1) In the HR domain, how important is it to have a B School degree. If one does not have, how can they up skill themselves for a HRBP role? 2) How can one change their career path from an HR generalist role to a HRBP role?
In India, it is easier to get most jobs if you have an associated college degree. The same is true with HR especially for someone fresh out of school. However, there are innumerable examples of people from other fields – engineers, finance geeks, marketing gurus etc. who have successfully made the transition a few years (or many) into their career. The chances of doing so depends a lot on how you have picked associated skills, and being at an organization that enables these transitions. Most people I know who have made the transition have been people managers at some point. If you are looking to make a transition, I would highly recommend setting up a few conversations with people who have tread a similar path. They will inevitably have valuable insights and tips to share.
The transition from an HR generalist to that of an HRBP is a far simpler one. In fact, in many organizations, it is also looked at as a natural career path. If being an HRBP is what interests you, try requesting to shadow one for a few weeks whenever you have time, partner on projects and most definitely let your manager and other influential HR folks in the organization know. If they believe you have potential, 9 out of 10 times, they will give you the opportunity. Once you have the title in your own organization, it also becomes easier to hop into HRBP roles across organizations giving you a taste of how the role differs from firm to firm.
On a different note, you will be surprised how difficult sometimes the transition from an HRBP to a compensation specialist can be. It is easier for most functions to move into being an HRBP than the other way round. 🙂