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Susan M. Heathfield

Do HR Leaders Need Degrees?

By September 12, 2013

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Are you interested in advice about a Human Resources degree? Not sure whether it's unemployment or early planning, but my email is filling up with requests for school recommendations and requests for a list of the best classes to take in an HR program. Common also throughout the year are requests for dissertation and masters thesis topics.

I do what I can to help, but each reader is an individual with their own needs and opportunities that may differ based on where they live. So, I usually recommend that they follow these steps for a better understanding of the HR field and opportunities in HR where they live.

My current list of topics to consider for papers, since it seems as if everyone's professor wants an up-to-the-minute topic studied, are: telecommuting and other flexible schedule working arrangements, work-life balance initiatives, performance management instead of appraisal, employee wellness, diversity, and rising health benefits costs plus the implementation costs and requirements of ObamaCare.

My ongoing recommendations also include how to make HR more strategic, how and what to measure in workforce talent management and in the HR department operations and contributions, and HR business planning.

HR Leaders and Degrees

An additional topic surfaces every year, too. The question is:

Do HR leaders need degrees? I vote on the yes side of this question because the field has become more competitive and looking at the colleagues with whom HR staff interact these days, most have degrees.

In fact, in my last service as an HR Director, the executive team that I worked with had three people with MBAs, three with Masters Degrees, and four with Bachelors degrees in their respective fields: marketing, IT, computer science, and quality management.

I don't want HR staff less educated than their peers. But, many of you disagree with me. So, take a moment and vote in my poll. I am curious, year-to-year, if the tide of opinion is changing.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts about any of this in comments.

Poll: Do Human Resources Leaders Need a Degree?

Comments
September 21, 2006 at 4:43 am
(1) Gamini says:

Yes, it is better to have a degree in addition to experience in HRM.

April 6, 2007 at 4:28 pm
(2) Jennifer says:

I do not think HR proessionals need a degree. I have been in HR for 7 years. I have a BA in Creative Arts and have learned everything I do on the job using resources.
I know in my current role I beat a candiate that had a MA in HR. Questions that I nailed, she could not even answer.
A degree means nothing.

July 20, 2007 at 2:40 am
(3) Cassidy says:

Hiring manager who make the decision to discount candidates without degrees, may very well miss out on a candidate that can contribute much more to the organization. I have worked with many HR professional during my 7 years in the field. I can say that while a degree may benefit some, in does not benefit all. Perception wise, but not performance wise. Human Resources is about people! Some people get that, some don’t. It can’t be taught in a class room. A lack of understanding people can be detrimental to the HR process. I have 3 college credits. However, during my years in HR I have been valued by those who know my work. And have never missed out on a promotion. In reviewing the result of the poll, it is quite clear that there is a lack of knowledge out there as to what makes a good HR professional. I have experiencd this in my job search, although not with those who know my work. That said, I will be working towards a degree. Just a note; I have seen as many highly educated individuals fail in their positions.

August 14, 2007 at 2:35 pm
(4) sridhar says:

Yes a Human Resource need a professional Degree with practical Exposure

January 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm
(5) Susan says:

No, a degree is not necessary. I am a successful Human Capital Manager and have been for several years without a 4-year degree.

#4 – You need a course in written communications.

March 16, 2008 at 12:04 pm
(6) Doris says:

My thoughts are that it is not necessary to have a degree – Human Resources is about people, and you either have it or you don’t. Continuing Education to stay current is more important. Smart employers look at that more so than a 20 year -old dusty degree.

March 29, 2008 at 4:53 am
(7) ahmad zafar says:

well acording to me both are valid..coz if u hav a degree then u must be updated atleast more than that person who has not…n on other side i must say that the person who has not degree will be at dat level of graduate person after having experiance …so both hav 2 rush in geting uptodate information . the person having degree whn comes in to field experinace tht things in real practical life…then he studied that before where as the one who has not degree…knows after experiancing that work…thanks…comment about my views..

August 12, 2008 at 10:16 pm
(8) arun says:

I don’t think HR professionals need a degree

September 22, 2008 at 7:02 am
(9) Chandrika says:

Yes. Its really essential to have a degree in Hr as a Generalist HR I have undergone lot of training

September 23, 2008 at 9:45 am
(10) Joan says:

It all about how smart one is.With a degree or without one can be a good HR leader.

September 26, 2008 at 4:40 am
(11) Srikanth says:

Yes, One HR Leader needs to have a degree to get familiar with DOs & DON’Ts. But more importantly he/she must possess the intellectual to convert theory in to practice in real time.

So degree is not merely the decisive factor but the degrees of IQ too does matter

October 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm
(12) Jennifer says:

I think that whilst it is probably not essential to have a degree, it does give you a distinct advantage over someone who doesn’t. I am entering my final year of a 3 year Human Resource Management degree and have so far covered everything from Employment Law to International Management. I also have to do many of the modules that students on straight business degrees do so you acquire a very good understanding of how an organization works and interacts as a whole. But I think as long as someone is willing to keep up to date with the latest legislation and has a genuine passion about HRM then you’d be fine. It is constantly evolving though so whether you have a degree or not, you NEED to keep up to date with the literature and reviews over topics such as talent management and employee relations.

December 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm
(13) George says:

Well, I believe what really matters is the out put and know how, and not the degree. If the selection depends solely on the degree one has, then we will surely miss those with experience and little education.

January 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm
(14) Karen Ellan says:

I’m with Jennifer!

February 22, 2009 at 11:26 pm
(15) JC says:

Yes – today’s HR professional needs a degree! HR departments are no longer seen as a “paper pushing” department. The role of HRM has become more strategic. In order for an HR professional to add the organizations strategy it is imperative they posses a degree. I would NEVER hire an HR Director or above without at LEAST a four year degree. And a SVP of HR should have a masters or MBA. PERIOD! Those who disagree probably never went to school.

Yes, HR is about managing human capital, but it is much more than that.

July 24, 2009 at 12:44 am
(16) Paloma says:

I think the degree can be useful, but sometimes it is not needed. It all depends on his/her expertise and Management support.

September 29, 2009 at 8:52 am
(17) Rick says:

I am 55 years old and would have finished my degree in 1977. What would I have learned between 1973 and 1977 that is relative to the HR world today or that I have not learned via 20 + years of practical hands-on HR experience?

I suspect not much.

After looking at the above comments and the poor grammar used from the brain thrust who says a degree is needed, it serves to only support my opinion.

October 1, 2009 at 7:55 pm
(18) TwoCents says:

I disagree that a degree is necessary in HR. It really depends on the individual. I know plenty of HR “professionals” who have degrees, but do not have practical knowledge and cannot solve basic problems. I don’t think you are justified in making a blanket statement that a degree will bring a successful contributor.

October 2, 2009 at 3:17 am
(19) Deepak Motwani says:

I do prefer a manager with a degree.M a HR student and what i could find from my observation is that Degree really helps a person to transform the theorotical knowledge into practical aspects and that what we call a true manager.

October 2, 2009 at 6:17 am
(20) Loubna says:

Education is important for any function.

For HR, a college or post graduate degree will mostly help in projects, studies and statistics. It gives the basic to be proactive and strategic thinker.

I agree with Jennifer that the practical side will always be aquired on the field where we really experience the sucess or failure of any theory we learned during our study because it intercats with the human factor.

The education offers a basis and exposes the person to scientific techniques and researches that other people did before we thought about and that may avoid us starting from zero if we have laso data we can rely on.

December 5, 2009 at 8:31 am
(21) Ashish Tripathi says:

No not really.. bcoz this is a profession wherein you are focussing on a path which is a concern for the entire employee strength of the organisation and not only yourself or your management, and no degree allows you to gain such a knowledge…Do they? It comes out naturally from your Heart and self thinking abilities.

January 11, 2010 at 10:56 am
(22) Joe C Medellin Jr says:

I don’t agree, however, I’m an advocate towards obtaining an education. In our military installation, they hire people with degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Mortician, Art, etc. These people are put in positions such as Supv, Work Leaders, etc. with no regard to the experienced personnel that have background in building, repairing Aircrafts, and nothing on motivating, coaching, mentoring, leadership, and communication skills. Yet, these degree ones have never worked on an aircraft or have a concept of its importance. Especially, the curriculum in obtaining these so-called degrees don’t have anything on how to deal with people…it’s a waste of time and money. Now, people with human relation degrees do deserve the positions. Another thing, once these people are put into these positions many of them don’t hone their skills on what they’ve learned. They see as, “I have my position and degree, so why should I practice, learn, unlearn, relearn or read up about dealing with people!” Therefore, “It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.”Ö Robert G. Ingersoll. ďThe man who doesnít read good books has no advantage over the man who canít read them.ĒÖMark Twain. “Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.”ÖMark Twain. “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”ÖMark Twain. No amount of learning can cure ignorance, and higher education positively fortifies it. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Finally, “If I am through learning, I’m through.”Ö John Wooden.

February 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm
(23) Alex says:

I think it is important to have a degree in HR, many people that have a degree and experience will be look at over someone only with experience. Especially now that so many people with degrees are out seeking jobs and willing to take less money.

August 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm
(24) Joanne Kendall says:

I would most likely hire an HR professional with a degree. I have been in HR for many years working with HR Professionals and Managers that moved up within the organization with and without degrees. I have found those that have degrees have a much more openness for change and other’s ideas than those that have moved up within the company without degrees. I am not saying all are closed minded it is just a high percentage of those without degrees have not had a lot of other experiences at other companies to help with providing a different perspective.

August 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm
(25) Ofisa Miguel says:

It’s a great necessity.

August 27, 2010 at 5:25 am
(26) Shibeshi says:

Those without degree may do hr tasks, but having special degree to do a certain job could make difference. To my understanding those who posses degree in Hr perform the task in professional, ethical , efficient and effective manner than those who do not.

August 30, 2010 at 6:56 am
(27) Etwell says:

Yes. As much as there is no substitute for experience I believe having a degree for HR leaders is necessary inorder to keep abreast with what is happening in business in general and the labour market in particular. How can you expect to be respected by your colleagues who have degrees when you do not have one? How do you expect to understand their concerns when you do not have education that matches them? And lastly you need to think beyond being an HR person. You may need the education that goes with being a leader in business. Without a degree you may find yourself in the sidelines when business discussions and decision are being made.

October 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm
(28) Rudy says:

I would like to do a study on this topic of HR leaders needing a degree. The question that needs to be asked is” what type of academic curriculm will need to be included in order to be conducive with the organizational needs?” Also, what statistics would need to be included? Open to all for feedback.

October 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm
(29) warsha says:

definately yes, hr need to be a qualified person, as hr is an important department and is a communication between both the organisation as well as employees. the hr needs to be very smart as well as with the same industry.

October 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm
(30) Mercedes says:

definately yes…HR people which say no are content in their position as an 8-5 employee…to be a contributor to the bottom line, a strategic planner and partner…HR needs qualified persons, with a proven track record in organizational development!

December 22, 2010 at 10:05 am
(31) Loyiso mbelu says:

I think an hr manager needz to be quelified as an hr manager ,bcoz he has been thought more of the field, and a degree makes u to be recognised as a profetional for the field u are quelified 4, whether u did nt get a degree in hr mangment bt u are gud at the job does nt mean that u knw alot compared to the 1 who is QUALIFIED ,WHO HAS PROFETION IN HR. Guyz i wanna do human resource management. Is is grwing field coz i dnt want to do smethange that wll nt feed me in the future,or when i start to work!

January 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm
(32) Josh says:

You guys seem to also forget that HR designations also help you in your HR careers as well, not just HR master degrees. In Canada, we have a CHRP designation for HR professionals and HR pros who have demonstrated that they have experience in the field, know what they are doing, are professional, and competent. Doesn’t the US also have an HR designation like that. Don’t you Americans also have HR designations to advance your HR careers as well? You guys should if we Canadians do.

January 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm
(33) New in HR says:

A good question. I work in mainland Europe and have just been assigned to lead the HR team of the company with 400 employees. I am promoted from an administrative position. The colleague I am to replace had been engaged in HR for nearly 20 years and had no HR related degree (she had a BA degree in teaching English as a foreign language and will retire shortly). I am also an English teacher by training, although I am pursuing an MBA course that will now be focused on HR aspects. Having a degree is a prerequisite for this position and preferably it should be one that is HR specific or has to do with economics.

January 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm
(34) raj says:

Yes, I think day by day, the hr world becomes so competitive. For understanding, every hr needs knowledge in different fields, research related to hr is a must. Without reading articles and by knowing views of different kinds of persons, it is risky for everyone to take further steps in a critical situation.

February 20, 2012 at 11:33 am
(35) tony says:

A degree in Human Resources is a must! It’s a prime reason many HR departments get into trouble because oftern times HR departments hire indiviudals who don’t have that formal foundation and aren’t well versed in the principles and practices of Human Resources Management.
I would take the candidate with the degree in HR over the candidate that doesn’t have it every time. I would never hire anyone for a position in HR that didn’t have at lease a Bachelor’s degree, doing otherwise is just setting yourself up for legal liability.

February 21, 2012 at 6:23 am
(36) Colette Raham says:

Some HR professionals can offer expertise by having a wealth of experience and yet no degree. I would say a degree should not always be the deciding factor.

February 21, 2012 at 7:17 am
(37) Siddiq Rafee says:

In principal I agree that HR leaders must have a degree, but most of the senior people already in leadership roles don’t have degrees. There should be a mechanism to award them degrees with most needed theoretical lectures and going through projects.

February 21, 2012 at 7:18 am
(38) Chinyere says:

I totally agree with Tony, you need an understanding of both human relations and the business angle. It also helps to boost your confidence on the job. Simply put, skill + knowledge + experience = a competent person.

February 21, 2012 at 8:00 am
(39) Lily says:

Of course HR needs a higher education background. Now I am working in China, and the HR field is very competitive with more and more highly educated persons wanting to get in. A degree becomes kind of a necessity to enter the door and also as the stepping-stone to get higher positions. I believe in the future, HR is more like an all-rounder knowing everything like business strategy, financial reports and also economic change. Strategic HR will get into the management team and can work very well in other fields like marketing, etc. It will become that no one can easily transit into HR but it can work to transit to other fields from HR.

February 21, 2012 at 8:29 am
(40) Teri says:

Yes, a degree is very important to ensure competence and credibility among organizational leaders and peers. The SPHR or PHR is also a credential that brings a lot to the table in providing a book of knowledge in HR.

February 21, 2012 at 8:41 am
(41) Lisa says:

I have worked in HR for over 14 years but I just obtained my bachelor’s degree last year. While I have gained a lot of experience in HR through the years, I feel my degree is the icing on the cake. It opened my eyes to many areas of HR that I was not familiar with and it has made me think of HR in a new light. I feel that a degree is vital for an HR professional to go beyond the “paper pushing” and “policy policing” and enter a more strategic role within their organization.

February 21, 2012 at 8:53 am
(42) myramom says:

An HR professional does not need a degree unless they are going into a specific area such as compensation, or maybe labor relations. I have 3+ years of college (no degree, but a lifelong learner) and, have worked with many HR professionals over the years who have a formal degree, and even a professional certification, such as the PHR, who can’t work through a basic employment problem, or who have been unable to help an organization diagnose its strengths and weaknesses. This is a field in which practical experience should matter more than it actually does. Working up through the ranks helps HR professionals understand basic systems that either support or handicap a business. I think it is an employer’s loss to not consider people who have managed human resources just because that person does not have a four year degree.
By the way, it is disconcerting that so many of the messages here are full of misspellings, poor grammar, etc. To those of you who posted those messages: if you have a degree, you should get a refund. (Hi, FYI, now that I have taken on the additional job of editing all new comments because of the aforementioned misspellings and so forth, I made four corrections to this post. I am not planning to edit all prior comments, but I will be editing going forward.)

February 21, 2012 at 10:20 am
(43) Gena says:

I have worked with people in HR who do not possess a degree in HR and most of them seem clueless about the department structure, the law, and confidentiality.
It is so easy for someone to overstep boundaries while representing HR and set the entire company up for a lawsuit.
In my opinion it is vital for those who work in the field and represent the department to have an educational background in the department. Yes, many things can be learned on the job, but this field is different.

February 21, 2012 at 11:52 am
(44) Jerry says:

As a student, with several years in sales, manufacturing, and leadership. I have completed a Bachelors in HR-D and I am working on a Masters in HR (General).
Am I going to be a “Better” candidate than someone without a degree and more experience… no. Will I be more ‘capable’ than someone with more experience… no.
I Will have a fresh understanding of the field. I do have the right can-do attitude and the personal motivation to be successful to the people that matter. I cannot say that a person without the degree will not feel this way, yet I know I am mold-able like a fresh piece of clay.
Without the corruption and biases of potentially bad mentors or horrible past managers, the inexperience by being ‘pigeon holed’ into a particular job function.
Just because we are people, it never means (in my opinion) that with a degree, or without, you are now the primary candidate. There’s a level of understanding, a willingness to learn and be part of the company’s needs. Integration into their team. Whether or not a person can be successful depends on the culture of the company. Whether or not a candidate needs a degree, depends on the person.
Right now, I can recite HR modes and typical background information. Sure, I don’t know every benefits system available, however, I do understand the role that HR plays in the total culture of a company.
Do we need a degree?

Well, to put it simply; you tell me. Do you need the degree. (I do.)
Jerry.

February 22, 2012 at 3:57 am
(45) Belinda says:

I think it’s better that they have a degree than not, but sometimes, experience in the reality is more important.

February 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm
(46) Sharon says:

While I believe education is very important I would not necessarily agree a degree in HR should be required. I have been in HR for 13 yrs now starting in a supporting role as an assistant and worked my way up to a professional level as a Recruiter. To quote Cassidy”s comment:

“Human Resources is about people! Some people get that, some donít. It canít be taught in a class room. A lack of understanding people can be detrimental to the HR process”

Absolutely true and I can tell you the only downside in my experience has been having to fight for a competitive salary without a degree. Out of the 8 to 10 coworkers who have come and gone in my office ( all recruiters) more than half of them had degrees and were poor performers at best. I’ve been here the longest, have trained all who’ve come and gone. Not to toot my own horn but rather be a living example not to be discredited or ruled out because of a degree. Experience in lieu of a degree should always be considered.

February 24, 2012 at 6:27 am
(47) Douglas John Mogere says:

I am saddened by some comments I have read about not having a degree as a basic requirement for HR duties. Yes, HR may concern people, but it is not only the ability to interact with and solve people’s problems that matter. There are legal and labor issues to be considered at the work place. Where is the natural school that would integrate this into experience?
Experience and individual human attributes relating to socialization and problem solving may be necessary, but formal training is equally important to become a good manager of people. They perish who lack knowledge, the Bible says. No wonder there are many industrial disputes world over because of failure in the HR departments of many organizations.
You need a degree or diploma to complement your experience.

February 25, 2012 at 12:27 am
(48) M.Curline Petrishia says:

As per my point of view, an HR is a person who should have self motivation, the one who can handle any kind of subjects, who is technically strong to handle the production peoples’ requirements and arguments. Also should be a degree holder so that x or y people can’t give negative comments on their eligibility and position. Though a person is strong and capable to handle an HR department without a degree, people will not give much preference and chances are they’ll be left behind. So it is better to have a degree if you want to compete with others in the present scenario.

February 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm
(49) Jim says:

The issue of having an HR degree really involves two issues; are you likely to do a better job in HR if you have a degree in HR, and are you more likely to get hired into an HR position if you have a degree in HR? The answer to both questions is yes. While many people will have the skills needed to succeed in an HR position without having a degree, it is more likely that those with the depth of HR knowledge that comes with earning the degree will perform better. In terms of hiring, employers overwhelmingly put a degree, and most prefer a degree specifically in HR, at the top of their list of qualifications. Larger companies want national certification and the prerequisites for taking that test includes far more direct employment experience in HR for those who do not possess a degree specifically in HR.

February 27, 2012 at 2:34 am
(50) Kalyani says:

Managing HR is about connecting to people for getting the jobs done. For this, according to me, what matters is professionalism in attitude and not in a degree, that matters. If an HR manager/leader doesn’t have the right kind of attitude to establish rapport, or get connected with the most valuable resources, a professional degree would not be of any help. However, a Degree in the relevant area would definitely be useful to acquaint self with HR tools and techniques for use at the workplace.

August 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm
(51) HRADMIN says:

A degree is a piece of paper. I’ve known people with degrees who are less than intelligent. I also know people without degrees who are very witty and intelligent. A degree does not make you smart. It simply means you had the money to go to school for a formal education. So, no … I don’t think a degree is necessary.

February 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm
(52) Jean says:

I have a BS degree in HR and graduated Cum Laude from a university in Ohio. Had I known that the field would eventually require a Master’s and then a Ph.D along with advanced certifications in order to advance, I would have chosen a different field.

I just did not have the funds to continue education in that manner. I understand that it was a choice but wished that I had majored in something else. I now have a successful business career in leadership but wished that I was able to utilize my degree in the field of HR.

I personally do not feel that advanced degrees are necessary – much of my HR experience was derived from day-to-day operations of the position that I was in.

April 9, 2013 at 1:29 am
(53) ahmad from jordan says:

As some say, a degree is just a piece of paper that does not mean anything now a days specially with today’s w.w.w. where all can learn and keep updated and self motivated with the latest information regarding all issues in all fields.
I have been an H.R.M. for almost 14 years with some college education and work with two assistants who have their degrees. They are considered to be my successors and, believe me, I cannot trust any to be a successor where I could be blamed for it, but this is the situation I am living.
I only advanced myself to this position with self updating and learning in the day to day operation.

June 7, 2013 at 1:10 am
(54) Jzlizz says:

I am new to the HR field with a position as HR Manager. I have BS Degrees in Chemistry and Biology. I need help, tips, mentor ship, or anything else that may help me in this. I do not think you need a degree just have resources, know the right people, and be open to on the job training. Please email me if you are willing to help or mentor me I am located in Maryland. Jalisa@inno8ion.com

September 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm
(55) Linda says:

“Absolutely, most managers know what is needed to complete the tasks in their departments but they do not know what is needed to support the company and help it succeed. They also do not know what is legal and how to work with the company’s biggest asset, the employee. Most of all they have no idea how to treat people in general. A BA Degree as well as Masters in HR would be the biggest asset an employee could have and the biggest benefit to any company.

September 16, 2013 at 9:38 am
(56) PBrown says:

I agree with Rick. I went to school back in the early 80′s for Accounting and ended up running an HR Department in 1995 with no HR experience at that point. Even if I would have gone to school for HR, what is relative today would not have been taught in the 80′s. It’s 18 years of hands-on HR experience and staying on top of the changes that matters most. If you have the drive and desire to be successful then you will succeed in an HR position, degree or no degree.

September 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm
(57) Clement LONJI says:

Some years before, I could imagine effective a HR without degree as some of friends stated, but my experiences taught me better.
With my Bachelor Degree in Bio-medical sciences, I handled some HR duties & soon Iíve obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Planning & development, I have realized the gap which is similar when a Lawyer is charged to perform public health assignments where there is not a Medical Doctor. Itíll be not easy for the lawyer to assess is limits and mistake. I think that the education is a main factor of HR Development. As HR specialist, now I know my limit and what I have to study in improving my HR management skills. Today’s HR requests specialization then seniority.

September 20, 2013 at 1:45 am
(58) Manoj Tiwari says:

In my opinion a valid degree is useless if you do not have hands on experience and in other hand degree plays effective role in getting this experience..

Both the degree and the experience having major role of Human Resource Manager, yes later on the balance between the two getting evaluated with exposure and experience and the ratio is quite challenging.

If degree is token to get exposure, the experience is a tool to prove that the degree for which it has been obtained, the purpose gets fulfilled.

September 20, 2013 at 3:39 am
(59) Colonel S Raman says:

Friends, The question is not Degree Vs No Degree. To my mind, the issues are slightly different. What Degree we are talking about? the relevant degree that can hasten up the experiential learning is of utmost importance. The next issue is, the vintage of the Degree. The old family doctor with older MBBS may be good. But we need those with recent, current and dynamic knowledge, learnt formally from Educational institutions that are consulting on specific Industry related issues. I know of an HR professional, who is a PG diploma from NIPM, later Masters in Economics, MBA from IGNOU with first division and recently MBA from IIT, Kharagpur with 8.33 CGPA, learning all along last 25 years, as he was growing in the Corporate Career. Validating theories with practical experience, is his passion. So, dear foot soldiers, don’t fight the paper tigers. The need of the hour, learn and re-learn- do and re-do – unlearn and undo to break into future.

September 26, 2013 at 6:29 am
(60) Asha Sharma says:

Well, I don’t think I require now, as I am working as HR without a degree and guess doing pretty well;)… Itís now nearly 7 years and I have learnt enough of what a book or a certificate will teach me…!! And Proud to have the practical experience..

Guess one without degree will struggle initially in their career as they have never been taught in class or given assignments….

Same time education pattern is changed and advanced so it’s good if once can get the degree going forward but if one can’t, then nothing wrong, just get experience and work hard, you will be the best and rock…….

November 24, 2013 at 4:58 am
(61) Sunny says:

Obviously a degree doesn’t make a person the best always, however a degree in HR along with experience (the people know-how) makes the best HR professionals. Many argue that a degree is not needed, however if you actually find people who have these two, an individual with a degree will always outmaneuver/outsmart those who don’t. If you want to be the best, you must have both.

January 28, 2014 at 10:12 pm
(62) Juana says:

I believe a degree or some type of formal education is beneficial at some point. I was promoted to HR manager 12 years ago with NO HR experience and learned to manage the office well. However, challenges come from the business perspective in which I wish I had more knowledge. SHRM, reading articles, networking, and HR courses have helped. Because I was trained by someone who was not an HR professional, certain things were taught incorrectly and I had to find out the long and hard way! I agree with many who stated, HR is about people. Here I agree 100%! Because of being an employee who has worked minimum wage jobs, working my way up, I experienced how people should NOT be treated by all levels of management. My heart is in what I do and no college course can teach the human side of HR. So my thought is that it does depend on the HR role the person plays and how far he/she desires to go in this field. I plan to go back to school to specialize in Employee Relations, with a goal of one day working for EEOC.

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