Sharpen Your Career Skills At Your Convenience

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Quite often when an employee exits a company the position is not filled, especially in light of the economy being what has been globally.

Since the global economy has been on the down (and flat in many cases) for more than 11 years, this lack of replacement of resources is resulting in the current workforce seeing demands placed on them like never before.

Stress levels are high, with more than 80% of office workers working 6 days a week instead of five, and the days are usually 10, 12, 14 hours or more.

Yet, we all know — and are being told– that to get ahead we need to be involved in improving our own standing, meaning we need to get certified.

Skills and Education Get You Ahead

Yet, to get ahead, every employee knows they have to sharpen their skills and/or education.

But who wants to be traveling to a college, spending time in the classroom and then driving home, only to have to continue their studies with one hand and using the other hand to cook and feed themselves?

There is the option of the weekend, but most have family that is already experiencing the stress of your absence in the first place.

Taking an added stress would have your family telling you, as the saying goes, your goose is cooked.

Same is happening with many college students – many are finding they have to work their most, if not all, way through college – even if their education is being fully financed.

Though they are receiving the education they (or their parents) are paying for, many students realize that experience matters when seeking a position in their field of endeavor.

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That experience doesn’t necessarily have to be hands on either, it could be certifications that get them a better start on their future. and since they already spend a lot of time in class as well as in studies and/or study groups outside the classroom, the initiative to sit in another class to gain certification is not exactly the most appealing thing to do the day after a Friday night party.

online learning

Complex Situations Usually Have Simple Solutions

Given the internet is now making many thing possible,  like working from – home, the beach (not recommended!), while on vacation (HIGHLY not recommended) or even your child’s wedding (guaranteed disinheritance!), why can’t the same be do for gaining certifications towards your career?

As certifications take hours of classroom participation, no one said they had to be consecutive, just cumulative.

Three professional organizations offer just that — allowing you to gain your certification (and KEEP it), with a minimal investment – usually one hour at a time, or self-study.

And since 2012, there has been an abundance of other options as well: MOOC’s they call them – which we discuss below.,

Here are three organizations, and what they offer… followed by an an overview of MOOC’s (with a short listing of MOOC’s).

We offer our recommendations at the end of this article.


Meet, network, share and learn from over 200,000 of your peers.

As the largest social network and online community of HR executives, provides thousands of worldwide HR Professionals and Suppliers with easy access to shared knowledge on best practices, trends and industry news in order to help them develop their most important asset – their people.

As a member of you’ll have access to thousands of articles, case studies, newsletters, polls, surveys, discussion forums, blogs on human resources, FREE HR forms, documents, access to local and national discount programs and much more. We help you stay current and connected.

FREE HRCI credits

You will also have access to our live webcasts, with MP3 and power point slides.’s Institute for Human Resources (IHR) offers online certification in your specialty area of HR.

Each of their 1-hour live webcast and archives is submitted to qualify for IHR credits as well as the HR Certification Institute recertification credits.

You can get your IHR Certification and PHR, SPHR, GPHR and credits without ever leaving your desk!

Their members can also browse through their extensive Buyer’s Guide, an invaluable resource that connects you with the industry suppliers by providing up to date information on products, company information and more.

At they also make it easy for you to plan out your human resources career. You can browse their extensive list of HR Jobs or ask around the network.

And if you want to take your HR department to an even higher level, consider their premium GOLD and SILVER memberships. These memberships will give you access to essential industry tools, more extensive savings on various human resources products, giving you access to top-notch expert information, and much more.

HR Certification Institute (SHRM)


The HR Certification Institute (HRCI), established in 1976, is an internationally recognized certifying organization for the human resource profession.

Today, more than 120,000 HR professionals worldwide proudly maintain the HR Certification Institute’s credentials as a mark of high professional distinction.

The HR Certification Institute is a global leader in developing rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery and real-world application of forward-thinking HR practices, policies and principles.



HRIM offers 3 delivery methods to accommodate individuals (as well as groups) to take the exam, including conveniently located testing centers around the world, live proctoring that allows candidates to take the exam wherever and whenever is most convenient, and via the existing delivery method of taking the exam at a host location.

The Human Resource Information Professional Certification (HRIP) exam is designed to assess the knowledge and competencies of professionals in the HR technology field.

Passing the exam indicates a demonstrated comprehensive understanding and proficiency of the defined body of knowledge in HR information management.

Passing the exam is only one part of the certification process – the recertification requirements ensure that the HR technology professional is keeping abreast of changes in the field.

The Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) credential will be active for a period of 3 full years starting from the date certification has been granted.

In order to maintain certification, a total of 60 recertification credit hours are required during the 3 year period starting from the date the certification is granted. The credential holder will be responsible for maintaining a log of credit hours and documentation.

The Certification Handbook contains information on the HRIP exam and how you can apply for this important professional credential.

Why is Certification Desirable?

Certification is intended to recognize individuals who have relevant HR technology knowledge. An HRIP (Human Resource Information Professional) credential is a way to demonstrate your competency, show your commitment to the profession, and help with job advancement. Benefits to you include:

  • It differentiates you from others through demonstrated competency
  • It shows you have knowledge of HR information management beyond that of your everyday tasks
  • It gives you a competitive edge when seeking promotions or a new position


Since 1980, IHRIM has been the only membership association for HR information management professionals and has advanced our profession by:

Providing unparalleled education and professional development opportunities through our conference, educational courses and webinars. These offerings foster intelligent HR system investments and effective solutions to business challenges.

Creating a certification program known as Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) to allow experienced professionals working with HR information systems to be recognized for their knowledge and experience.

Facilitating an HR information management community for the sharing of best practices, professional collaboration and networking in person and virtually through CORE online.

Providing unbiased information on cutting-edge HRIM solutions.

MOOCs and Online Learning Academies

Mooc, short for Massive Open Online Course, is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.

In addition to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets, many MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs).

MOOCs are a recent and widely researched development in distance education which were first introduced in 2008 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.


Here are some resources to consider (list from BDPA). Do note that policies and protocols will vary from one MOOC to another. Example: Udemy allows you do purchase your course and it is yours as long a you maintain your account with them.

  • Udemy Free Courses – Udemy is an example of a site allows anyone to build or take online courses.  Udemy’s site exclaims, “Our goal is to disrupt and democratize education by enabling anyone to learn from the world’s experts.” The New York Times reported that Udemy, “recently announced a new Faculty Project, in which award-winning professors from universities like Dartmouth, the University of Virginia and Northwestern offer free online courses. Its co-founder, Gagen Biyani, said the site has more than 100,000 students enrolled in its courses, including several, outside the Faculty Project, that charge fees.”
  • ITunesU Free Courses – Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.”
  • Harvard Free Courses – From Computer Science to Shakespeare, students may now get a free Harvard education. “Take a class for professional development, enrichment, and degree credit. Courses run in the fall, spring, or intensive January session. No application is required.”
  • Yale Free Courses – At Open Yale, the school offers “free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.”


And the Winner Is…

From the perspective of quality, all are winners. You will be well equipped to for your career through any one of these certification programs.

From the perspective of convenience, wins without a problem. Though IHRIM and HRIC do offer worthy certifications, getting there is much more challenging in the current economic and business environment. With IHRIM and HRIC, you ave to depend on self-study as well as making your time available to be elsewhere from both work and family. With, you can do this after everyone has gone to sleep for the night, before they all get up in the morning, or just by securing a quiet place at your office (with a computer and internet connection).

Also, with the rate of growth of the internet, cloud computing, and mobile computing, IHRIM’s and HRIC’s approach, though noble, lack the wisdom of latching on the needs of servicing their members accordingly. This will place a spotlight on’s approach that allows you to gain your certification much more conveniently. It is worth noting that the certification gained by is the same certification gained from HRIC.

Why walk down the river to cross another bridge when there is already one here, ready and prepared for you?

Disclaimer: The HRIS World had served on the advisory board for the ERP/HRIS Community for as well as operates as an affiliate for All fairness and objectivity of this article is given to the experience of others in gaining their certification through anyone of the above organizations. All 3 organizations represent a highly professional and worthy program, each delivers their service as they see fit. Please use your own discretion in choosing which program best fits your needs while gaining your certification.

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Garrett O'Brien

CEO, Chairman, Publisher, Editor at The HRIS World Research Group

Garrett is the publisher, editor, writer forThe HRIS World Research Group, which includes The HRIS World, The HRIS World Research, The HRIS World Jobs, The HRIS World News, The HRIS World NewsMagazines, and The HRIS World Videos

With more than 20 years in roles as a client executive sponsor (#thwCES), project manager as well as functional/technical lead, Garrett is sought for his expertise for project insights, thought leadership, and team management globally.

He has been involved in large-scale and complex implementations since 1991 and has recently moved his operations to be with his wife in Brazil.

Garrett has had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest talents in the industry, and constantly shares his experiences and knowledge through content and webinars.

He maintains his fluency in Portuguese, German, French, and English with his various endeavors and contacts..

When not working, you will have to be adventurous to stay up with him as Garrett loves motorcycling, gunnery, boating, sailing, flying, and sports fishing -- and accompanying his wife on her various likes

About The HRIS World Research Group

The HRIS World blog, which is read by more than 50,000 from more than 160 countries monthly, manages to have more than 550,000 pages viewed monthly. 40%+ of the audience are decision-makers in their organization (and about half of that being C-levels!).

As CEO for CGServices USA Inc, he focuses on multi-provider, multi-line implementations consultation for HRIS systems

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