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when looking to work within the talent acquisition, talent management arena what is the prefered certification or desired degree?


Maria Hamelers Melissa, TX

I have done 25 years in the Army as a Talent Acquisition my knowledge and experience comes from working and performing at different levels. I realize the degree I currently hold does nothing for me other than say I have a Masters. Thus I would like to know what schooling will increase my changes of getting hired.

2 November 2018 3 replies Leadership & Management



Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Thank you for your service. Like you, when I served, I was with the Army Security Agency (ASA), Personnel Processing and Procurement Division. Without trying to sound too crass, my fundamental assignment was to separate the human wheat from the chaff and select those with the TALENT to become a part of the ASA. Thus, I suspect, our military paths were similar.

After I mustered out, I began what was to be a 40-year career in personnel administration / human resources. It fit my skills as honed in the Army, and MUCH more importantly, it fit my TALENTS. I would go on into healthcare. I recruited medical personnel and only recommended those whom I thought had the TALENT.

Thus, I emphasize TALENT over experience, academics, and credentials for a good reason. TALENT trumps experience, academics, and credentials every time.

No matter how you total success, it all comes down to a single factor – TALENT. Here is a relevant quote from John Wooden, They Call Me Coach:

"There may be a hundred great coaches of whom you never have heard in basketball, football, or any sport who will probably never receive the acclaim they deserve simply because they have not been blessed with the TALENT. Although not every coach can win consistently with TALENT, no coach can live without it."

Point being, it ain't about credentials, letters after your name, what you did in the Service, or from where you graduated. It is all about TALENT. Your TALENT. And, when you sell how your TALENT fits with the needs of the potential employers' you will have made a compelling case for just why you are the best candidate for the job!

Enough philosophy - here are two specifics for you:

1 - step back and thoroughly define YOUR TALENTS. Take this assessment and if you have questions or need help understanding the results, feel free to contact me off channel at Although I am now a Vocational Counselor, there is no charge for my services to fellow vets. Then, be about the business of finding that fit between your TALENTS and the needs of the employer.

2 - Get the book, "What Color is Your Parachute" by Bolles. I think the 2019 edition is out. It is the most accurate and comprehensive handbook on career advice that I know of. It is required reading for my clients.

Good luck and keep me posted! Dr. Hank


Cavett Ishihara Lehi, UT

I was given great feedback month during an interview. "You have the skill on paper, so stop selling (me)." As professionals, we want to have the person relate to us as a person - beyond the uniform. Letters after your name should be specific to the solicitation.


ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Maria,

Thanks for your question and for your years of service! It sounds like you have extensive experience in your desired field from your time in the military, so don’t discount your existing skills! I recommend taking a look at this helpful infographic regarding the ways an individual can typically get into talent acquisition and recruiting roles:

This is not a comprehensive list of paths you can take to work in talent acquisition in the civilian workforce, so please do reach out to advisors on our Community page with expertise in Human Resources for more specific recommendations on how to best reach your goals. You are welcome to send private messages through our site in order to expand your network in your desired field and gain insight into the appropriate next steps for your career.

Thank you again for your service and for reaching out to ACP!

All the best,

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