Going Beyond an MBA with Innovative and Practical HR Skills

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After over 15 years of HR experience, a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and an MBA, it would be easy to think that there’s nothing left to learn. But Stephen Jeffries knows better. “I’ve been able to grow even further than I thought possible.”

A passion for learning

Stephen hadn’t planned on a career in HR. But after getting recruited into a talent acquisition role after leaving the Army, he never looked back. More than 15 years in recruitment and talent acquisition (and several degrees) later, he is still passionate about Human Resources, and about continuously expanding his knowledge. 

He started a doctorate degree for this very reason, but ended up putting it on pause. “I found that what many organizations are looking for is direct knowledge,” he explains. “Many degrees, even advanced doctorate degrees, only give you the basics. But they don’t dive deep.” 

But luckily, Stephen discovered AIHR.

Looking beyond specialization

Excited about the prospect of practical and targeted HR training, Stephen started browsing AIHR’s course catalog. “I was looking to grow beyond talent acquisition,” Stephen says. “I enjoy it, but I want to be able to grow and stretch myself into other areas of HR.”

He started by looking at the HR Business Partner certificate program, but his passion for the HR field and continuous learning soon prevailed. “The more I thought about it, the more I was thinking: why don’t I just invest in getting Full Academy Access?” And so he did.

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Building up HR skills

A little under two months after enrolling at AIHR, Stephen completed 4 different tracks, including 3 certificate programs.

With the entire AIHR course catalog at his disposal, he decided to start with something close to home. “That’s why I went with the Talent Acquisition certificate program,” he says. “I’ve been doing talent acquisition for many years, but I don’t assume I know everything.” 

He soon earned his first certificate, and quickly moved on to Diversity & Inclusion, Hiring and Recruitment Strategy, and Strategic HR Leadership

“I haven’t looked back since enrolling,” Stephen says. “For me, my MBA and other degrees are the foundation. But what I’m learning at AIHR is letting me build my skills up and out.”

“I haven’t looked back since enrolling. For me, my MBA and other degrees are the foundation. But what I’m learning at AIHR is letting me build my skills up and out.”

Putting new knowledge into practice

It isn’t just Stephen’s dedication to continuous learning that motivates him to add certificate after certificate to his CV. “I’m able to use what I’ve learned immediately,” he explains.

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From improving stakeholder management to better understanding the needs of leaders and the organization as a whole, Stephen has been able to apply his new knowledge immediately in his daily work. “I didn’t have to wait until I completed a course to use what I learned,” he says. “I started utilizing and implementing things right away.” 

Indeed, it’s the practical focus of the courses that sets them apart for him. “What stands out for me is how relevant and fresh everything is. My MBA feels almost antiquated, like I’m trying to navigate rush hour traffic with a Model T. But AIHR certification courses keep you relevant and able to stay in the game.” 

“What stands out for me is how relevant and fresh everything is. My MBA feels almost antiquated, like I’m trying to navigate rush hour traffic with a Model T. But AIHR certification courses keep you relevant and able to stay in the game.” 

When we asked Stephen what he will be studying next, he was still deciding between HR Business Partner 2.0 and People Analytics. “Eventually it’s going to be one or the other. But either way, the end result for me is to grow, learn, stretch myself, and be a mentor to others within my organization.”

Keep your skills up-to-date

Are you ready to transform your own career? Browse our extensive course catalog here and make your HR skill set future-proof!

Click here to connect with Stephen on LinkedIn. 

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