We’ve outlined a variety of ways to build the understanding, knowledge and experience you need to secure your first role in the people profession.
Studying for a professional qualification allows you to increase your knowledge and skills in your chosen area of study. You can choose from a selection of online, face-to-face, and blended study modes, with the option to study part-time or full-time. This flexibility lets you fit your study around your working day. There are possible study routes: CIPD qualifications and CIPD accredited university programmes.
CIPD qualifications are professional qualifications at Foundation Certificate to Advanced Diploma level, and are designed and awarded by the CIPD. You'll learn with one of our approved study centres and you'll receive your qualification certificate from the CIPD. Successful completion leads to CIPD Foundation or Associate Membership.
CIPD accredited university programmes
Alternatively, you could study a specialist university degree in Human Resource Management. Note that not all degrees reach the CIPD’s standard of accreditation, so they don’t all provide automatic entry into CIPD membership. When researching degree options, make sure you check in with the university to see whether the course is CIPD-accredited. You can use our centre finder below to find accredited universities and other study centres.
Choose where to study your qualification from our range of centres around the worldFind a study centre
What’s it like to study for a qualification in the people profession?
Read our qualification success stories
A number of large employers offer university graduate programmes in HR. Although you don’t always need an HR degree to apply, employers may sometimes help you gain a CIPD-approved postgraduate qualification if you successfully secure a place on their programme.
What’s it like to take part in a graduate development programme in the people profession?
Read our graduate development programme success stories
If you’ve already developed experience in one career, you may be able to use your transferabble skills to transition into the people profession – without having to start again at the bottom of the ladder.
For example, if you’re currently working as an employment lawyer, you could be well suited to an in-house legal role at a large organisation, and could eventually become a Head of Employee Relations. Or if you’re taking the lead as an engineer on technical training in your organisation, you could transition into a wider learning and development role. Or if you’ve worked as an executive coach with a background in Occupational Psychology, you could eventually become a Director of Organisational Development.