Considering a Black Belt Certification

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    I have been a mid-senior level manager in the mortgage industry for 25 years specializing in underwriting and operations management. I was recently laid off and have been reading up on Six Sigma. I find it very interesting and am considering taking the black belt certificate program at Villanova. My question to the group is “Is Six Sigma a commonly used practise in the financial industry and what is the job outlook for such a person with this certification?” Thank you in advance for any advise and guidance. 


    Robert S

    Six Sigma is absolutely a commonly used practice in the financial services industry. As to available positions, you will have to go to where such positions are posted to get that answer…changes daily.



    Hello Mike,
    A lot of global banks and investment banks are practicing Lean sixsigma for many years, in fact they are saving in millions. I would like to make three points here that may help you :
    1. Operation is the best place in financial services companies for lean sixsigma, for other departments it may prove to be a fad. I have myself achieved millions of $ savings for investment bank simply through automtion and waste elimination.
    2. In financial services, operations people dont prefer statistics for continuous improvement. So a light weight approach heavy on lean and light on sixsigma would help. This has helped tremendously. Also, here the ‘non standard/brain work’ is more common as compared to manufacturing and hence you would surely require less statistical data analysis tools (DOE, hypothesis testing etc).
    3. Go for online courses that does not cost you much to start with, so that you judge whether this is your cup of tea or not without risking much, hence going for black belt directly I would not suggest. I have seen many banking operations jobs requesting for a green belt awareness. The continuous improvement and the problem solving skill is the focus and not the statistics. In fact, my black belt knowledge is rarely used to what I do as Master Black Belt in my company.
    It is the mindset that matters, seeing the opportunity and asking the right questions.
    Best of luck.
    ASQ certified CSSBB, CMQ/OE.

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