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The Most Prestigious Six Sigma Black Belt Cert?

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  • #51659

    Arnel Karabegovic
    Participant

    Hello,What do you guys think is the most prestigious school out there that offers a black belt six-sigma certification?I am trying to decide where to get my six-sigma from, and money is not an object since my work will pay for it. I am currently a Production Manager with high inspirations to move up in a year or two to a position of a senior manager or a director.So far I have looked at Villanova University (online) and University of Texas at Austin (2 weeks, on campus). They will both be around $8,000 for the black belt. I am slightly leaning towards the University of Texas because it is a better engineering school and also it offers the course on campus (even though I am not opposed to taking it online).What does everyone else think? I appreciate any help here, as I am looking for the most prestigious black belt that I can put on my resume, period.
    Please advise.

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    #179661

    The professor
    Member

    Anyone stupid enough to fork out $8000 is a certified idiot !

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    #179662

    Arnel Karabegovic
    Participant

    Thanks for the insult. Like I said, my company is paying for everything, so I’m not forking out anything. Anyone else with actual program recommendations? Which one(s) are the best? The higher up I want to move up, the more important is the credibility and prestige of school where I get my degrees and certifications. I got my bachelors degree from a fairly well known and respected school. I’d like my six-sigma black belt to at least come close to being on the same level. Thanks.

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    #179663

    Bill M
    Participant

    Arnel, you can expect to get many comments such as that made by The Professor on this site. There is little decorum and little logic used here.
    $8000 for a good BB program is reasonable. I can’t speak to the content of either program you are considering however the pricing is in the range of what ought to be good. Austin’s program, I believe, is really taught by the George Group, a competent training firm.

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    #179669

    Mikel
    Member

    Bill M,The depth of your knowledge astounds me. The UT program is taught by Air Academy which is generally referred
    to as Six Sigma Light.

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    #179672

    luke skywalker
    Participant

    Arnel,
    It seems from your post that the goal of a BB cert is to help you get a better job, and that the ‘pedigree’ of the ‘school’ providing the cert will add to that.
    Given that, I would suggest that you do a few simple and very economical things. First – go to a book store and pick up 2-3 books on SS – doesn’t really matter by whom, as long as you can recall the authors’ names later for name-dropping purposes in interviews. Then go to a nic epaper supply or office supply store and buy a very professional looking pre-formatted certificate. Take it home, develop a Power Point slide stating your achievement in SS as a BB and provide a date, the name of some consulting firm, and then print & sign it. Also, get a nice holder or cover for it – so you don’t damage it during travel for interviews. All in, this should cost you less than $75 – a far better solution than $8000.
    If you’re still reading, sarcasm aside now – If the real intent of this BB cert is to help you get a job, then follow my instructions above. Be honest and admit that is what you want. IF, however, you actually have interst, and perhaps, passion for improving a business and succeeding through those steps, then look fro a real program, with projects(multiple) required, classroom or instructor presence integral, and a heavy emphasis on “hands-on” or applied learning.
     
    Good luck.

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    #179677

    MrMHead
    Participant

    Is this not the point of the question in the Op Ex / Rant thread?
    Finding a name to pay for a piece of paper to get more money.  Unfortunately, yes, that is how many Corporate America Co.s (and world) work, and that is what is looked for on the resume.
    I had the same beef “back in the day” when I was working with Novell and Windows NT – I probably had more experience and knowledge than many with the piece of paper saying CNE or MCSE.  I did take courses, but my objective was to learn the trade/technology, not learn to take the test.  I eventually did get my CNE, but not MSCE (good choice, huh!), though I’ve taken more than enough courses.
    If you are moving up within the company, does “Prestige” matter?  And as stated elsewhere, if you are looking outside of the company, I would hope actions speak louder than certs (i.e. passed tests) – Otherwise I would question the employers commitment to SS.
    And, just to clarify, I am in a “rotational” BB role: Go in, train (in-house), test, projects (real, business impacting) , cert, roll back out to the business with “greater potential”.  Yes, it is a pathway to bigger and better – just as you are looking for.  I felt I was heading into a dead-end of my current path within the company.  And I had no desire to leave the company.  Now, I’m a math-head, to some extent anyways, so when this opportunity presented itself, I looked forward to expanding my horizons.  And when I roll back out, I am expected to, and plan to, continue to exercise the thought processes and methodologies (and tools) I have learned.
    This is also why you’ll see me respond to things of this nature more than the hard-core technical questions of SS – I’m still learning, though the classes are long over.

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    #179679

    Kluttz
    Member

    If you’re really aiming for “prestigious”, then you only have one option:
    The Sloan School of Business at the Massechusetts Institute of Technology. 
    They have an excellent Lean Six Sigma program and tuition is ONLY about 34 grand per year (hey, if your company is paying for it, you may as well go all out, right?).
    OR
    You could just go through their courses for free on your own
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Aeronautics-and-Astronautics/16-852JFall-2005/LectureNotes/
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Engineering-Systems-Division/ESD-60Summer-2004/CourseHome/
    The only downside is that you don’t get a fancy-schmancy Black Belt certificate.
     

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    #179680

    MrMHead
    Participant

    After you go through their courses, you can get a fancy-schmancy LSS certificate here:
    http://www.ississippi.org
    I got mine!

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    #179688

    Arnel
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for your input.  To answer the question of whether I truly want to implement six-sigma, absolutely yes.  I already have some books on six-sigma and am currently studying them.  And my undergrad degree was in Operations Management, so I’m quite familiar with the subject.  Also, the UT program DOES have a required project in addition to the exam.  I must complete a project that saves the company at least $50,000 and have it verified by a CFO in my company.
    And yes, as I’ve stated, I am looking at further progress in the company, but I understand that I have to bring the results in order to get there.  And I believe six sigma black belt would help my department achieve more of our goals and make further improvements.  I am not getting this certification just so it can look good on my resume, although it is a plus.  I still do not understand all the negativity towards a “fancy-schmancy” certification and the comments to “save the $8000, make a FAKE copy, yadda yadda.”  If my company is willing to pay for it, and I am interested in becoming a six-sigma black belt (because in the type of industry that I’m in it should benefit my department greatly), why in the world would I not want to do it, and get a “fancy-schmancy” cert while I’m at it?

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    #179689

    Dennis Z
    Participant

    I actually took 2 BB cert courses.  I did not complet the first one because the company dropped the program but I was close.  I did finally get certified from Villanova and was a little disappointed.  It mostly dealt with manufacturing, did not use minitab but instead used excel.  This was OK but I thought an inordinate amount of time was spent explaining excel rather then concepts.  The first cert I took was an in house by six sigam academy which I thought was outstanding.  if yuo can take an actual classroom program would be better with more hands on lessons

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    #179691

    Arnel
    Participant

    Thanks, now that was excellent feedback! :)
    Yes, that’s the reason I’m leaning towards the UT program over Villanova, because it is actual class time.
    And I do work in manufacturing, so perhaps I wouldn’t mind the Villanova program all that much either, other than the fact that it’s entirely online.
    Any other success stories with certain programs?  Anyone else attend the UT or Villanova program?  Thanks a bunch.

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    #179697

    Darth
    Participant

    I am surprised that no one has pointed out the fallacy of the original post. None of the university based BB programs are prestigious or even close to being a significant pedigree. They are certainly an option but nowhere near the top of the credibility chain. That is because they are university based rather than business based and often the instructors lack the depth of experience and knowledge that might be found by being trained by one of the better known consulting organizations or internal training/certification. Give me a good ole boy from Allied Signal or one trained by Stan, Carnell, George Group of old and I would hire that person wayyyyy before considering someone from Villanova or UT or any of the public based generic programs. If that is not an option and ASQ doesn’t appeal then feel free to spend a ton of money for a mediocre program with a mediocre reputation.

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    #179699

    Mark Undercliff
    Participant

    Perhaps your company should also be awarded a certificate of stupidity.  Anyone following the 3.4dpmo rubbish needs their head examined.

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    #179703

    Trisha
    Member

    What about the American Society for Quality (since it is the standard for quality in the US) or Motorola (who developed Six Sigma). Motorola University has an amazing program, albeit expensive, but I would imagine one of the best since they are Six Sigma.  Have you or anyone else looked into these?

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    #179704

    Nolan
    Participant

    And Stan just jumped on somebody about the UT program – conducted by Air Academy….are they no good either? I don’t recall them being on Stan’s list of “no goods”.

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    #179708

    Arnel
    Participant

    Trisha,Thanks! No, I have not looked into those yet, but I will most certainly explore all options before deciding. This is exactly what I need, more options :). Thanks again for your recommendations.

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    #179709

    Nwajei
    Participant

    Pyzdek (Six Sigma Handbook author) has a new offering described at http://www.pyzdek.com/. Has anyone checked this out?

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    #179710

    Nwajei
    Participant

    Pyzdek (Six Sigma Handbook author) has a new offering described at http://www.pyzdek.com/. Has anyone checked this out? The book is widely used and it gets good reviews on Amazon.

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    #179711

    Vallejo
    Participant

    Arnel,
    In the real world it does not really matter where you got your certificate, or a nice mahogany plate certificate (nice expression learned here)
    What it matters is what projects you have started, were they succesfull, did your peers learned from it, were you really a good mentor, are a better manager or project leader with this experience than before the training, and what do you have to offer as experienced leader to your new employeer.
    My 3 cents opinion, that is what it matters…are you a good mentor?
     Good luck,
    Carlos
     

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    #179718

    Fevertree
    Participant

    I got certified through BMG and thought it was a good rigorous program, but at the time we didnt consider many other options and I wish I knew of all the places mentioned here. I am now considering going back to get my MBB certification, but considering the state of the economy, I am not sure if I want to spend so much money to do it. Does anyone here have any experience of qualifying as a MBB through any of these institutions and how that changed their career options ?

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    #179719

    Taylor
    Participant

    I have tried to stay away from this one, but find I can not. Must be a sickness 

    It does not matter where you acquire your training, how you apply yourself and gain experience afterward is most important.
    I agree the quality of training is crucial to getting you off on the right foot, but more important is having a Mentor (MBB) available to answer questions and give guidance once you have completed your training. I also think this person(s) should be directly involved with the training.
    There is no certifying body so “Certification” is a fictional word when talking in terms of Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts etc etc. Thus the comments about Kinko’s
    If you have not completed several projects (Minimum of 5) with minimal supervision and met company (customer) goals, then in my opinion you are still a BB in training. (Could even say GB in training)
    If you have no experience at working projects as a BB how the hell could you even think about becoming a MBB. After doing this for over 12 years after my first BB training and 7 Years after a follow up course, I still find myself learning new things everyday and in no way would I ever consider myself to be a MBB, an Experienced BB yes, MBB, no.
    Bottom Line, If you want to go to UT, Go, Get it done, work hard and apply yourself. Make sure you have a Mentor in place, because asking the forum is usually confusing. Unless you know who to trust, Butler, Carnell, Stan, Alastair, Darth, Gary Cone, etc are good starts, but not always available at a whim, unless you have direct email. I would hope since your company is paying they have at least one Experienced MBB on staff???? If not, I dont think you will ever realize the full potential of your training………..
    Just my 2 cents worth

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    #179726

    Dennis Z
    Participant

    Good advice Chad.  It’s worth at least a buck

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    #179730

    claudine
    Participant

    The reason why some people are being so rude when you are asking the question is because of the same reason why these types of people are rude about anything else…to make themselves feel better.
     
    You people that are being negative when this person is asking you for advice should be ashamed of yourselves!  Why do you bother posting when someone is asking for help when you are being negative.  What happened to the LSS community as it was back in the early 90’s when everyone was there to there to help each other out.
    I went through my black belt training in 2000 at Motorola University and they had a great program then.  Since that time I have worked with a consulting firm as a trainer and coach and can tell you that at this point most of the training is similar.  The place where you really learn is in application via your projects.  I highly recommend a program that incorporates coaching on your project.
    Good luck!

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    #179731

    Kluttz
    Member

    Claudine,
    What’s my favorite pizza topping?
    What?  You say that you don’t know my favorite topping?  Hmmm, that’s strange – from the way you made blanket statements about the status my self-esteem, I assumed that you must know me very well.  BFF’s even.
    The reason that I was dismissive and condescending (notsomuch rude) was that Arnel’s post was the fundamental manifestation of everything that’s wrong with operational excellence today.  People are more interested in padding their resumes with impressive sounding certifications than they are in perfecting their craft.  Arnel’s initial post didn’t say a word about returning value to his business or, God forbid, improving his process to make his company more competitive thereby saving hundreds of much-needed jobs in these rough economic conditions.  And by mentioning 2 certification mills, he demonstrated that he obviously cares more about what’s ON the certification rather than what went INTO it. 
    “I am looking for the most prestigious black belt that I can put on my resume, period”
    People are being dismissive because we all know someone like Arnel.  We’ve worked with people like Arnel.  We’ve had to clean up the messes of people like Arnel. 
    So although I appreciate your dimestore psychoanalysis, maybe we’d be better off speaking for ourselves. 

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    #179735

    Renee
    Participant

    In my opinion the most prestigious six sigma black belt training and certification program is offered by Advanced Systems Consultants. Just make sure the trainer is Mario Perez-Wilson. He is one of the true architects of six sigma, and the one that developed the methodology. He knows the subject extremely well and presents a lot of examples. I took his class years ago in Scottsdale, AZ. I remember they were not cheap, but you get true value for your money.
    I have also attended presentations by other consultants and was very disappointed. They could not answer my questions and had no experience implementing six sigma or applying the tools.
    Good luck.

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    #179740

    SiggySig
    Member

    One other thing – if your company is planning to have you as the only Black Belt, and expecting you to be able to deliver any kind of ROI, you might want to clear that up with them first.The chances are very slim that one person armed with some Lean Six Sigma knowledge can get very far in a company that hasn’t even taken the first steps to properly adopt LSS as a performance improvement tactic.

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    #179743

    Betty Smith
    Participant

    Not True.  Bill Smith did it for Motorola when he created six sigma.
                                           His Wife,
                                              Betty Smith
                                     

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    #179744

    Renee
    Participant

    Bill invented the name but not the tools and the order in which the tools should be implemented.

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    #179745

    Stan”s sister
    Member

    That’s right Renee – Stan did that.

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    #179746

    Arnel
    Participant

    Thanks Renee, Claudia, SiggyZig, and all other posters for your advice.And no, I would not be the only black-belt in my company, so I would definitely have support.Union of conjointed scientists, I explained my self a little better in later posts. Yes, I do understand that I could have worded my first post better and went into a longer explanation. It was my first post here, ever, and I was simply trying to find out what some of the better known institutions are that offer black belts. I had the first part already, which was the decision to get the certification and obviously use it to improve my department. Hence, I am interested in a cert that requires me to show at least $50,000 in a project improvement.The number 1 reason I’m doing it is to improve my department, which contributes heavily to the bottom line of the company. Like I said, I am already reading books on it on my own time, and looking at different options of implementing it. And since my company will pay for me to get the certification, I figured why not try to get the best one while I’m at it. Hence, I found out about this forum and figured I would simply ask which six-sigma is the most “prestigious.” So yes, perhaps I shouldn’t have said “I want the best looking one, period.” That was a mistake, but I was just trying to drive my point across and get the best possible recommendations. And this is exactly why I explained my self in my later post, so that you and a couple of others understand that I do value six-sigma and am VERY interested in the topic and using it to IMPLEMENT six-sigma in my department and help the company. If I can’t do that, then I don’t want or deserve the damn certification. I got to my current position based on my results, not on my degree. I got my degree after I was already in leadership. This is why I will go for a program that requires a proven result verified by a company CFO. For the last time, I am NOT simply looking for a pretty certification. I am looking for definite results, and would not mind something from an established system while I’m at it. Once again, thanks to everyone so far for great comments and recommendations.

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    #179747

    Arnel
    Participant

    Thanks Renee, Claudia, SiggyZig, and all other posters for your advice.And no, I would not be the only black-belt in my company, so I would definitely have support.Union of conjointed scientists, I explained my self a little better in later posts. Yes, I do understand that I could have worded my first post better and went into a longer explanation. It was my first post here, ever, and I was simply trying to find out what some of the better known institutions are that offer black belts. I had the first part already, which was the decision to get the certification and obviously use it to improve my department. Hence, I am interested in a cert that requires me to show at least $50,000 in a project improvement.The number 1 reason I’m doing it is to improve my department, which contributes heavily to the bottom line of the company. Like I said, I am already reading books on it on my own time, and looking at different options of implementing it. And since my company will pay for me to get the certification, I figured why not try to get the best one while I’m at it. Hence, I found out about this forum and figured I would simply ask which six-sigma is the most “prestigious.” So yes, perhaps I shouldn’t have said “I want the best looking one, period.” That was a mistake, but I was just trying to drive my point across and get the best possible recommendations. And this is exactly why I explained my self in my later post, so that you and a couple of others understand that I do value six-sigma and am VERY interested in the topic and using it to IMPLEMENT six-sigma in my department and help the company. If I can’t do that, then I don’t want or deserve the darn certification. I got to my current position based on my results, not on my degree. I got my degree after I was already in leadership. This is why I will go for a program that requires a proven result verified by a company CFO. For the last time, I am NOT simply looking for a pretty certification. I am looking for definite results, and would not mind something from an established system while I’m at it. Once again, thanks to everyone for their great responses, recommendations, comments, etc.

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    #179748

    Reade
    Participant

    The Center for Industrial Effectiveness has a classroom-based BB program, involving 200 training hours over 5 months (1 week for each phase of DMAIC), and it incorporates your own project into the training.  It’s run by the University at Buffalo, which has a well-regarded engineering program.  Here’s the link, if you’re interested in checking them out: http://www.tcie.buffalo.edu/services/sixsigma-blackbelt.htm

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    #179755

    Mikel
    Member

    If you are BB through BMG, you need to do a real BB before worryig
    about an MBB.

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    #179756

    Mikel
    Member

    Not true, dozens of people developed the idea and only one took full
    credit. What BS.

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    #179757

    Stan”s Sister
    Member

    Yeah, you took and deserve the credit big brother. You rock!!!

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    #179764

    Darth
    Participant

    Mrs. Smith,Saw your lovely daughter today and am very happy that Bill will be inducted into the SS Hall of Fame this morning. Definitely deserves it despite all the pretenders claiming credit.

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    #179767

    lonesharke
    Participant

    Stan,
    You stated, “you need to do a real BB before worryig about an MBB”.  Did you mean a real BB project?  Can you please provide clarification?  (quantifiable terms would be most helpful)  I frequently read these posts and I have noticed that although you are “rough around the edges”, you do give solid answers and seem to be respected by your peers.  So what would Stan look for to validate the claim that one has successfully operated in the role of a BB?
    Thank you for your insight.

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    #179773

    Fevertree
    Participant

    Union of Conjoined Scientists,
    It sounds like you should know Arnels favorite pizza topping.
     

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    #179777

    Unioun ofConjoined Scientists
    Member

    Ham & cheese

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    #179840

    Mikel
    Member

    Sure in simplest terms I would look for evidence of at least 6 – 10
    projects in a variety of business ares. You should demonstrate
    proficiency at the thought process.

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