Tag Archives: career

Commercial Contract Management Careers

Contract management careers can be very challenging and engaging. They can also be highly lucrative, particularly if you have attained National Contract Management Association (NCMA) certification.

There are many different positions available in this field, and you have the opportunity to work with a variety of different organizations and industries. Whether you are a veteran contract manager looking to expand your experience or a relative newcomer interested in learning more about contract management careers, you should familiarize yourself with all of the opportunities available for employment and advancement in this diverse and exciting specialty.

Contract Management Careers

Earn a Contract Management Certification

NCMA Certification and Contract Management

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Government Contract Management Careers

Whether the government is your employer or customer, government contract jobs can be challenging, rewarding and very lucrative. Coordinating business relationships between government agencies and outside contractors is extremely intricate and regulated work, which is why skilled and certified contract managers are in demand for a variety of positions in this field.

Government Contract Careers

Government Contracting

How to Obtain a Government Contract

What is Government Contracting?


Business Analysis Career Path

Today’s Business Analyst

The 21st century business analyst’s world is multifaceted. As a mediator, moderator, connector and ambassador, the business analyst must bring the business needs together with IT resources. Successful business analysts tend to be clear communicators, smooth facilitators, precise analyzers and team players.

Plus, the ideal analyst has the versatility of various business functions, such as operations, finance, engineering, technology or architecture. Jay Michael, a business analyst for Colfax, agrees that the business analyst role is fuzzy at many companies.

He says, “I usually describe what a BA does by telling people I am a bridge between business systems from the end user to functional implementation of technical solutions. But when you tell somebody that they look at you like ’OK, what do you really do?’”

What Does a Business Analyst Do?

As you explore the business analyst career path, you’ll need to clear up the confusion and learn about the many hats business analysts wear. From being a good communicator and data analyzer to possessing project management and technical skills, business analysts regularly use a variety of techniques.

They are the bridge that fills in the gap between each department throughout every step of development. Modern Analyst identifies several characteristics that make up the role of a business analyst as follows:

  • The analyst works with the business to identify opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes
  • The analyst is involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems
  • The analyst interacts with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to understand their problems and needs
  • The analyst gathers, documents, and analyzes business needs and requirements
  • The analyst solves business problems and, as needed, designs technical solutions
  • The analyst documents the functional and, sometimes, technical design of the system
  • The analyst interacts with system architects and developers to ensure the system is properly implemented
  • The analyst may help test the system and create system documentation and user manuals

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 iSixSigma.com 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 iSixSigma.com 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

Courses

  • 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.


Career: Business Analyst Career

Most IT jobs have a clear, specific job description and career path. However, the business analyst career path tends to vary, as do the descriptions from job to job. David Foote, president of Foote Partners LLC, an IT career research firm in New Canaan, Connecticut, explains the business analyst career path best.

David says, “There are career tracks that zigzag back and forth between IT and business. Someone might start as a business analyst, then move into a project management job, then an IT management path, then go back to an innovation path … then to process management, then move up a rung to process leadership or process ownership, and then go back over to management as manager of an IT line of business.”

Today’s Business Analyst

The 21st century business analyst’s world is multifaceted. As a mediator, moderator, connector and ambassador, the business analyst must bring the business needs together with IT resources. Successful business analysts tend to be clear communicators, smooth facilitators, precise analyzers and team players. Plus, the ideal analyst has the versatility of various business functions, such as operations, finance, engineering, technology or architecture.

Jay Michael, a business analyst for Colfax, agrees that the business analyst role is fuzzy at many companies. He says, “I usually describe what a BA does by telling people I am a bridge between business systems from the end user to functional implementation of technical solutions. But when you tell somebody that they look at you like ’OK, what do you really do?’”

What Does a Business Analyst Do?

As you explore the business analyst career path, you’ll need to clear up the confusion and learn about the many hats business analysts wear. From being a good communicator and data analyzer to possessing project management and technical skills, business analysts regularly use a variety of techniques. They are the bridge that fills in the gap between each department throughout every step of development. Modern Analyst identifies several characteristics that make up the role of a business analyst as follows:

  • The analyst works with the business to identify opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes
  • The analyst is involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems
  • The analyst interacts with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to understand their problems and needs
  • The analyst gathers, documents, and analyzes business needs and requirements
  • The analyst solves business problems and, as needed, designs technical solutions
  • The analyst documents the functional and, sometimes, technical design of the system
  • The analyst interacts with system architects and developers to ensure the system is properly implemented
  • The analyst may help test the system and create system documentation and user manuals

Starting Your Career as a Business Analyst

Beginning business analysts need to have either a strong business background or extensive IT knowledge. With that, you can start to work as a business analyst with job responsibilities that include collecting, analyzing, communicating and documenting requirements, user-testing and so on.

Entry-level jobs may include industry/domain expert, developer, and/or quality assurance. Within a few years you could choose to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME). This is the time to delve into the areas that interest you most and develop those areas that can help you progress into higher management positions.

Moving Up the Ladder

Once you have several years of experience in the industry, you will reach a pivotal turning point where you can choose the next step in your business analyst career. After three to five years, you can be positioned to move up into roles such as IT business analyst, senior/lead business analyst or product manager. The more experience you have as a business analyst, the more likely you are to be assigned larger and/or more complex projects.

After eight to 10 years in various business analysis positions, you can advance to chief technology officer or work as a consultant. You can take the business analyst career path as far as you would like, progressing through management levels as far as your expertise, talents and desires take you.

How Much Do Business Analysts Make?

Depending upon which business analyst career path you choose, you’re certain to benefit from a highly rewarding and lucrative career. To give you an idea of how profitable this field can be, take a look at these job titles and average salaries for a variety of business analyst jobs:

Job Title Average Salary
Executive Sales Representative $160,000
Management Consulting Business Analyst $109,000
SAP $101,000
Solutions Architect Sales Representative $92,000
Senior Business Systems Analyst $89,000
Systems Business Analyst $87,000
Senior Business Analyst $86,000
Executive $83,000
Business Systems Analyst $81,000
Business Intelligence Analyst $80,000
Technical Business Analyst $79,000
Business Analyst $76,000
Senior Credit Analyst $65,000
Associate Analyst $55,000
Administrative Analyst $53,000

In USD as of Nov 10, 2009, according to http://www.Indeed.com.

Certification = Fastest Route to Higher Salary + Increased Opportunity

Business analysts who want to enhance their expertise and expand their career options achieve industry-recognized certification. The current leader in business analysis certification is the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®).

The IIBA offers the prestigious Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®), a designation accomplished by candidates who successfully demonstrate their business analysis expertise. As a candidate, you’ll need to detail your business analysis work experience, and pass the CBAP exam. One of the most critical steps on your business analyst career path, certification can boost your salary by 16% according to Certification Magazine.

Expand Your Business Analysis Skills – and Your Professional Value

One of the best ways to prepare for your CBAP certification is to earn your Master Certificate in Business Analysis from Villanova University – 100% online. Not only will you be able to gain the critical knowledge you’ll need for the certification exam, but you’ll also be attaining a valuable credential that demonstrates your solid understanding of core business analysis skills and shows your career dedication.

Throughout Villanova’s online business analysis courses, you’ll learn to:

  • Initiate project plans and schedules for requirements
  • Identify, analyze and design processes to enhance information flow
  • Develop superior strategies for gathering, documenting and reviewing
  • Explore advanced data definition, traceability, quality management and other techniques
  • Understand methods for dealing with requirements changes and their impact on testing and product quality.

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.