professionals through education, assessment, competencies and internships.

In 2006, the SHRM Board approved an initiative to help the Society define and develop HR education at university business schools across the nation. The programs, services and products that comprise the initiative are long-term investments that help advance the profession. To help students prepare for a career in HR, AI’s efforts focus on building a pipeline of well-prepared, entry-level HR professionals through education, assessment, competencies and internships to help students prepare for a career in HR. 

Why create an Academic Initiative?  SHRM conducted multiple research projects over a period of years to help answer this question. We sought input from faculty teaching HR, employers hiring entry-level practitioners, and students studying HR at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This research informed and endorsed the need for SHRM to establish a position on the future of HR Education. Initially, SHRM’s research showed:

• Inconsistency program-to-program in HR education.
• No barriers exists to prevent unprepared professionals from entering the field.
          o Students' courses of study do not cover all the topics required to be successful HR professionals in the workplace, according to employers.
          o HR education needs to be anchored within a business context and include concepts/skills taught in a way that help students apply HR learning in a business context.
          o HR professionals shift focus with movement through their career from tactical/functional to strategic at higher levels.
• SHRM needs to provide guidance and influence the future of HR Education:
         o HR practitioners are increasingly concerned over curriculum issues and are looking to SHRM to provide guidance.
         o Students seek information from SHRM about selecting universities or courses of study.
• Many entry level HR applicants lack relevant work experience according to hiring managers.
        o Internships and HR work experience are critical for career- and early-job success.

How Does the SHRM Academic Initiative Fit in with SHRM's Mission?




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