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What educational resources should I consider to further my HR career?

As any HR professional knows, the job requires individuals to continuously educate themselves on changes in employment law, to understand the newest practices for handling sensitive HR issues and to find innovat​ive ways to help contribute to the company's bottom line. Some resources that can assist with these tasks are listed below.

Major newspapers and periodicals. As an HR professional, you can expand your knowledge base by reading national and local news. Major daily periodicals provide current information on important law changes, proposed legislation in your state, as well as issues facing local/regional employers, such as business shutdowns, that may in turn have an effect on your own organization. Keeping on top of these issues can help you create contingency plans for your organization and give you a head start on whether to make changes to current corporate policies. Consider subscribing to one or two major newspapers/periodicals or, as an alternative, dust off that library card and check out the local library.

SHRM website. This site provides a wealth of valuable HR resources for HR professionals. Consider taking a few minutes every day to scan the “Top News” section for latest news on the HR front. Also, the “Resources and Tools” area of the website includes HR Q&As and How-To Guides that not only educate but also provide useful and practical information relevant to an HR professional's responsibilities on the job.

Federal and state government websites. Many federal government websites (DOL, IRS, CMS, Treasury) and state labor department websites can provide HR professionals with guidance on a variety of HR laws and practices. 

Bookstores. The SHRMStore is the world's largest HR bookstore and provides numerous learning products in a variety of formats (books, videos, software) on everything under the HR sun.

Formal education and certification programs. Consider pursuing an advanced degree, certificate program or professional certification in human resources. Most major universities provide advanced degrees and certificates in the HR field. SHRM has established two competency-based certifications, the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) for early- and mid-career professionals and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) for senior-level practitioners. These certifications show your peers, your employees and your organization that you have mastered the core HR principles. Certification also requires continuous learning, which can motivate HR professionals to seek out continuing educational opportunities.

Courses/seminars. SHRM and other providers offer HR-related courses and seminars on various HR topics, including information and guidance on new laws, their effect on employers and successful integration/implementation of new policies and practices to ensure legal compliance. SHRM also offers E-learning courses that provide education on HR-related issues.

Local SHRM chaptersLocal chapters are an excellent resource for networking with other HR professionals about the issues they face every day, as well as providing vendor recommendations and best practices to further expand HR knowledge/expertise.


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