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six sigma career path

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General six sigma career path

This topic contains 13 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Dave P 17 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #28159

    Brooke DuBois
    Participant

    I have have been working as a business analyst doing process improvement for the operations group of an asset management firm for the last 3 years (since I graduated from college…)  My last year with my firm I completed several process improvement projects working alongside a certified Six Sigma blackbelt.  My goal is to become a certified blackbelt with one of the financial services firms in NY that practices Six Sigma (hopefully JP Morgan). 
    My problem is that I have not received any ‘official’ Six Sigma education.  (My firm was not a Six Sigma organization – which made it hard to get buy in from top management outside the department.)  Is it worth it for my to pay on my own to get certified to make me a more viable hiring candidate?  Or would I be better off just trying to get any job at one of those firms and work my way into the Six Sigma group?
    (I do feel have my process improvement and Six Sigma fundamentals and theories down pretty well….)
    Any advice is appreciated…..
    -Brooke

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    #69770

    Greg Roth
    Participant

    The question you ask is very personal and should be answered by only you. Changing jobs is a serious matter and should be approached only after careful consideration of all factors. There is another alternative to your goal that perhaps you have not thought of. The American Society for Quality does offer a certification as a Blackbelt. They can be reached at 800-248-1946. Blackbelts are people who are statistically trained that solve problems. The statistical training is nothing unique to Blackbelts. You can get it at about any college. Good problem solvers are always an asset to any company regardless of titles. And yes I am a Blackbelt.

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    #69771

    Mark Almeter
    Participant

    Brooke,
    I’m also in the financial Services industry with an interest in process improvement/Six Sigma.  Currently, I’m trying to pack my resume with as many skills and $$$ saving projects that I can to effectively sell myself.  I also have practical experience but no formal “Six Sigma” certification. 
    What I am doing is considering taking the “Quality & Productivity Solutions” (located in the Quality Events section of this site) Green Belt training in March 2002.  It’s in Worchester MA, and the cost is only $1500 as opposed to $4 – 10k for BB. 
    Even though you probably have the body of knowledge required, the fact that you are willing to put up your own hard earned cash for training should send a strong signal to prospective companies that quality/continuous improvement is your passion (you’re a believer and disciple), and that you’re not just a degreed person who was “appointed” to go to training regardless of the interest level. Also, GB training should at least get you in the door and pave the way for a company paid BB training and certification later on.
    I’ve known Blackbelts and Greenbelts who don’t have a thorough understanding of the Six Sigma approach and are not even passionate (half-hearted at most)about what it can do for their organizations.
    Anyway, my two cents and best wishes.
    Mark

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    #69772

    Ken K.
    Participant

    It seems you could do a combination of both.
    You can learn a lot about problem solving, FMEA, process capability, and control charting just from the internet and via books. The MSA, FMEA, & SPC reference manuals from AIAG:(http://www.aiag.org/publications/quality/dcxfordgm.html)
    provide a wealth of information for only $38!!
    Find out what statistical software JP Morgan uses (most Six Sigma companies use MINITAB), and consider purchasing a copy of that software and then buy ActivStats for that software (http://www.activstats.com) ($300 from Minitab Inc).
    The software will cost more than the combined training!!
     

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    #69801

    nsilva
    Participant

    Get a job with a company that implements six sigma and get your training free. Your work interest and experience can land you a job easily. Good luck.  

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    #69812

    Eoin Barry
    Participant

    I suggest you out together a project file summarising the projects you completed, the savings you made, the tools you learned as well as the learning points you gleaned from the experience. Include that with any resume and you should have no difficulties. I don’t reccommend you pay for the training but armed with sucha portfolio you should dbe able to get a job in a reputable organisation that will provide you with it.
    Best of Luck!

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    #69818

    Steph
    Member

    Brooke,
    I think everyone has given you quality advice and would just like to add one thing: NOT all firms that claim to be six sigma, have developed their programs to the extent that their “Core corporate culture” has been impacted.  This is absolutely essential as six sigma touches every process and area with a firm…and who controls those processes(=people). Everyone in the firm needs to be engaged in the methodologies for a successful program!
    It is great that you have considered JPMorgan in your next career move but, they are really a new firm(Remember the merger with Chase) and it will certainly take a while for the new corporate culture to emerge.

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    #69819

    Utah
    Member

    Study the body of knowledge required for BB certification through online resources and available texts (Wheeler and Montgomery are a good start), and then go to the American Society of Quality web site and register to take the certification exam (about 285 bucks).  Total out of pocket shouldn’t be any more than $500 for the certification if you find the appropriate resources.  If you have a BB near by, that would help direct your study efforts..

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    #69833

    Patrick Waddick
    Participant

    Brooke,I echo these thoughts. Document what you did, learned, and applied and you should be able to sell yourself. Good luck!

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    #69839

    Bob H
    Participant

    Save your money and get with a company serious about Six Sigma.  Let them pay for your training and certification.  It sounds like your experience will result in significant ROI for any Six Sigma company that will hire you.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Bob H (originally from 25th and 10th ;-)

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    #69856

    Schuette
    Participant

    Brooke,
    I recommend getting your certification and then trying to get the job you want. 
    Firstly, I do not think it is too difficult nor expensive to get the certification.  Some of the earlier posts gave you some ideas about that. 
    Secondly, you will probably be more marketable already certified, especially if the jop criteria specifies a certification level.  Many in a hiring position are not flexible when the search criteria are specific.
    Lastly, you may be more likely to step into the position you want and be more certain that you will have the certification.  There are no guarantees that your new company will facilitate your certification nor that you will be able to “work your way into the six sigma group.”  Nothing sinister here, but business circumstances change and what they tell you at hiring may not be the same down the road.  The more you can take into your own hands and control rather than leave to the new company the better.  And you can target the specific role and responsibilities you want in a six sigma program in your job search and acceptance.
    Jim

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    #69859

    Brooke DuBois
    Participant

    I forgot to mention that I was ‘re-orged’ out of a position and am now consulting with a non-financial services firm.  Don’t I need to complete 2 cost savings projects to be certified?  Can I be certified based on past projects or do I need to complete them during my training?  Does green belt certification require sucessful completion of quality projects?  My current position does not allow me to work on quality-improvement projects, even though I’m going crazy looking at all the processes around here that I could have a field day with!  :)   I’ve already asked and my immediate supervisor who no.  So I’ll try to go a level up.
    (Thanks to all of you have responded with some great suggestions.  I have a glimmer of hope now….)
    -Brooke
     

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    #69860

    Mark Almeter
    Participant

    Hello Brooke,
     
    I’m pretty sure that for Green Belt training, you do need to complete one project under the direction of a certified Black Belt.  If you decide to take the GB training, I would ask the Black Belt you worked with on previous projects (assuming you had a good working relationship) for a good reference when applying for a new job.  That way, you’ll have the GB training coupled with the recommendation of a Black Belt.
    If the Black Belt does not wish to go to bat for you, then I would suggest you sell your knowledge and skills through the interview process.  Walk the interviewer thru the DMAIC process, and tell him/her what kinds of barriers you faced, and how you influenced key people in the organization to accomplish your goals.  Also, I find it helpful to mention the $$$ impact of the project and how the company is different as a result of your efforts.
    …Just a few ideas
     
    Mark

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    #69873

    Dave P
    Participant

    The most important thing (in my opinion) is to keep working as many of these suggested avenues as possible.I have been with my current financial services company for over ten years and we did nothing for quality, but I tried to “keep up” on my quality skills anyway. I also tried to find projects (many not quality related at all) that would allow me to get exposure to the larger organization.Late last year we have finally started our dedicated Six Sigma group in one of our business units and it has been a great experience. My impression based on the people interviewing the candidates for the BB positions was that knowledge of the organization and its internal functions, experience with problem solving and team based work was just as important (if not more so) that the specific “quality / Six Sigma” skills or aptitude.I am convinced that the right opportunity will come if you continue to work to keep your options open and active.Good Luck!

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