A modern HR professional needs to be competent in the use of human resource information systems. This is a key requirement if you want to thrive in a data-driven world. While learning on the job is a great way to go about it, there’s one way you can expedite the process: getting an HRIS certification.

Investing in an HRIS certification is a great way not just to build but also to showcase your expertise in the use of digital HR tools. It might even help you make impressive advancements in your HR career. According to PayScale, more than 55% of chief HR officers have a certificate, compared to only 5.2% of HR assistants.

The following HRIS certification programs are currently some of the best in the industry. Each varies in terms of the duration, cost, and requirements. However, all of them will equip you with the essential skills needed to make good use of an HRIS.

Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) Certification

The Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) certification is offered by the International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM). The professional certification is designed to demonstrate your expertise in areas like solutions assessment, technology implementation, and systems operations.

The IHRIM has been a leading industry name since 1980, with a globally-recognized standard when it comes to HR technology training. Getting certified from this association will certainly add to your credibility as an HR professional adept at using technology to handle employee data.


The HRIP program doesn’t have any rigid eligibility criteria. That said, they do recommend that candidates have:

  • At least 3 to 5 years of experience in HR information management or a related area
  • At least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as HR management or business analytics

The HRIP credential remains valid for three years from your certification date. After that, the IHRIM will require you to get recertified by either:

  • Maintaining 60 Recertification Credit Hours (RCH) — Participate in approved professional learning and development activities to earn RCH. Activities must align with the knowledge domains outlined in the official HRIP examination blueprint. After earning enough RCH, submit the recertification application 30 days before your certification expires.
  • Retaking the Examination — You can retake the HRIP certification exam rather than maintain 60 RCH. The same fee and processes will apply to you as the first time you took the exam.


You must appear for the HRIP exam within 12 months of paying the fee. However, you do have the freedom to pick a time and date that suits your availability.

The exam consists of 90 multiple choice questions and lasts for 120 minutes. Candidates have the option of either attending the exam through live online proctoring (LOP) or at one of Scantron’s test centers.


The examination fee is $645 for new IHRIM members and $445 for existing ones. New members can pay an additional $465 and get access to a 6-part review course and a study guide.

People Analytics for HR (PAHR) Certification

The People Analytics for HR (PAHR) certification by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) will teach you the skills needed to use HR data to drive positive business processes and outcomes. This program is designed with recent trends and innovations in the field of data analytics in mind, ensuring to equip learners with the latest knowledge related to people analytics.

By the end of the certification course, you’ll be well-versed in interpreting organizational data, testing your hypotheses, communicating your findings to key stakeholders, and correlating data with business outcomes. Plus, you’ll receive an HCI certification that will serve as a testament to your knowledge and expertise in people analytics.


The HCI doesn’t have any strict eligibility criteria for its PAHR certification program. Nor do they have any description of an ideal candidate. Anyone is welcome to participate in the program.

Recertification is required every three years from the date you get certified. This can be done by either:

  • Earning and Submitting Credits — Earn credits by completing other HCI courses, attending conferences, and participating in non-HCI learning activities. Relevant work experience and thought-leadership initiatives will also earn you credits. You can learn more about this on HCI’s recertification page.
  • Retaking the Exam — This option is available in case you’re unable to earn enough credits. Contact HCI support (support@hci.org) to learn more.


The entire program lasts two days. New sessions are held twice every month, so you have the flexibility to complete the certification whenever it’s convenient.

You’ll need to attend all the sessions and pass an MCQ-based exam with a minimum score of at least 80% to get certified.


The HCI’s PAHR certification costs $1,995 for the learning sessions and the examination. Candidates can either complete the course online or in person in Chicago, IL (both options cost the same).

Cornell’s HR Analytics Certificate Program

Cornell University’s HR Analytics certificate program is a comprehensive experience that will teach you how to acquire, process, and leverage HR data for business use. The program — exclusively provided in an instructor-led, online format — consists of 4 courses that help build a solid foundation around analytics, including:

  1. Essentials of HR Analytics — Learn how to identify appropriate HR data sources, perform basic analyses, and visualize your findings, among other things.
  2. Strategic Talent Analytics — Understand how to align HR analytics frameworks with business strategy and outcomes.
  3. Applied Predictive Analytics in HR — Master the use of data to anticipate future talent, upskilling, and other HR-related needs.
  4. Valuing HR Initiatives — Learn how to quantify and make a case for organization-wide HR initiatives by measuring their returns on investment.

By the end of this program, you’ll be equipped with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be a true data-oriented professional. A certificate from Cornell’s ILR School will validate your skills for your existing and future employers. You’ll also receive 40 credit hours  you can use toward HRCI recertification and 40 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) you can use to recertify your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.


Cornell University recommends HR associates, managers, directors, analysts, and CHROs enroll in their HR analytics certificate program. However, they don’t have any criteria that must be met for admission.

You also don’t need to get recertified. The credential is yours forever.


The total duration of Cornell’s HR Analytics program is two months. Each course lasts roughly two weeks (which translates to a weekly effort of 3-5 hours). New sessions are offered throughout the year.

You don’t need to take an exam to get the certificate. Simply attend all of the courses to get certified.


You can pay a lump sum of $3,750 or $1,925/month for Cornell’s HR Analytics certificate program. You may also be eligible for a discount depending on the season.

Online Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management

The online graduate certificate in HR Analytics and Management — offered by the American University — is a great option if you’re looking for a more traditional academic program. This extensive 12-to 15-month long program is broken down into four courses that contribute to all-around expertise in HR analytics, specifically in the following areas:

  1. The use of modern HRIS platforms
  2. Decision making driven by organizational data
  3. HR metrics
  4. Compliance and risk management

Completing this comprehensive online graduate certificate program will demonstrate your deep understanding of the core HR analytics areas. It’ll also show your determination toward the pursuit of learning.


The HR Analytics and Management Online Graduate Certificate is geared toward mid-career HR professionals. Compared to other options on the list, this program has stricter eligibility criteria for enrollment. For starters, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a satisfactory GPA. Furthermore, you’ll need to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a satisfactory score if English isn’t your first language.


To receive the certificate, you must attend and pass the four courses with at least a C in each. All four courses amount to a total of 12 credit hours of graduate work. Every student must participate in at least six credit hours every 12 months.


AU’s online graduate certificate in HR Analytics and Management will cost at least $16,965. This includes:

  • $16,620 toward the actual courses ($1,385 per credit hour)
  • An application fee of $55
  • An enrollment deposit of $250
  • A $40 technology fee charged per semester

You may have to pay more in technology fees depending on how many semesters you take to finish the program. Financial assistance is also available.

Take Charge of Your Career Today

The next step is to get started. Begin by evaluating where you stand in terms of your skills and where you hope to be. Then shortlist the HRIS certification that best fits your unique goals, circumstances, and budget.

The first step is always the hardest. Once you overcome that phase and enroll in a program, the only way from that point is up!

Share This Story