Discussion Central

  • 1.  Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-09-2020 22:20
    Greetings Aiche members, 

    I am thinking of obtaining a six sigma certification to help support my job search and I was wondering if some experienced members might be able to help me determine which option to take. 

    From the research I've done, it seems that the most widely recognized six sigma certifications are ASQ and IASSC, with ASQ seeming to be preferred. ASQ requires relevant work experience for all levels except yellow belt, while IASSC requires no project experience for any level, even black belt. 
    I looked into taking a class and certification with my local university, but this is simply not affordable for me.
    So my most logical options are:

    ASQ yellow belt, starting low with the more respected source, 

    IASSC green belt, a nominally higher level, possibly a harder test

    IASSC black belt, since there are no work or project requirements for an IASSC certification, I theoretically could go straight for the highest level, should I?

    what are your opinions on these options, and is there anything I did not find that I should consider?

    Joseph McGIll
    geographic information systems technician 1
    Pike engineering
    Land O Lakes FL

  • 2.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-11-2020 08:39
    Joseph, decades ago I got a Six Sigma certification from Villanova using their online course.  If you are needing to learn and then use statistical analysis, then it might be worthwhile.  However, I ended up teaching one of the "graders" about the use of "aliases" and "generators" in fractional factorial designs.  I already had an extensive knowledge of "Statistics for Experimenters" from taking the course from Bill Hunter before the Box, Hunter and Hunter book was published.  Bill and I remained in contact until his death in 1986.

    I guess it will depend on whether your prospective employer is knowledgeable about statistics and how much they use it.  If it is an essential requirement in the job description, then it will be worthwhile.

    T. David Griffith, Ph.D.
    Blessing (Bay City), TX

  • 3.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-11-2020 13:27
    I would suggest you consider the ASQ certifications.  In my opinion a SSBB without any project experience or relevant work experience is much less qualified than one who has met the traditional experience/project requirements of most SSBB certifications.  Again, in my opinion, taking the easiest route to any certification is the wrong approach.  The focus should be on which certification will add the greatest value in terms of increased knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge best.

    Victor Sower, Ph.D., ASQ Certif
    Author and Quality Management Consultant
    Sam Houston State University
    Huntsville TX

  • 4.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-11-2020 14:07
    Have you heard of the Council for Six SIgma Certification? I looked at them and they can provide project evaluation after completing the exam, at either green or black level. I hadn't included them in my original post as I didn't see them mentioned much on discussion boards, despite the fact that they market themselves extremely well. However it would be an option that can provide project experience.

    Joseph McGIll
    Power Engineering technologist 1
    Pike engineering
    Land O Lakes FL

  • 5.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-11-2020 23:00
    ​Dear Joseph,

    Six Sigma is not only a certification, but a discipline and a learning curve. I would prefer to have ASQ  as it requires projects (doing projects will consolidate the learning gained)

    Saleh Janeeh
    Advisor Innovation


  • 6.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-14-2020 02:55
    As a Six Sigma Green Belt, I would offer that it is something that employers look for.  I have known many Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts where that credential put them at the top of hiring list.   Many large employers use Six Sigma in many of their business decisions, so I see it as a "door opener" and a way to stand out from the crowd.  

    My only caution would be to participate in a qualification program where you are able to EXECUTE an actual SS project WHILE you are learning about the subject, as you will most certainly get asked to talk about your project during your interview!

    Deborah Grubbe, PE, CEng, FAIChE, FIChemE, NAC
    Past Chair, Licensing and Professional Development Committee
    Owner and President
    Operations and Safety Solutions LLC, Pennsylvania, USA

  • 7.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-14-2020 12:48
    Hi Joseph,

    Couple thoughts.... I earned my greenbelt certification years ago working as an engineer in a manufacturing company.  My career has since evolved to an outside role. and so, sadly, I do not practice those skills much today.  But, I am very grateful to have learned and practiced those skills as they give expanded insight when problems arise. 

    In my experience, there are two types of Six Sigma people.  There are some who seek the recognition and the achievement of the certifications as their personal driver.  The other type are the ones who seek to make difference by equipping themselves with new tools which they can use to make real and lasting impact.  The employers I've worked for in the past want the latter type.  They are looking for contributors who want to find new and creative ways to help them improve their operations.  Credentials, degrees, and certifications are a perk. But this should not be the driver for your pursuit.  That said, I agree with others that you would be much better served to start with ASQ, but I would seek the green belt first and then spend some time applying your skills in real-world projects before advancing up toward a BB.  I give much more credence to those who have earned their stripes in the trenches building a pragmatic approach to problem solving rather than passing exams.  My 2 cents.... :)

    D. Borders
    Smart-Hose Technologies
    Application Engineer

    Daylen Borders
    Sales Engineer
    Smart Hose Technologies
    Overton TX

  • 8.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-15-2020 07:36
    I agree with Daylen Borders.  In my career, I have had all the training.....yellow belt, green belt, black belt.  But I never bothered to get officially "certified"....it just wasn't my thing.  I am extremely passionate about the process and tools which I learned and I focused on using them to make the business a little better each and every day.  Since I was in a senior manager role at the time, I focused on empowering people of the same mindset and encouraged them to get certified (green belt)....but the important part is the use and passionate implementation of these tools to bring cultural change in the organization.....and ultimately positive business results.  The tools and process work and in today's modern business they are a career booster for sure.  So on my resume I focus on the results and the cultural change that I was a part of rather than just the certification aspect.    A CEO of a company really doesn't care about the certificates her/his team has......they care about the continuous positive improvements in business performance (which included people).

    I am in a different role now, but I still use the training and concepts of Six Sigma almost every day.  You can use the concepts you learn even in your personal life as well.

    Good luck on your Six Sigma adventure,

    John Howell PE
    Senior Process Engineer
    Fredericton NB

  • 9.  RE: Six Sigma certification

    Posted 01-15-2020 20:31
    Thank you for the replies, 
    I think at this point I will try for a yellow belt from ASQ, and perhaps another one of their entry level quality certifications. It seems using a university program would be ideal as a successful project is the highlight of Six Sigma, but I won't be able to afford this for the near future. Right now my primary concern is being marketable, but I understand what you're telling me about results and experience. So after obtaining a yellow belt, where do I look to for entry level positions where I can apply Six Sigma and advance without already having a green belt, I ask because I haven't seen very many job opening that don't ask for higher belt levels.

    Joseph McGIll
    Power Engineering technologist 1
    Pike engineering
    Land O Lakes FL