Reasons to Opt for Online HR Certification Instead of MBA in HR

We are used to hearing the word “trend” a lot in related to multiple things such as the fashion trend, food trend, news trend, and the education trend. Here, in this article, we are going to talk about the recent trend of online HR certification but before that, it is important to understand what exactly is a trend and what does it mean?. When we talk about the general direction in which something is developing or changing, we refer to that a trend. Trend development is an interesting subject as it can be developed anywhere on the earth and does not bound to a specific area or group of people. After 9/11, there was a global trend of economic downfall which resulted in a significant increase in the unemployment rates of several countries, terrorism, and related aspects. It is important to understand that there is always a reason behind a trend, the ongoing trend of advancement in technologies have changed several processes and field and education is among one of them. It is now become possible to obtain education virtually without having to commute. The online education is one of the innovative inclusion as it has changed the entire dynamics of the industry as people are more inclined towards those education fields which offers virtual learning options. Since 2015, there is a global rise in the online certification industry and the field of HR is also part of it and has been significantly popular among people as people are preferring online HR certification over MBA in HR program. An MBA program is considered as one of the well renowned academic programs throughout the world as this professional education is being delivered for several decades and many institutions are still offering it. If we look back at the history we can see that the USA was the first country to offer an MBA program as back then Harvard Business School in 1908 started it. Since then there are millions of MBA qualified professionals in the world related to multiple fields such as marketing, finance, management, supply chain, and HR. While MBA in finance is the highly opted specialization but MBA in HR is also common, due to recent trend and changes in the field people are more inclined towards certification programs instead of traditional degree programs. One of the leading body of HR certification in the world is SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) which offers a variety of certifications in multiple fields of HR and is considered a reliable authority. There are also other institutes present which are offering certification in HR but still, there is a long gap between SHRM and others. There are several reasons for opting online HR certification over traditional MBA program but the important thing that matters is the need of the person. People used to enroll themselves in the degree programs and one of the major reasons back then was the market demand of the person with a degree at that time which indicates that people followed trends instead of analyzing their needs. But things have changed as if we look at the current market situation there is a different perception of people and in order to give a better idea on why people nowadays consider online HR certification as a better option than an MBA in HR? We have compiled here a list of some of the key reasons why people prefer one over the other;

  • The first and one of the most important thing that every person notice when completes the certification program is the course material of HR certification programs as it is highly organized and specific to the relevant subject meaning only the required amount of knowledge are included in the course. Whereas if we look at the MBA in HR program, we can see that there is an entirely different scenario as due to the detailed oriented program the course content of MBA in HR contains extra details.
  • Career growth is considered as one of the most things for any person and people shares that during their professional career they have experienced that the certification in HR is more likely to land a promotion quickly as compared to an MBA in HR.
  • The time duration of the MBA program starts from 1.3 years and go up to 3.5 years depending on the person`s past education as there are different criteria for business and non-business graduates, whereas in HR certification programs generally comprise of less time duration.
  • Flexibility is one of the major reasons why HR professionals prefer online HR certification programs due to the fact that they can take online classes from the comfort of their home, office or anywhere using the internet instead of wasting time on traveling to the institute.
  • Another reason why online HR certifications are considered a better choice is the level of options in certifications it comes with meaning if you want to get an HR certification then you have several choices as if you want to select the specific topic, you can. Whereas in an MBA program, there are very limited areas of specialization which is indeed a strong factor that gives certification an edge over it.
  • The exam pattern of both programs are also different as in certification programs, the exams are generally focused on 06 functional areas which are employment and workforce planning, HR development, employee relations, management of risks, compensation and benefit, and business management strategy. Whereas MBA in HR is more focused on business and respective areas.
  • Exam methodology of online HR certification program is quite different as compared to an MBA in HR as exams are also conducted online and anyone can take the exams from anywhere irrespective of the location.
  • In online HR certification programs, there are no restrictions of taking the exam meaning there is no assigned exam date which is not the case in MBA in HR programs as you have to follow the provided exams schedule. You can take the exam at any preferred time, it is obvious that each certification awarding body has their own policies related to conduction of exam within a specified time period (generally within a year) but they do not force a person to take the exam on a specific schedule.
  • Since the medium of learning of online HR certification programs is entirely virtual, their study material and related course content are more convenient to access meaning all of the lectures and other stuff can easily be accessed using the internet. It is a fact that with advancement in technologies there are significant changes in an MBA in HR program learning methodologies but still online HR certification programs are more convenient.


After reading all of the above points, you must be thinking that how come there could be a comparison between a formal MBA in HR degree programs with the online HR certification program? Well, the key point that made here is the current market trend and after analyzing and researching aspects it is now evident that the charm of an MBA in HR program is somehow not attracting people like the way it used to before. If we look at the global trend, we can clearly feel find out that there is a huge difference in the preference of people on every continent. As in Asian countries, people are more inclined towards the formal degree programs whereas, in Europe and North American countries, it is the opposite. People in these countries are flocking towards the online HR certification programs due to the aforementioned reasons. With global unemployment on the rise, graduates and professional fears that if they do not follow the trend that could be left behind which is not the best approach to opt. For individuals out there who want to switch their field should go online HR certification programs as they are much more effective and beneficial for them and fits perfectly according to their needs. For graduates out there who want to excel in the field of HR generally prefers MBA in HR but interesting thing is that they could also opt online HR certification programs which would allow them to continue working and give them the flexibility to access course material at whichever time they prefer. The sole purpose of this article is to describe the common reasons in the simplest way possible of why people are choosing online HR certification programs over an MBA in HR program. It should not take it if someone is pursuing the MBA in HR program and feels that he/she should drop and enroll in an online HR certification program, which would definitely be a wrong approach but to give a general idea about how the online HR certification program can add more value. As it is mentioned earlier in the article that one should always analyze the need and then analyze which program would suit the best as the impulsive decision could be a bad decision when it comes to education and learning aspects.