Category Archives: Six Sigma

Six Sigma Green Belt Careers

Six Sigma Green Belt Career Paths

Professionals with Green Belt certification are thoroughly familiar with the basic tenets of Six Sigma and are able to apply its principles to their work on a daily basis. The positions best suited for Green Belts include mid- to upper-level project managers, process engineers, consultants and manufacturing engineers.

There are a multitude of Six Sigma Green Belt career paths available in virtually every industry, due the fact that Six Sigma can be effective in improving business processes in many different fields. That’s why a growing number of companies are looking to fill a wide variety of positions with candidates who are adept at applying the principles of Six Sigma.

In general, the highest-level leadership positions are reserved for Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts. However, Six Sigma Green Belt certification will set you apart from non-certified applicants vying for positions that require advanced process management skills. It can also prepare you to continue on to higher levels of certification if and when you decide to pursue an executive leadership position.

Leading job-search sites have thousands of postings from well-known companies offering Six Sigma Green Belt career opportunities. Employers such as UnitedHealth Group, Honeywell, GE and Volkswagen have been actively seeking professionals with Six Sigma certification to fill a variety of positions*, such as:

  • Lean Six Sigma Consultant
  • Lead Manufacturing Engineer
  • Process Development Engineer
  • Compliance Structural Engineer
  • Reliability Engineer
  • Operating System Specialist
  • Senior IT Project Manager
  • Warehouse Operations Manager
  • Business Process Analyst
  • Project Engineer
  • Director, Performance Excellence

10 Companies Using Six Sigma

Top 10 Places to Work and Cultivate Six Sigma Careers

In its second year, the iSixSigma Best Places to Work™ poll was conducted. Both and iSixSigma Magazine sponsored the list, which received more than 40 applicant companies from all over the world. Each company applying for consideration has to fill out a two-part survey online – senior Six Sigma leadership submitted answers to an employee survey, and full-time Six Sigma personnel have to submit answers to an employee survey.

The rankings process was simple, the scores from both surveys were totaled and the companies were ranked 1 through 10 as a result. The survey scores were weighted, the greatest consideration was given to the employee survey, which had five categories ranging from: job satisfaction to compensation. Job satisfaction was the category in the employee survey that was given the most weight, because that is what employees said was the most important factor to them when it comes to where they work.

The winning companies for fostering Six Sigma careers “demonstrated an even higher commitment to fostering a supportive culture for Six Sigma professionals to thrive. Overall scores this year were higher than last in each category,” said Michael Marx, research manager of and iSixSigma Magazine.

The winners of the iSixSigma Best Places to Work™ poll were:

  • Cardinal Health Inc.
  • Computacenter AG & Co. oHG
  • Ecolab Inc.
  • McKesson Corp.
  • Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Piramal Healthcare Ltd.
  • Starwood Hotels, North America Operation
  • Vought Aircraft Industries Inc.
  • Xerox Corp.

Also important to note, Marx pointed out how well these companies have performed “shining through as exemplary places for Six Sigma professionals to work, despite rough economic conditions.”

Get Your Six Sigma Training From Villanova University

Ranked the #1 Master’s University in the North, Villanova is widely recognized as a leader in online professional education. Villanova University also offers its Six Sigma Master Certificates and Courses 100% online via video based e-learning. Here is a list of the current Six Sigma certificates and courses:

Master Certificates

  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma
  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma-Healthcare
  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma-Financial Services
  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma-Information Technology

Advanced Master Certificates

  • Advanced Master Certificate in Lean Six Sigma


  • Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Six Sigma Green Belt-Healthcare
  • Six Sigma Green Belt- Financial Services
  • Six Sigma Green Belt-Information Technology
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

If you are interested in pursuing any of these master certificates or courses, click here to find out more.

Lean Six Sigma FAQs

  1. Is Lean Six Sigma a career?
    No; it is a methodology that is used by business professionals, especially those working in a quality-control capacity. Specialists can earn Green Belt, Lean Sensei, Lean Black Belt and Lean Master Black Belt certifications to demonstrate advanced levels of proficiency in Six Sigma.
  2. What educational background is needed for Lean Six Sigma training?
    It’s helpful to hold a degree in business or mathematics, but three to five years of work experience can also prepare you for Lean Six Sigma training. Certificate programs have no prerequisites, so mid- to upper-level managers can enroll quickly and easily.
  3. What is a Green Belt?
    An employee with Green Belt training and certification plays an important role in executing Six Sigma process throughout his or her organization. Individuals earning Green Belts will typically lead a process improvement or quality improvement team as part of their full-time job responsibilities. Green Belt training is ideal for anyone without prior Six Sigma experience.
  4. What are the requirements for Six Sigma Green Belt certification?
    Villanova University offers 100% online Green Belt training as well as an online Green Belt certification exam. The training program is designed for managers and professionals in any type of industry, and has no prerequisites. Students may complete a general Green Belt course or specialize in Healthcare, Financial Services or Information Technology. Upon completion of the eight-week online certificate course, students may take the certification exam.
  5. What is a Lean Black Belt?
    Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification is typically held by a team leader responsible for implementing process improvement projects throughout a business, with the goal of improving customer satisfaction and increasing productivity.
  6. What is the advantage of a Black Belt over a Green Belt?
    Black Belt certification is highly sought-after in business today, and is generally a stepping stone to more senior-level positions. Green Belts often report to Black Belts, who in turn receive coaching and support from Master Black Belts. Your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification will position you to lead top-quality projects, thereby enhancing your value to your employer and offering greater opportunities for advancement.
  7. What are the qualifications for Lean Black Belt certification?
    Becoming a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt begins with in-depth training. Villanova University offers a 16-week online certificate course that is designed for Green Belt practioners or individuals with related work experience. Upon completion of the course, students are eligible to sit for Villanova’’s online Lean Black Belt certification exam.
  8. How are Black Belt and Green Belt certifications similar?
    Both training programs focus on the Lean Six Sigma concepts of quality, process mapping, controls and problem-solving methods. The certifications signify a professional’s level of expertise in leading quality improvement projects.
  9. How does Black Belt certification differ from Green Belt?
    Lean Black Belt training and certification build on the knowledge and skills acquired at the Green Belt level, providing enhanced proficiency in core Lean Six Sigma concepts. Villanova’s Lean Black Belt program offers a more intensive exploration of how to analyze, measure, control and improve the manufacturing process.
  10. What is a Master Black Belt?
    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt training takes the core Six Sigma concepts even further, emphasizing leadership, optimization and design. Master Black Belts manage and mentor Green and Black Belts, and help to develop, maintain and revise Lean Six Sigma training materials. Individuals who have earned a Villanova Master Certificate in Six Sigma and achieved Lean Black Belt certification are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Master Certificate in Lean Six Sigma program, which leads to Lean Master Black Belt certification.
  11. Where can I find Lean Six Sigma training?
    You can obtain world-class training from the industry’s leading Lean Six Sigma instructors through Villanova University. Ranked as the #1 university in the Master’s category/North region by U.S. News & World Report, Villanova offers 100% online certificate courses through a convenient, video-based e-learning platform. Students who complete Villanova’s certificate programs are eligible to sit for the university’s online certification exams, including Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Sensei, Lean Black Belt and Lean Master Black Belt certifications.

Six Sigma in Information Technology

Virtually every business industry can benefit from Six Sigma, from manufacturing to customer service to information technology. In IT alone, there are countless ways to implement Six Sigma strategies for performance improvement.

What Are the Benefits of Six Sigma in IT?

Like other business areas, IT uses a series of processes for troubleshooting and providing services. Whether you’re looking at an IT department within a larger company or a company that specializes in IT, there are many steps throughout each process in which the principles of Six Sigma can be applied.

By creating more streamlined and efficient work processes, the integration of Six Sigma in IT can help to make employees more productive while also creating a better overall experience for the customer – ultimately leading to greater profitability for the company.

Of course, every organization strives to provide the best possible service for its external customers, and Six Sigma helps to make that possible. What is often overlooked, however, is that IT departments within companies are primarily responsible for serving internal customers.

Applying Six Sigma in IT departments can help IT staff adopt a more user-centered approach to their work. This will allow them to provide faster and more reliable service to their fellow employees, who are often involved in efforts directed toward end customers – thereby leading to dramatic improvements in efficiency across the board.

Matching Six Sigma IT Training by Job Type

While the value of Six Sigma in IT is clear, that doesn’t mean every member of the IT department needs to be certified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. The best way to achieve successful Six Sigma implementation is to make sure that all personnel receive the type of training and certification appropriate for their position.

For instance, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training is highly recommended for managers; however, the specialists they supervise may only require Green Belt training. The key to success is ensuring that all staff members understand the basic applications of Six Sigma in IT, and how those principles relate to their individual job function.

Becoming a Black Belt

Professionals with Six Sigma Black Belt training are highly sought-after by all types of companies because of their superior understanding of Six Sigma principles and ability to apply that knowledge to improve business function and competitiveness. Many individuals aspire to a highly visible – and highly paid – Six Sigma Black Belt role; however, they must be willing to commit the time and effort to attain that distinction.

Not everyone possesses the qualities and drive it takes to become a Six Sigma Black Belt. However, if you have or are willing to develop the necessary skills and knowledge, and if you are prepared to undergo the intensive training required to pass the certification exam, you may have a long and lucrative career ahead of you as a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Personal Qualities of a Six Sigma Black Belt

Achieving the level of Six Sigma Black Belt will qualify you for many upper-level management roles within a company. However, even the most comprehensive training cannot make up for a lack of natural leadership ability or attention to detail, which are vital to excel in these types of positions. Six Sigma Black Belts should be goal-oriented and possess outstanding management and interpersonal skills. They must be able to set an impeccable example for Green Belts and others within the organization, as well as inspire employees to work together to achieve the company’s goals.

Six Sigma Black Belt Skills and Training

To become a Six Sigma Black Belt, you must complete the appropriate training before you can sit for the certification exam. Training courses in this field are generally open to candidates who have already completed Six Sigma Green Belt certification or coursework, or who have relevant experience in business process management. While it’s possible to enroll in Six Sigma Black Belt training without first attaining Green Belt status, following the standard progression can make the training and certification process much easier for you in the long run.

Six Sigma Black Belt training courses address some of the same knowledge areas as Green Belt courses, but they demand a higher level of mastery and understanding from students. They also tackle more complex concepts and calculations. By the end of your Six Sigma Black Belt training, you will be able to apply the principles of Six Sigma to any business situation and develop appropriate goals, as well as put together cohesive action plans to achieve those goals.

All types of employers – from pharmaceutical manufacturers to communications companies – are looking to hire skilled Six Sigma Black Belts, which is why completing the training and certification process can get you on the fast track to a successful career. Visit any leading job-search website, and you’ll find hundreds of well-known companies actively recruiting Six Sigma Black Belts. Employers such as Quest Diagnostics, UnitedHealth Group, ADT Security Services, Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Bank of America and Amazon Corporate LLC are hiring Six Sigma Black Belts and Lean Six Sigma Black Belts for such roles as consultant, continuous process improvement specialist, quality and business improvement manager, improvement advisor, manufacturing engineer, assistant plant manager, regional facilities manager and director of operational excellence, among others.*

* All employer names and job titles obtained from open positions posted on as of August 17, 2010.

Six Sigma can Improve Defense

With the application of Six Sigma, military leaders and process experts can help the U.S. Armed Forces improve the quality and efficiency of our national defense – while minimizing costs. If you are currently involved in Six Sigma or military process improvements and wish to enhance your expertise in this critical area, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of Six Sigma and how it can be applied to improve defense.

Why Six Sigma Works for the Military

The Six Sigma methodology is widely recognized as one of the most integral elements of a successful business strategy. There is simply no better way for a company to improve performance and optimize profitability than by implementing Six Sigma principles on a large scale. The benefits of Six Sigma are not limited to the world of private enterprise, however. In fact, the military has begun instituting Six Sigma on a broad scale and with impressive results.

Devising and coordinating ways to meet the needs of various military outfits and organizations is not an easy task. There are a variety of factors that must be taken into consideration when allocating military resources and funds. There are many ways in which the military differs from a traditional business, and it is not necessarily compatible with the type of fixed business model that might be suitable for a less complicated and variable situation.

Six Sigma military strategies, however, have the flexibility to adjust to the unique requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense. By utilizing proven principles to minimize waste, Six Sigma military applications can improve turnaround times, optimize inventories and improve readiness overall. The following are just a few examples of how Six Sigma military strategies led to substantial savings of both time and money:*

  • Reduced wait time for the processing of new security clearances and upgrades by 70%, making security-approved personnel available much sooner and thereby greatly increasing overall productivity.
  • Improved fuel efficiency and repair cycle time for military aircraft by 90%, resulting in annual savings of $117,200.
  • Minimized the need for overtime and unplanned labor in the engineering process by 60%, leading to $400,000 in annual savings.
  • Achieved $11 million in savings by increasing the accuracy of the reconciliation process between the cost of aviation fuel and the actual flying hours needed.
  • Decreased the wait time for processing new contractors and civilian employees from days to hours, leading to a dramatic increase in productivity of nearly 7,680 man hours.

Give Yourself an Edge with Six Sigma Military Training

With so many proven cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing benefits, Six Sigma military applications are rapidly gaining broad recognition. By mastering this essential area of military personnel and resource management, you can improve your promotion prospects within the military or your opportunities for civilian employment with the Department of Defense.

The good news is that you can obtain Six Sigma training from a respected, internationally renowned educational institution no matter where you are with Villanova University’s 100% online certificate programs. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 university in the Master’s category/North region for nearly two decades, Villanova offers online Six Sigma certificate courses and certification to meet the needs of working professionals and military personnel stationed around the globe.

Earn Six Sigma Certificates and Certification 100% Online

Villanova offers a variety of acclaimed Six Sigma certificate courses and master certificate programs – as well as an advanced master certificate program – through a unique, video-based e-learning platform that is available 24/7. The flexible online courses impart valuable skills and knowledge while preparing students for industry-recognized Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Sensei, Lean Black Belt and Lean Master Black Belt certifications. In fact, Villanova’s Six Sigma certification programs are the only ones available 100% online.

When you enroll in one of Villanova’s Six Sigma certificate courses or master certificate programs, you’ll enjoy a variety of benefits:

  • View lectures via streaming video, MP4 files or CD-ROM wherever and whenever it is convenient for you
  • Learn from internationally renowned Lean Six Sigma experts, including George Eckes
  • Communicate with your instructors and fellow classmates through shared virtual whiteboards, two-way voice over IP (VOIP), live chat rooms, instant messaging, email and message boards
  • Participate in weekly live interactive sessions
  • Complete your coursework, tests and certification exams at your convenience, 100% online
  • Earn a framed certificate of achievement upon completion of each course and master certificate program, and add the prestige of Villanova University to your résumé

In addition, Villanova offers exclusive savings to active-dutyservicemembers, Reservists, Guardsmen and veterans, as well as military spouses and dependents. If you belong to any of these groups, you are eligible to save 15% on any individual certificate course or 5% on Villanova’s already specially priced master certificate programs.

Improve your job performance and expand your career options quickly and effectively with Villanova’s online Master Certificate in Six Sigma program. Classes start monthly, so you can be on your way to becoming a Six Sigma military expert in a matter of weeks!

Request more information on Six Sigma and the military.

NOVACES Case Studies, accessed August 11, 2010.

Professional Education Programs Online

Villanova offers several professional certificate disciplines.

The top two disciplines from VU include:

Project Management

One of the world’s most in-demand skill sets and one of the fastest growing professional disciplines in North America, Project Management breaks down the chaos of an overwhelming workload into manageable elements. Villanova’s online Project Management program provides professionals with the latest tools and techniques to lead improvement initiatives that can boost return on investment, increase sales, improve customer satisfaction and retention,
decrease time to market, enhance employee motivation and more.

Courses include Essentials of Project Management, Project Management for IS/IT Professionals, Mastering Project
, PMP® Exam Prep, PM Capstone, Advanced Strategic Project Management Practices, Maximizing Team Effectiveness and Maximizing IS/IT Team Effectiveness.

Villanova’s project management courses are the first to include content and best practices from the latest Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide − Fourth Edition) from the Project Management Institute (PMI®). Professionals who complete three courses earn a Master Certificate in either Applied Project Management or IS/IT
Project Management and develop the skills to prepare for Project Management Professional (PMP®) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) certification from PMI®.

Six Sigma and Lean

Six Sigma and Lean are fast becoming required knowledge for professionals involved in helping their companies streamline productivity and improve performance. A focused and measurable management discipline, Six Sigma is structured to reduce product and service failure rates to near perfection.

Professionals discover how Six Sigma and Lean strategies and tactics fit into a larger management system and how to apply these techniques to solve
and prevent critical business process problems.

Villanova’s comprehensive online Six Sigma programs include Six Sigma Green Belt, Six Sigma Green Belt – Healthcare, Six Sigma Green Belt – Financial Services, Six Sigma Green Belt – Information Technology, Lean Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Professionals who complete three online Six Sigma courses earn a Master Certificate in Six Sigma, Six Sigma – Healthcare, Six Sigma – Financial Services, or Six Sigma – Information Technology. Earning a master certificate is an ideal way to obtain vital information to achieve industry-recognized certification from Villanova University.

*From the UA .pdf of Professional Education Certificate Programs Online through Villanova