HR Masters or CIPD Level 5?

(7 Posts)
thr33andme Tue 03-Dec-19 20:44:47

I'm graduating this summer with a predicted 1:1 law degree. I'd like to go into HR.

I've not worked in HR before but I've run my own business for the past ten years, have shit hot admin skills and I'm happy to go into an entry-level role and work my way up.

However, which is the best route to go down. I could do a masters degree next year in HR or I could do a masters in law (employment-based hopefully, or at least with employment modules) and fund the CIPD Level 5 alongside it.

With minimal experience in HR, what would be the best way to get my foot in the door?

OP’s posts: |
SellFridges Tue 03-Dec-19 20:55:14

I work in HR now, I don’t have a related masters or any CIPD qualifications. I’ve thought about doing one, but my workplace (massive multi-national) don’t fund them and given I’m already at global management level I don’t really see the point.

I’d focus on getting the experience on that basis. Many large companies either outsource, or have lived their lower level HR roles to shared service centres. Roles there should be easily achievable. Or, you could focus on smaller companies who may be willing to take a chance on your HR skills if you have strong admin or other experience.

TheTruthAboutLove Wed 04-Dec-19 17:47:48

I’m sure this question comes up every few days, I’d love to know why people think HR is the perfect career switch to start from scratch!

There are a few ways to get your foot in the door, but in answer to your question CIPD Level 5 would be the route I’ll go down, it’s what most companies look at is CIPD qualifications. Do you have your Level 3?

I’d be looking at low level HR Assistant/Administrator roles and make sure you have an amazing CV showcasing your ability and making sure people know you’ve done forms of HR in the past whilst self employed. Go to CIPD events and meet-ups, network, contact recruitment agencies who specialise in HR Recruitment and explain your situation.
Remember you’ll be coming up against people for these roles with little experience but a lot of qualifications looking for their foot in the door so you have to make your experience shine through.

thr33andme Sat 07-Dec-19 00:36:13

It's not the perfect career choice but it's one of the only careers I know that utilises employment law with upward development, decent pay (over minimum wage) at base level and doesn't factor in becoming a solicitor.

I'm thirty three and aside from jobs like bar work and admin I've not done anything else as I've been raising children and I have a law degree but I don't want to be a barrister or a solicitor. I want something that utilises that skill set without going down the traditional legal route.

I'd love to teach (uni lecturing) one day but I know even after the masters degree that hourly paid lecturer positions can be few and far between so it's necessary for me to have a fall back option. The dream is obviously to carry on, do a PhD, lecture and become an academic but it may not work out.

OP’s posts: |
thr33andme Sat 07-Dec-19 00:37:05

And no, I don't have CIPD Level 3 but I was told that since I was educated to degree level I could jump in at Level 5 and it would be fine and would still qualify me to get my foot in the door at entry level.

OP’s posts: |
TheTruthAboutLove Sat 07-Dec-19 13:25:50

I’ve worked in Talent Aquisition for the past four years and sit and collaborate with HR Officers on a daily basis, I note take for investigations and disciplinaries, I help conduct investigations and work heavily alongside HR. Despite all of the informal knowledge I’ve gained over this time, I started my CIPD Level 5 and was completely overwhelmed. These people on Level 5, either already have Level 3 or are trained HR Practitioners working in the field every single day, so my advice would be to start at the bottom and work your way up.

Your biggest obstacle is going to be the amount of people who apply to every low level HR position. It’s usually for us in excess of 80 per vacancy and it’s hard to sift people as you don’t really get to know someone from a CV, it’s at interview. You need to be prepared to do the tasks nobody else wants to do, answering calls, administration, photocopying, filing, a basic general administrator role in a HR office. As well as it being a just over minimum wage role it’ll be the foot in the door.

Meanwhile there are several other steps to take to help move up the ranks;

1. LinkedIn - Connect with HR Recruitment Agencies, let them know of your situation and that you are open to getting a foot in the door.
2. Attending CIPD Seminars - It’s a great place full of industry professionals and a great opportunity for networking.
3. Make sure your CV is brilliant and get it checked. Because you don’t have HR experience, they’re going to be looking at what you can do above every other person who is applying for the role. Any achievements which are HR related.
4. Nepotism freely exists in recruitment, so anyone you know who does these roles make sure you get in touch and ask to be kept in the loop with anything in future.

HR is a difficult role to get into and it’s very much a case of right place at the right time. My colleagues in our HR team were on minimum wage as administrators until recently, and they know if one person won’t work in that role for that money, there will be another person who will. Be open to industry, be enthusiastic and concentrate on what you can give in a HR sense to the company rather than any other achievements.

Good luck!

shellywelly1972 Wed 01-Jan-20 20:01:47

Hi I am starting my level 5 next week ekkk
If you want a study buddy let me know grin

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