Should Human Resources Majors Join the SHRM?

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The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), which is the largest and arguably the most well known professional association for HRM in the nation, has a number of affiliated chapters that include SHRM student chapters.

The organization that was founded in 1948 has extended its reach over the years to several nations around the world, and it connects its members to prominent global industry leaders.

Here are some of the functions and benefits associated with SHRM membership for HRM majors who contemplate joining the organization as student leaders in their career field.

Professional Development

While many university students are focused solely on their academic classes, student members of SHRM are already working on their careers. The organization provides students with access to its many resources so that they can keep abreast of the issues and challenges that affect HR professionals in the field. SHRM student memberships include subscriptions to the organization’s digital HR magazine, the weekly emailed newsletter and customized SHRMStudent Focus magazine that presents career preparation advice and tips.

Additionally, HR majors can verify their skills for future employers through an entry level certification program called the Certificate of Learning/Proficient. To achieve the certification students must satisfactorily pass the Assurance of Learning Assessment that tests knowledge that students gain from their classroom discussions as well as field work projects. An SHRM student member who has taken the time to earn the Certificate of Learning/Proficient can gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers when searching for the best entry level positions after graduation.

Networking and Career Development

Networking is at the heart of HR careers, and SHRM helps make students aware of the importance and benefits of establishing solid professional networks as early as possible in their careers. Students can put some of the career advice about networking that they have learned from issues of SHRMStudent Focus into practice at the numerous conferences and special events sponsored by SHRM. These events are offered throughout the year by SHRM student chapters, local professional SHRM chapters and the national SHRM organization.

Additionally, SHRM has an online job board that allows employers to post vacancies for a variety of HR positions including entry level ones for which graduating SHRM student members may qualify. Although most of the positions on the job board are domestic ones, a few international opportunities exist because of hiring managers that are affiliated with SHRM chapters in Asia and the Middle East.

Mentor Program

The national SHRM organization encourages its local professional chapters to establish mentor programs with nearby college SHRM student members. These mentor programs allow students to get an intimate view of the career field from the eyes of a seasoned professional. Mentors share their experiences and offer invaluable career advice to their proteges. Mentors who are also hiring managers for their organizations have the opportunity to identify talent for employment who they have helped to groom.

Financial Aid

In addition to great programs that promote the development of future HR managers, SHRM also provides financial aid to its student members in the form of scholarships. These awards are won by undergraduate and graduate school HR students. Funding is also available to student members to offset the fees associated with the Assurance of Learning Assessment and associated certification program.


Today’s university students have numerous opportunities to launch their careers even before they graduate. In addition to internships and study abroad programs, student organizations expose aspiring business professionals to real world challenges in their discipline. Membership in SHRM student chapters promotes leadership in HRM majors in a supportive environment that is bolstered by prominent global experts in the field

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