Six Sigma certification and knowledge is a sure shot factor and added advantage for your career growth and this is applicable for any industry, any domain, any function, any country. If you want to know why Six Sigma certification is important and how to get it, then this is the right place for you.
Top 3 reasons for you to get Six Sigma training and certification:
Six Sigma certification distinguishes you from rest of the crowd. Very few people are Six Sigma Black Belt certified and it is highly recognized in the industry. You may not work as Black Belt but still Six Sigma certification will add value to your resume and work, you will be seen differently from your colleagues. Since you will know the concept, you will be able to contribute significantly in projects being run in your organization.
Let me tell you this from my experience and this is very important to know, there is very big gap between demand and supply of good qualified Six Sigma Black Belts. Once your concepts are clear and you have certification from reputed organizations like ASQ or GE, then you will never have dearth of good job offers. The opportunities will not be limited to your present domain, so you can explore wide range of opportunities.
Next level of Learning and Knowledge levels
The biggest and the most important reason is nothing but your own learning and knowledge levels. You will learn many great tools and applied statistics, these are not specific to Six Sigma project only. You will be able to use these tools in your normal data analysis and presentations. You will become more objective and data centric in your approach towards problem solving.
Importance and benefits of Six Sigma certification
Six Sigma is a disciplined approach for problem solving and breakthrough improvement, it is used across all the industries and is not limited to manufacturing only. Most of the mid size and large organizations are using Six Sigma as a primary approach for process improvement. While there is a lot of demand for Six Sigma professionals but supply of qualified professionals is very less, hence such professionals command a premium.
Generally, people get their initial Six Sigma training in-house from their respective organizations. After that they gain experience by being part of Six Sigma projects in their organizations. Though you will gain lot of knowledge and experience but you cannot call yourself a Black Belt. There are different ways of getting Six Sigma certification and I will talk about them later in this article.
Once you have a certification, it certifies that you possess a certain level of knowledge and it has been tested. It also gives the confidence to other stakeholders and recruiters that you have passed a certain exam and you have that minimum level of Six Sigma experience and knowledge.
Six Sigma certification also shows your commitment towards learning best practices and self development. It is an added advantage to your domain knowledge and it gives you an extra edge over others in problem solving skills, your approach will become data centric and logical.
There are three main levels in Six Sigma certifications, Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt. These are the three most important roles, though many organizations have some other roles also like White Belt and Yellow Belt. When you are going for certification then it is advisable that first go for GB and then go for BB. GB is one level down of BB, when you start your Six Sigma journey, start it as team member of a project team. This will give the basic understanding of the Six Sigma approach and concept.
How to get Six Sigma certification
There are basically 4 ways of getting a Six Sigma certification and it is very important to understand each one of them in terms of value and importance given by the industry.
1. Accreditation Body like ASQ, IASSC
2. Inhouse(Company/Org) Certification
3. Online Certification
4. Universities/Training Institute Certification
In house training and certification :
Most of the Six Sigma professionals start their Six Sigma journey from in house training provided by Six Sigma professionals working in their organizations. Many of these top companies also provide certificates to their employees upon successful completion of GB/BB projects.
Value of these certifications depend on the respect that your company commands and how well known it is in the industry. Otherwise I recommend to have certification from a reputed organization like ASQ.
So, basically you can gain knowledge and practical experience in your company but try to get certification from a reputed institute.
This is what I had done, I was trained inhouse and it was a Green Belt training by a very senior trainer. That laid the foundation and that really helped me in completing my GB project. After this, I started researching and downloaded ASQ body of knowledge(BOK).
Next step was to study all the topics as per the BOK. The last but the most important part of the preparation was to solve ASQ question bank and practice it again and again.
All this helped me in passing the ASQ Black Belt exam in one attempt without much problem.
In this scenario, you may not be having the complete Six Sigma material and ASQ question bank. I have shared the study material and question bank at a very low price for the benefit of our readers.
If you go through the material and solve all the 170 questions, you can easily pass the ASQ CSSBB exam.
Some of you may get the BB certifications from your company itself and that may be good enough. You will gain knowledge as you do more and more projects, if you want to test your knowledge level then you can check the above mentioned ASQ question bank.
Accreditation body (examination based) :
There are organizations like ASQ, IASSC, who provide GB/BB/MBB certifications, if you pass their examination.
ASQ: In my opinion ASQ is the most recognized and respected accreditation body, you can visit ASQ.org for more information. In case of GB, there is no prerequisite but in case of BB, you need to complete a project and share an affidavit with ASQ. The format of affidavit is available on their website, you can get it signed off from your function head and share scan copy of that.
Though it is an open book exam but it really tests your knowledge and skills. It is one of the toughest exams to pass, exams are conducted across the world and you can easily find a center near your place of residence.
Please note there is no requirement to have GB certification before applying for BB certification. Also you don’t need to take up any prescribed training course.
IASSC : IASSC also conducts certification exams and there are no prerequisites either for GB or BB. The exams are closed book exams and are conducted across different centers around the world. IASSC provides “Lean” Six Sigma certifications that means it covers Lean principles also in the exam.
In both the cases you can download the BOK(body of knowledge) and prepare yourself. Though it is recommended you should obtain training from a reputed institute or in house training from your company. Post training gain some experience related to Six Sigma and then go for certification.
If you have undergone some training and have good understanding then you just need the reference material and question bank to practice. Let me tell you that practicing question set (minimum 100 questions) is super critical to pass exams like ASQ.
I have shared the study material and question bank at a very low price for the benefit of our readers.
In case you have not attended any training then I would recommend you to attend one of the online trainings. I will talk more about online training and certifications in the next section.
Online certifications and universities:
Now we have many online portals providing training and certifications, some of them are accredited by universities as well. Some of them provide really good training and it is worth attending them, but do proper research and review before choosing one of them.
I would recommend that attend online training but go for certification from an accreditation bodies like ASQ or IASSC.
I would divide online trainings into two categories, category 1 is where you will get only the training and category 2 is where you will also get a certification along with the training. Category 1 is a cheaper option and there are good courses on Udemy available under this category.
Lean Six Sigma Expert (Simplilearn) – Combination of 4 courses including Black Belt
Duration : Approx 80 Hours
Price : $ 550
Type : Training + Certification
You can Sign up Here
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (Simplilearn) – Combination of 4 courses
Duration : Approx 48 Hours
Price : $ 200 – $ 250
Type : Training + Certification
You can Sign up Here
Other than online courses, there are many institutions and universities, which also provide training and certifications. Examples are KPMG, Villanova in US, ISI in India.
Steps to get Six Sigma certification
Now you understand the Levels, cost and different ways of getting the certification.
I will summaries the key steps to get the ASQ Black Belt Certifications:
Step 1: Attend Six Sigma Training(Classroom or Online)
Step 2: Apply online for ASQ Black Belt/Green Belt exam post fulfilling the requirements
Step 3: Refer course material as per ASQ BOK(Body of Knowledge/Syllabus)
Step 4: Practice ASQ sample question set/question bank
I have taken example of ASQ, IASSC has also very much similar process. If you are getting trained inhouse and certification is also provided by your employer, then the steps would be different.
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