What is the Best Six Sigma Certification?

One question that we often hear is ‘What is the “best” Six Sigma certification?’  This question is usually broken down into two topics.  Topic one is who you get your certification through.  Topic two is what belt level you should get.

The answer generally comes down to how you plan on using your new certification.  Lets take  a moment to discuss both topics.

Because Six Sigma doesn’t have a single accrediting body for certification purposes, there are many organizations that offer Six Sigma certification.  This is a good thing, since competition in the market place forces companies to provide both quality training and competitive pricing.  There are many options for you to pick from, both in-class options as well as online options.

Why do I want a Six Sigma certification?

You should start your search by asking yourself this question.  The answers below should help guide you in determining where to get your certification.

Working With Six Sigma Full Time:

For someone looking to work with Six Sigma methodology on a full-time basis, having an extensive skillset will be critical.  It takes many years of working within quality improvement projects to become proficient in using all of the tools of the trade.  Because of this, it is usually better to focus on the training aspect, rather than the certification aspect.  Taking an in-depth training course will help prepare you to use the tools and understand the complex methodologies required to work in Six Sigma full time.

Full-time professionals will want to consider taking the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification so they have an extensive understanding of process improvement skills.  Since you’re considering full-time process improvement, take a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) program.  You’ll need the understanding of waste reduction that comes with this training.

Working With Six Sigma Part Time or Enhancing your Resumé:

If you’re looking to improve your skillset or enhance your CV with a new certification, then going through an advanced training program may not be the most cost-effective option.  An online certification program, like the one offered by MSI, may meet your needs.  MSI provides all of the study material you’ll need to prepare for the certification exam.  The material is self-paced, so you can move at whatever speed is comfortable for you.  You can take the exam as soon as you feel you have a solid understanding of the Six Sigma fundamentals.  Our Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification is the perfect option for someone looking to add a unique, but powerful skill.

MSI recommends taking the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification as a part-time process improvement professional.  At this certification level, you’ll have a strong understanding of Six Sigma and be able to assist your organization any time a continuous improvement project is warranted.

What's The Best Six Sigma Certification Company?

Now that you’ve selected the belt level you’re interested in, you’ll need to determine which certification company to gain your certification.  Hundreds of certification companies offer Six Sigma certification because there are no official certification bodies.  There are two main considerations when selecting a certification company, regardless of the certification you seek.  What is the cost/benefit value, and is the organization respected within the business community?  In the end, the best six sigma certification is the one that meets these two requirement for your unique situation.

Certification cost/benefit value:

Ask yourself, “How important is this certification to my career?”  Do you need the best certification, or is a really good certification sufficient for your needs? This is important because it will determine how much time and money you need to dedicate to gaining your certification.

Certifications from organizations like ASQ are highly respected within corporate America but are also difficult to obtain.  This is because of the high barrier to entry.  These certification companies have prerequisites like a college degree, and 3-5 years of project experience.  They also require signed affidavits proving that you’ve worked on previous Six Sigma projects.  Only a small number of professionals will meet this requirement.

Universities are another option some people choose for their certification.  Colleges like Villanova offer an excellent Six Sigma program.  These programs have limited enrollment and are quite expensive.  It may be worth it if you’re looking for a leadership position in a Fortune 500 company, but if not, a respected certification from another organization may be perfect for you.  Training plus certification for either of these options can run thousands of dollars.

Respected within the business community

Research the organization you’re considering for your Six Sigma Certification.  Do they have a lot of reviews?  For example, Management and Strategy Institute has thousands of independent reviews on websites like Trustpilot, Facebook, BBB, and Google.  Most organizations can’t make this claim, and many outright hide their reviews.  You can also search Linkedin to see just how many people list their certifications on their resume.