SOURCE: Six Sigma Online

December 22, 2008 10:53 ET

Six Sigma Certification Booms as Employment Busts

With Unemployment Rates High, Management Training Programs Like Six Sigma Certification Show Growth Spikes as Unemployed Americans Vie for Jobs in a Competitive Market

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - December 22, 2008) - As unemployment claims have reached a 26-year high, American families have begun preparing for what could be an economic depression. To many of the working-class, this means taking on second jobs to make ends meet. But an increasing number of workers are updating their skills to ensure that they are not on their employer's next roster of layoffs.

One area where employment concerns have turned up is in the area of Six Sigma. In Google alone, "Six Sigma Certification" has been up as much as 25% according to Google Trends. "Six Sigma Black Belt" and "Six Sigma Courses" have also reached similar peaks in growth.

"Professional Certification Programs have been increasing in demand in the range of 20-30% since the US economy debacle has occurred," says Craig Setter, President of Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online.

"From the standpoint of the employee, it has become survival of the fittest. Most employers find that it is more profitable to overwork two employees, then to just keep what would normally be three employees on payroll. This becomes especially true with the rising price of employee benefit costs."

Mr. Setter continued, "This has placed many employees in direct competition with their co-workers. By staying current with their skills, they send a clear message to their employer on who should be retained."

The growth seems to have also spread out to the recently unemployed as well. As job posting's requirements have become more stringent (due to the flood of applicants), the unemployed are being forced to obtain professional certifications like Lean Six Sigma just to meet the minimum qualifications.

This works to the employer's advantage. The shift allows them to receive high quality employees for a fraction of the cost.

Six Sigma is a business management strategy originally developed by Motorola to improve manufacturing processes and eliminate process defects. Motorola has reported $17 billion in savings as of 2006. Approximately two-thirds of Fortune 500 organizations have used Six Sigma to reduce waste in recent years. Six Sigma Online is the leading provider for online Six Sigma Certification.

For additional information on Six Sigma methodology and certification, visit http://www.sixsigmaonline.org.

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