Building A Career In Human Resources In Nigeria

Human resources like most career choices requires that the person have a passion for people development and growth.
Your passion for people development is more critical in Human Resources without which your drive dies after few months or years on the job.

What fuels your drive towards helping people, improving their skills, engaging the right employees is passion.

 Passion means your desire to recognize potentials in people and or help them recognize where they need to improve so as to make the most of their lives.

Passion means, your ability to recognize the right talents for an organizations man power planning. By passion, I am talking about empathy i.e putting yourself in peoples shoes and feeling what they are feeling or thinking. Your ability to read minds technically and see through their eyes.

So its very important that you discover if you are passionate about human resources or you just want to do it. This will determine your how you perceive yourself on the job on the long run most especially your job satisfaction level.

So building a career in HR, the following are very important:
1) Your passion.
2) Your degree.
3) Certifications.

To expand on the above, we shall discuss it further below and I would also like to entertain questions.

1) Your passion. As discussed above, your passion is very important to excelling in this kind of job. It is like a prerequisite for survival. You cannot have hate in your heart and excel. Most of your decisions and choices will be bias, unfounded and inaccurate.
Being passionate does not mean you will ignore logic.

It means for example that when you are recruiting and certain applicants are not fit for a role, you could in a minute or two explore the individuals resume and point out what you think was wrong or right. Where you think they should improve on and why.

2) Your degree. Sometimes, why this may not be important is if you begin your career in HR as an intern. This means that you are willing to be trained and during the course of this, you may prove  yourself to be ready to take on the role.
Sometimes too, due to various certifications, your degree choices may be ignored. Note that I am using Nigeria as a case study. You may be certified as a HR person while your degree is in chemistry.

In modern times however, corporate organizations are moving towards employing people who have "discipline disparity".  For example a combination of mathematics and Human resources or a combination of Chemistry and Human resources.

If you recognize early that you would want to be trained as a Human resource personnel then it is important you get a degree in the social sciences or in personnel management.

Currently, the University of Lagos offers second degrees in:
a. MILR: Masters of Industrial and Labor Relations.
b. IRPM. Industrial Relations and Personnel Management.
c. MELS. Masters of Employment and Labor Studies e.t.c

3) Your Certifications. What this means is getting certified as a proper practitioner. Certifications such as CIPM (The chartered institute of personnel management) and The Institute for Human Resources which specializes in IHR Certification.

I hope you find it useful and will like to hear from you guys.


  1. Nice post sir, commenting from

  2. Replies
    1. We are glad you find it useful. Kindly share.

  3. It's a nice piece, very important.

  4. Thanks for the exposition. Please how much does the two certifications listed above cost, the duration. Thanks

    1. Relatively cheap. Around 60k for each diet. The number of diet you will write depends on your course of study etc. Exams are written in Feb and August of every year.

  5. Thanks for the response. I have HND in mass communication, which level will I start from.

  6. Thanks for the response. I have HND in mass communication, which level will I start from.

    1. If what you studied is science related then you would start from Foundation 2, if it is social science related then you will start from Intermediate 1. Good luck.

  7. Good morning. I just paid for my membership application. What's the next step? How long before I get admitted?

    1. You should get a response to your application on Monday. Start preparing for the exams in August. If you cab afford it, attend study centers. Cheers.

  8. Can you please assist with the training materials for intermediate 2? I registered 2 weeks ago but the resource person says the materials are unavailable.