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  • #33563

    Tierradentro
    Participant

    I am currently an MBA student. I want Six Sigma training to distinguish me from other job seekers when I graduate. I am researching Villonova and the University of Michigan online training. Both programs are very expensive–$6k plus for Green Belt and Black Belt training. Are certifications offered by these universities respected in the Six Sigma field? Could I expect to recoup the money spent on tuition? Are there better alternatives for Six Sigma training? Thanks, John.

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    #90962

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Black Belt certification is probably worth more than your MBA in terms of expected compensation, at least in the short term.  Take a peek at monster.com.  On that basis, 6 grand sounds like a bargain.
    However, certification generally requires that you do a project, which requires that you have a company to do the project to!  That could prove a challenge in your position.
    –McD
     

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    #90964

    lin
    Participant

    Search “online training” on this site and you may find some other options.

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    #90965

    Elena Averboukh
    Participant

    It is true, you have to make an industrial project along with training to be certified. My students’ training fees are usually sponsored by the companies, for whom they conduct the project.You may contact me directly if any questions [email protected]

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    #90969

    Mike Allen
    Participant

    A consultant I went through BB training with did a project for the Girl Scouts in Northeast Indiana, to increase membership enrollment/retention.  The Girl Scouts paid for her training fees in return for her doing the project.  I would talk with some small-to-medium size companies in your area, and discuss a similar type of ‘win-win’ situation.  They may be interested in doing 6 Sigma, but unable to afford a Black Belt, and be willing to pay for the training (they may be able to write it off, even!).
    Good luck!

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    #90971

    Darth
    Participant

    Not to sound elitist but as someone who has to hire SS quality professionals there is, unfortunately, some pedigree associated with staffing SS belts.  The better known corporate programs always get some preference over wannabe’s and some of the commercial approaches.  It is equivalent to getting a degree from a known academic institution versus an online one.  Now don’t get huffy out there, it is the reality.  Frankly, a BB who got their BB training online and then did one project with the Girl Scouts would probably not get past the initial screening and I would hardly be impressed by those credentials regardless of how good they are.  Especially if they were in the running with a BB from say, Allied Signal and had done a number of in-company projects.

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    #90972

    Anna O’C
    Participant

    Hi John –
    I have a suggestion that you probably won’t like.  Unless you are an MBA student AT the University of Michigan so you can chase down some of the instructors if you have questions/problems, I don’t recommend their on-line training .  They are still very experimental about totally on-line courses with only slight successful experience in the field as a whole and in 6 Sigma in particular. Biggest problem is timeliness of response to questions from (SOME) instructors and having classes oversubscribed for adequate attention by the instructor to details of your project(s).   In this neighborhood, Eastern Michigan University (in Ypsilanti, MI) actually has a longer history with 6 Sigma, and with distance learning / on-line courses.  They partner with American Supplier Institute and serve lots of automotive OEMs and suppliers.
    I will second the “gotta find a project” comments, and commend you to your school’s placement office for internships.  It’s possible you can find an organization where they will pay your training fees in exchange for assigning you to complete a project for them. (But in today’s market don’t expect to get paid wages too.)  Smaller organizations with a 6 Sigma-aware top boss are probably your best bet. Does your city have a chapter of ASQ?  Join, go to meetings, and pitch any manager-level people you encounter (it’s called your “elevator speech”) with the “earn the learning” internship idea. 
    Good luck!
    bAnna O’C – UM(AA)  MBA ’85

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    #90973

    Darth
    Participant

    Taking Anna’s thought a little further, if the company you are interning with has a noted program, try to get them not only to allow you to do a project, but to complete their GB training.  BB training, since it is more of a career move, really should be gotten from as credible an organization as you can.  I am not sure most companies would allow a student to take their BB training.  If you must do something online, I would recommend ASQ or one of the well known consulting groups rather than an academic based program.  The image of professors acting as experienced quality professionals is still there.  Writing about SS and doing a bit of consulting is not the same as living it every day for years.  Sorry, don’t mean to denigrate my esteemed academic brethren but “been there, done that”.

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    #90974

    MC
    Participant

    If you must do something online, I would recommend ASQ or one of the well known consulting groups rather than an academic based program.  The image of professors acting as experienced quality professionals is still there.  Writing about SS and doing a bit of consulting is not the same as living it every day for years.  Sorry, don’t mean to denigrate my esteemed academic brethren but “been there, done that”.
    Darth:
    Is there any data that show training in an academic setting does not produce as good a candidate in SS as the courses by ASQ or other consulting groups?
     

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    #90975

    Darth
    Participant

    Only data is years of anecdotal experience plus personal experience working with professors in an academic based quality program.  Issue isn’t the content knowledge, especially the stat part, but a bit less experience on the pragmatic side of identifying, working and completing a project within the political environment of most large organizations.  The tips and tricks we teach our GBs, BBs and MBBs during their training are based on lots of day to day experiences which can’t be matched by a professor who does teaching and writing as a full time job and some consulting on the side.  Would prefer a surgeon who has done hundreds of operations as a practicing physician to that of one at a teaching institution who has written about it and does one every now and then.  If the initial poster has no option, then it is certainly a viable option to doing nothing.

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    #90976

    Mike Allen
    Participant

    Point well taken, and I certainly cannot disagree with anything you’ve said.  I can appreciate John’s situation, applaud his initiative in trying to help him make an opportunity for himself.
    Having the certification may help one get their resume to the top of the pile, and may even help get them in the door – but being able to consistently produce results will help keep them there.  I’ll take someone who has experience, proven results, decent people skills and no certification over a pedigreed individual with no history of success.  Having taken stats and engineering courses on-site and via distance learning, I found the on-site ones more effective (but also more inconvenient).  Just as there’s no substitute for experience, there’s nothing like being there and learning it first-hand.  Learning and mentoring from someone who’s done it, rather than just one who teaches it, is always more effective.  While the hands-on nature of 6 Sigma makes it more difficult (but not necesarily impossible) to use distance learning, regardless of the teaching method, the standard statistician’s answer still applies – “it depends” (on things like the quality of the course material, the individual’s drive, instructor’s knowledge and effectiveness in communicating technical concepts, dialogue between student and instructor, etc.).
    As you’ve pointed out, a surgeon who’s done a few thousand surgeries is preferable to one who’s just read books about it (although I’d prefer a surgeon who’s done both, as it shows they’re constantly upgrading their skills and knowledge).

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    #90998

    Tierradentro
    Participant

    Darth, I appreciate your comments about academic instruction. When I worked at IBM, many managers felt the same way about college professors. I need to factor in your viewpoint when I make my decision about BB training, because I’m sure that many other managers in the SS community feel the same way you do. 
    I understand why you would not hire a BB with only minimal industry experience in SS. I would do the same if I were in your position. However, I never intended to compete for jobs with experienced BBs. My goal is to separate myself from newly graduated MBAs, most of whom–I would assume–have no SS training. I’ve enjoyed studying SS in school, especially the statistical concepts, and I want to apply my SS learning in the business that eventually hires me. 
    In your experience, would having a BB, even if it were only from an online university, be helpful in landing a job in operations from a medium to large corporation? Would managers look favorably on my SS training, or is their a built-in bias toward in-house training in most companies? Would companies feel comfortable hiring me as a lieutenant to an experienced BB?
    Thanks for your insights.
     

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    #91001

    Darth
    Participant

    I commend you on your initiative to be set apart.  After getting my MBA, I also found I needed to distinguish myself.  I went on to get a MS in Industrial Engineering and then a Ph.D. with Dr. Deming on my doctoral committee.  I figured that ought to about do it.  I was now different than most others.
    The BB from an online program will set you apart from someone without it.  If the company you eventually get employment with has no SS effort or has tried it and was turned off, then you may have little additional market value.  If you get employed by a company with a strong SS effort and want to remain in Operations, then you will have value.  If you decide to take a BB position, then they will likely require you to recertify in their program.  That is what we are doing with MBBs who have questionable certifications.
    If your interest is to pursue a quality career then possibly a Masters in the field might not hurt either.  If you want to be an Operations guy with the ability to use the BB tools, then most anything will do.  But, I would encourage getting it from a nationally recognized group rather than a regionally recognized organization.  This increases flexibility in where you can work.
    Good luck in your pursuits and I am confident you will be successful.
     

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    #91003

    MC
    Participant

    Darth,
    If you don’t mind, where did you go for your Ph.D? Do you feel that the Ph.D is an advantage or disadvantage for students? With that in mind, what about the students who don’t have the opportunity to have someone like Deming on his/her dissertation committee?

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    #91004

    Peter Dawson
    Participant

    Does anyone know which are the universities that offer courses in MBB /BB or GB course ? May I requst the community to recommend a good one and the reasons why they identify that to be the best ??
    I work in a Managed Trade Services envoirnment and we have a grass root level 6sigma project in the pipeline. So, if I need to leverage such initatives as a career path, I will need to get certified. Needless to say, this permits me only 1 opportunities and I have to capitalize with a zero defect !!
    Thanks in advance 

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    #91006

    mauro
    Participant

    I did my BB training at NC STATE University, the Master instructor there is Dr. Blanton Godfrey former CEO of the Juran Institute and now Dean of the Textile Engineering Dept. at NC State. Dr Juran and Dr Godfrey wrote the Juran’s Quality Handbook. One of the requirements to get in this program is to have a Six Sigma Project to work on. We started in March and I just finished my project and got certified in September. The certification consisted on a 4 hour written exam plus the defense of my project in front of the CEO, CFO, Vice President of Operations and Dr. Godfrey.  In short, selecting the training institution is related to your goals. Do you want to learn how to play golf using the Grip it and Rip it video, or you want to be taught by BEN HOGAN. Do you want a resume booster or you want tangible skills ?  Is all relative.
     
    Mauro

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    #91007

    Darth
    Participant

    Got the PhD with the intent of going into academia.  Ended up going into quality consulting instead after meeting Deming.  PhD is good depending on desired direction of career.  For me, it has allowed greater flexibility.  I have taught in a University, have consulted and now work for a very large financial services organization doing SS.  I always have the option of going back to academia in my sunset years.  The PhD is needed to teach at the upper division university level.  A Masters will let you do Junior College and as an adjunct at less demanding institutions.  The PhD was a major door opener but of course, job competence keeps you there.  So, “it depends” is the appropriate answer.  Since there is little liklihood Deming will be serving on any more doctoral committees I would suggest going with a recognized program not necessarily the best unless you intend to teach at a top tier research University.  In industry, no one really cares where you got your degree after the first few years.  What you accomplished is more important.  I kid that where you get the degree should have the best football program so at least people recognize the school and few really know the quality of the education.  Some would say the number two ranked football team might be a great university, hint hint.  But this is just one guy’s opinions.

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    #91008

    Darth
    Participant

    Dr. Godfrey certainly has the real world experiences and knowledge.  Sounds like a good program.  Unfortunately, most other academic don’t have that kind of horsepower.

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    #91011

    MC
    Participant

    I kid that where you get the degree should have the best football program so at least people recognize the school and few really know the quality of the education.  Some would say the number two ranked football team might be a great university, hint hint.
    Miami is curently #2….and also a good example of a popular school because of sports (just ask the ACC) with a mediocre undergraduate academic profile.
     

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    #91012

    Darth
    Participant

    Never claimed otherwise :-).  But, at least you have heard of them!!!!!  I noticed you mentioned the ACC, how about the SEC?

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    #91017

    Ropp
    Participant

    Ohio State University offers an online course developed by MoreSteam.com, as well as a blended program that combines the online course and classroom training through OSU Executive Education using a mix of faculty and outside six sigma professionals.
    http://fisher.osu.edu/exec/programs.htm

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    #91207

    sqe
    Member

    Just an FYI – the October 2002 issue of Quality Progress has several articles related to online quality programs.  Starting on page 33 is a listing of College and University programs in quality, six sigma, etc.  Many websites are listed so you can do plenty of comparison.  Just thought I’d share.

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    #154652

    Ashman
    Member

    Villanova offers past companies if you can’t find a project.  I would think it is similar to simulation.  Haven’t taken the course there but spoke to the admin regarding this question.

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