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How far can paper qualifications alone carry someone in their HR career?

Let's take the following scenario that someone has a high grade BA, MA & PhD in Human Resources from a leading university, coupled with both CIPD Level 7's in Human Resources Management & Learning and Development. They have also gained the Associate Membership of our body and also taken advantage of that reciprocal agreement with the Australian Institute of HR to gain their professional membership. 

However, they are either currently working as an HR Administrator or not in HR, and also do not currently have HR / ER Advisory, Management, Business Partnering or Director level experience. 

Taking all the weight of those qualifications combined, do they still have to go in at a certain entry level and progress upwards overtime and with experience on a structured vertical career trajectory pathway, or could they immediately jump into a more senior level role based purely on those professional qualifications and advanced degrees alone, as a type of 'short cut.'?       

Alternatively, in HR is operational experience the real key to advancement and although qualifications help compliment it, they neither supersede it, nor can someone have one without the other?

Having said that, HR academia and research may also come calling.      

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  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    14 Apr, 2019 14:39

    Hi Andre... I've truncated / edited the title of your discussion as it was rather long.

    My view is that the qualifications/training and practical experience are complementary. I do think some of this ground has been covered in some of the other discussions you have started.
  • Hi Andre

    There are some really good discussions already in the Career Development area of the Communities about how to translate academic qualifications into experience and get that elusive first or next job in HR. Have a browse through them and you'll get a feel for the answers people here tend to give.

    From my own perspective, I think that experience is hugely important in HR - it shows that someone has a real life understanding of what makes people tick in the workplace and can apply their academic learning in an appropriate way. The HR career environment is so competitive these days that I can't see an employer taking a chance on someone who only has academic qualifications when they have candidates who have both the academic qualifications and practical experience. The best route into HR in this sort of situation might be a graduate recruitment programme where academic success is important but employers recognise that experience will be learned over the course of the graduate scheme.

    Please forgive me for asking this, but you seem to be asking a lot of very similar questions on the Communities at the moment. What is it about the answers you are getting that leads you to keep asking very similar things? It's unlikely that asking the question in a slightly different way will produce a different answer - the general consensus from an awful lot of experienced HR practitioners seems to be that there is no short cut to the type of role you want without having to gain experience dealing with people in a HR environment. We've offered advice about how to gain that experience and suggested some specialist roles in HR which might suit your interests and strengths. What more would you like us to be doing to help and advise you? I feel that at the moment there's a disconnect between what we're saying and the answers you want.

    Kind regards

    Jackie
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    16 Apr, 2019 06:37

    In reply to Jacqueline:

    Thank you, Jackie.
  • I am the very model of a modern Major-General
    I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral
    I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
    From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical
    I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical
    I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
    About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news
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    With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse


    I'd just leave that there without comment, but risk seeming obtuse.

    Gilbert & Sullivan lampooned their "modern Major General" in The Pirates of Penzance with a character who was supremely well-educated, well-informed and well-spoken but who nevertheless lacked the one quality that most right-thinking people would expect from a war leader: an experience of actually leading fighting men in war.

    The vast majority of business leaders, in my opinion, would be delighted with a senior HR Manager or HRD whose qualifications in the field extended to an MSc or PhD. But they would, before anything else and in my opinion, rightly, be looking for someone who had actual, demonstrable experience as a leader and manager in the HR field.

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