Which are the top 10 institutes for Six Sigma Certification?

six sigma training class

Getting your Six Sigma certification is important for your professional career, and deciding which company to get it from is equally important.  Over the past ten years, hundreds of Six Sigma training institutes have appeared.  Many offer their program exclusively online, while others have an in-person or virtual option.

Determining the best six sigma certification company depends on many different factors.  Those factors include:

  • Your budget.
  • Your training timeframe.
  • Your reason for getting Six Sigma certified.
  • Your plans for after you get your certification.
  • Your existing level of education (No degree, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree).
  • The organizations you plan to work for now and in the future.

Below we’ve listed the top 10 institutes for Six Sigma Certification.  You may agree with the list or feel other companies are worthy of being listed here.  There are a lot of institutes to choose from, so you should do your own due diligence and research and select the training and certification company that’s best for you.

ASQ is considered the gold standard for “quality” focused certifications.  They offer a small selection of quality-focused certifications but are widely respected and recognized within corporate America.  What makes ASQ stand out above other organizations?  ASQ is a global organization.  They have offices in four countries (USA, Mexico, India, and China), but they also have thousands of member-led communities throughout the world.  This means you can find ASQ members almost everywhere.

The standards that ASQ sets are recognized by all organizations in the U.S. and internationally.  That makes them a powerful voice on the topic of quality.  They also issue several high-profile awards each year to professionals in the industry, including the ASQ Edwards Medal and the Juran Medal.

Why you should consider an ASQ certification

If you need the highest-level certification in the Six Sigma industry or are a high-level executive for a Fortune 500 company, then you should consider ASQ.

Why you shouldn't consider an ASQ certification

ASQ certifications are considered one of the most difficult to obtain.  Not only are the exams highly complex, they also have high prerequisites.  These include a bachelor’s degree and verified project experience with signed affidavits.  If you don’t need a high-level certification, you may want to consider another option.

MSI was initially conceived to provide recognized and respected certifications within the business community while still being affordable and obtainable.  MSI is one of the only certification bodies that includes study material with the certification exam cost, making their programs much more affordable than most.  They develop the official Six Sigma Body of Knowledge for hundreds of organizations around the world.

Management and Strategy Institute has a heavy focus on charity.  They give to charitable organizations every quarter, provide free training and certifications, and work closely with Veteran’s organizations.  MSI is also Veteran owned.  This charitable work keeps the organization focused on its key mission “To be the industry leader in highly respected and affordable professional development certifications.”

Another advantage to MSI is that their programs include a Six Sigma project simulation walk-through.  These don’t provide the same experience as doing a real-world project, but they give you some practical experience regarding implementing Six Sigma tools and methods.

Why you should consider a Management and Strategy Institute certification

If you need a Six Sigma certification that is respected by the business community but still affordable, then MSI is your best six sigma certification option.  They offer all belt levels, including the Six Sigma White Belt certification which is completely free. MSI’s Six Sigma Black Belt certification is one of the most referenced Six Sigma certifications on Linkedin.  It’s also clear that their members are happy, they have almost 5000 5-star reviews on Trustpilot alone.  They also have hundreds of independent reviews on social media.

Why you shouldn't consider a Management and Strategy Institute certification

While very affordable, MSI isn’t the least expensive option for certification.  You may want to consider other options if you have a very tight budget or don’t need a certification as well recognized.

If you’re looking for a Six Sigma certification from a world-class University, then you should consider Villanova.  Famous for the Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball program, having Villanova on your resumè can bring an instant boost of credibility.  The Villanova Six Sigma programs focus on making their students change champions with their employers.  Their programs will teach you to identify and solve critical business process problems.

Villanova training programs are generally 8 weeks of intensive training.  They also offer specialized electives such as foundations of agile methodology and essentials of data visualization.  A big advantage this these programs is that they include highly skilled instructors.  Villanova offers access to professors with years of experience.

Why you should consider a Villanova certification

Villanova is a great pick if you want to add a highly respected University that employers will instantly recognize.  They have a great alumni program and thousands of graduates working in top companies around the U.S.

Why you shouldn't consider a Villanova certification

Since this program is through a high-regarded university, it is also quite expensive.  Programs start around $2,000 and quickly go up in price.  Depending on your needs, you may not need training this expensive.  The training is also scheduled, not self-paced.  You must be able to commit to a specific time each week for class; training will take a minimum of 8 weeks.

Expert Rating is our most affordable option on the list.  This company provides a great option for anyone on a tight budget.  They have a large selection of certifications for Six Sigma and other business skills.  They offer all of their programs online and there are no prerequisites.  Industry experts develop their programs and they have great reviews on websites like Trustpilot.

ExpertRating is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, giving you some confidence that their organization follows standards for quality.  Their website is professional and easy to navigate.

Why you should consider an Expert Rating certification

If you have a tight budget, or just need to add a certification quickly, Expert Rating may be a good fit.  If you’re interested in learning a new skill, and aren’t concerned about it being recognized by employers, this is a great option.

Why you shouldn't consider an Expert Rating certification

Based in India, Expert Rating may not be the best fit if you’re looking for a certification recognized in the U.S.  They are also the least expensive option, which means it might not be as respected as other options.

Pyzdek Institute offers both workshops and live six sigma training.  The organization is run by Thomas Pyzdek, an internationally respected expert in process excellence and author of The Six Sigma Handbook.  He is also a recipient of the ASQ Edward’s Medal that we mentioned in the ASQ section.

They offer Six Sigma training for both individuals as well as large organizations.  The online options are reasonably priced and available for anyone to register.  They offer proctored exams, which some organizations will find important if their team is taking exams from home.

Pyzdek Institute offers a nice selection of programs that go beyond just “belt” certifications and focus on subjects like Minitab and, Short Run SPC, and Error-proofing Design of Experiments.

Why you should consider an Pyzdek Institute certification

This organization may be a great option if you need a respected certification from a highly acclaimed professional within the Six Sigma industry.

Why you shouldn't consider a Pyzdek Institute certification

If you don’t have the time to dedicate to the length of the program, or have a limited budget, you may find more affordable options elsewhere that provide the same level of training.

Drexel takes a different approach to Six Sigma training and offers several unique programs focused on Lean Six Sigma.  Rather than focusing on belts, they offer programs like Foundational Lean Six Sigma and Advanced Lean Six Sigma.

Currently, Drexel offers these programs online via live remote delivery.  This type of learning works well because you have access to a live instructor who can answer questions about Six Sigma and help guide you as you prepare to take the Drexel certification exam.

Programs start around $500 but you can get a discount if you register for multiple programs.  In these programs you gain one-on-one coaching from instructors to help you take on more complex projects, manage Green Belt professionals in your organization, and achieve career success.

Drexel also focuses heavily on important business skills in their programs, which sets them apart. You’ll learn about the latest research on innovation, including disruptive technology, and the essential strategies and skills for conducting successful business negotiations.

Why you should consider a Drexel certification

If you live in the Northeast, Drexel is a well-known and well-respected University.  Adding a Drexel certification will look good on a resumè.  The fact that they cover topics beyond Six Sigma within their programs is a plus because it makes you a more well-rounded professional.

Why you shouldn't consider a Drexel certification

If you don’t live in the Northeast, Drexel may not have as much name recognition as some other nationally known Universities.  You may also be able to find more affordable options in the region.

Certifications from Purdue bring immediate name recognition and respect.  It demonstrates that you’ve taken training from a nationally respected University and were able to handle the riggers of the training.  Purdue offers somewhat unique programs.  For example, they have a Lean Principles certification where participants learn and develop an understanding of the critical concepts associated with Lean operating systems deployment.  In addition to this, the program has several pathways you can select from, including Healthcare, General Business, or Manufacturing.

The programs from Purdue are instructor-led and offer CEU’s when you complete them.  This may be beneficial if you working towards a degree and trying to accumulate additional credits.

Why you should consider a Purdue University certification

Purdue is a nationally recognized and respected University with high regard in the business community. You’ll have no trouble finding alumni working for top companies around the world.

Why you shouldn't consider a Purdue University certification

The Six Sigma certifications are pretty expensive, even by University standards.  They may be worth the cost for many, but you can probably find cheaper alternatives.

UMass offers a post-graduate program in Lean Six Sigma with hands-on industry projects.  The project component is the most appealing aspect of the training since few programs offer the opportunity to work on a project.  The program covers all of the primary topics you’d expect to see, from Lean Management to Black Belt knowledge and training on Minitab.

UMass is among the top 25 premier public universities by U.S. News Education.  Any professional looking to learn how to improve organizational efficiency can become a Lean Six Sigma expert through this online program.  Completing this program also gives you official UMass Amherst Alumni Association membership.

Why you should consider a UMass Amhurst certification

Access to a hands-on project and becoming a member of the Alumni association are two great reasons to consider UMass Amhurst for your Six Sigma certification.

Why you shouldn't consider a UMass Amhurst certification

A bachelor’s degree in any discipline is required.  This puts the program out of reach for many professionals who haven’t had the time to complete a degree program.

Cambridge College Global (CCG) offers affordable, world-class education.  For fifty years, Cambridge College has been devoted to meeting the needs of busy adult learners.  Their global college offers both Six Sigma and Lean programs at a surprisingly affordable price for an accredited college.  Their programs also offer IACET CEU’s and PDU’s from PMI, so the credits you receive carry a lot of weight.

Cambridge College offers all major belt levels (Yellow, Green, and Black) as well as Lean Basic and prep courses.  Their programs are expert-supported and include games, flashcards, and a digital badge.  The credits may also be transferrable to a Cambridge College degree program if that is of interest to you.

Why you should consider a Cambridge College certification

If you’re looking for an affordable option from an accredited college, there a good chance you’ll like Cambridge College.  Their selection of certifications is average, but you receive a lot of benefits for a relatively small enrollment fee.

Why you shouldn't consider a Cambridge College certification

If you want your certification to have a lot of name recognition, Cambridge College may not be the best choice.  There are other colleges more widely recognized.  The training programs may not contain as much content as other programs with around the same price.

This organization may be a good fit if you’re looking for a certification based in India.  They offer a good selection of training programs for Lean Six Sigma, which are accessed online.  They offer more than just Six Sigma training, they have programs like Content Writing and Digital Marketing as well.  The syllabus for each program can be found on their website, so you know what the program contains before you register.

With the Henry Harvin program, you can access live instructors to ask questions online.  They do offer corporate training programs in addition to training programs for individuals.

Why you should consider a Henry Harvin certification

The flexible schedule, weekly bootcamps and live instructors all make Henry Harvin a good option to gain your Six Sigma certification.

Why you shouldn't consider a Henry Harvin certification

If you live in the U.S., a certification from India may not hold as much appeal as a U.S. based institute.

Professionals taking a six sigma certification exam

Where can I research Six Sigma Certification options?

You probably found this article researching which organization to get your Six Sigma certification.  Searching for certification providers on search engines like Google and Bing are a great way to start your research, but there are other ways to find a certification provider.

First, you should list the most important qualities in your certification.  Some examples include:

  • What is your budget?
  • How much time do you want to dedicate?
  • How much experience and existing education do you have?

The answers to these questions are essential because they will allow you to narrow down your selection and find the most appropriate Six Sigma certification company for you.

Research Reddit for Six Sigma Certification

Reddit is a good place to research different certification companies.  They have one of the most active discussion groups in the world, and you can find a professional in almost any subject imaginable.  A word of caution when it comes to discussion boards – You never know how factual the information is.  On the internet, it’s easy to make yourself look like an expert.  Take everything you read on Reddit with a grain of salt.  Consider it a starting point for your research.

Ask Questions on Quora

Quora.com is a great website for asking questions.  There are thousands of professionals just waiting to answer questions as they come in.  The website is free, all you need to do is set up an account.  You can ask any question on any subject.

Join Facebook Groups

You can find a Facebook group for just about anything, including Six Sigma.  The information you get from Facebook may be a little more reliable than sites like Reddit and Quora because you can’t post anonymously.

Verified Review Sites

Independent review websites are your best option for researching Six Sigma certification companies.  This is because the reviews come directly from verified customers.  When I say reviews, I’m not talking about Google or Facebook reviews since anyone can post those.  Look up verified review websites like Trustpilot.  The difference between Trustpilot and other review sites is that Trustpilot automatically reaches out to customers and asks for positive and negative reviews.  The certification company remains detached from the review process, making it very reliable.  For example, Management and Strategy Institute has almost 5K verified reviews.  You can separate the reviews and look through each star rating to get a feel for how customers view the organization.

Look at Resumès on LinkedIn

A great way to find a Six Sigma Certification is to look at the resumès of other professionals.  Find professionals you respect and look through their LinkedIn profiles.  Certifications are listed under the education section of someone’s resumè.  These professionals most likely researched the certification provider just like you, so you can feel confident in your decision-making.

Opinion Piece:

This article is the opinion of Management and Strategy Institute (MSI).  It is strongly recommended that you conduct your own research and select the organization that best fits your needs.  Information about these companies may change over time.  MSI does not endorse any of these organizations.  None of the organizations listed here endorse MSI or are associated with MSI.  All trademarks belong to the organization listed.