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Career as a Six Sigma Professional

Aug 17, 2007
Job pages in newspapers and on jobsites clear doubts in anyone's mind about Six Sigma career opportunities. As companies place emphasis on quality and cost management with process improvement being the underlying foundation, Six Sigma is coming to the forefront because of its overall applicability in a business environment. With it comes an upswing in the demand for Six Sigma professionals.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities are on the rise in the Six Sigma sector at various capacities. For experienced professionals, launching their own venture can also be very lucrative. However, job opportunities probably exist within your organization as well as outside of it.

Within Your Organization

You can enhance your career within your own organization as a black belt or a green belt in Six Sigma discipline by appropriate Six Sigma training. Organizations that decide on Six Sigma implementation usually hire a professional in consultative capacities for initiation. They will not be playing decision-making roles for strategic reasons. Upper management obviously prefers to use its own employees at all levels beginning with green belts at execution levels, black belts at problem solving levels and master black belts at the highest levels.

Outside Your Organization

A keyword search for "Six Sigma" in any of the popular job portals reveal the number of available jobs and related information like the level of employment, salary etc. Both freshly trained as well as experienced black belts are in demand; however, the ratio seems to be slightly skewed in favor of those having implemented at least one or two projects. Certain companies place more weight on prior work experience in a relevant field even with freshly trained candidates.

Another interesting statistic is that black belts are in a rather higher demand than green belt Six Sigma professionals. This is obvious from the fact that, as green belts form the lower rungs of implementation program, they have the obligation of having to divide their time to their routine work as well. It is normal practice to identify people from within the organization for this position.

Six Sigma Training

One unfortunate thing about Six Sigma training is that the methodology is not universal and not standardized. Because of this, there is an inconsistency in teaching, subject material etc. It is important for organizations to confirm through references, employment bureaus/counselors and future employers who recognizes which institute. The fees are another major cause of concern for many candidates.

Many corporations have in-house training facilities for their employees. Candidates may need to undergo Six Sigma training as a condition their continued employment. Some professionals see this as detrimental to their career prospects due to the heavy workload involved.

Aptitude Of A Six Sigma Professional

Black and Green Belt candidates must have open minds and strong analytical abilities. They must possess the ability to question all things with a view to making a core contribution. Above all, self-confidence and a high degree of motivation are necessary. Black belts need to focus more on the analytical and problem-solving aspects and dedicate 100% of their time to the implementation. Green belts can't dedicate 100% of their time, as they have to also focus on their routine responsibilities within the organization. What is expected of them is studiousness, flexibility, understanding of statistical tools and interpersonal skills.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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