SOURCE: Six Sigma Online

June 18, 2009 12:52 ET

Six Sigma Training More Preferred Than MBA Programs in Recent Poll

Aveta Business Institute's Poll Results Overwhelmingly Show That Employers Will Choose Six Sigma Black Belt Certified Applicants Over MBA Applicants

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - June 18, 2009) - It is no secret that in today's economy no job is secure. For the first time in over 25 years, the United States unemployment rate has risen to 9.4% in May of 2009. Along with this grim statistic come salary cuts, demotions, layoffs, and actual job cuts. Craig Setter, president and CEO of Aveta Business Institute's Six Sigma Online Program, (, has noticed a new trend in his company's scope -- "At least a few times a day, someone will e-mail our customer care team, asking if a Six Sigma training class or certification could help them either get a job, or help cement their position in their current job." He wanted to answer that question in a non-biased way.

Setter was curious, so he put together a small research team who conducted an email-based survey of United States management-level business professionals between April 1, 2009 and June 1, 2009. There were 186 respondents, with questions centered around the subjects of work experience, possessing an MBA, possessing a Project Management Certification, and possessing various degrees of Six Sigma Certification. All of the questions asked who the respondents would hire based on qualifications alone.

When asked, work experience being equal, would you prefer to hire someone with an MBA or a Six Sigma Green Belt, 162 (87.1%) respondents stated they would prefer an MBA. When asked, if work experience being equal, would you prefer to hire someone with an MBA or a Six Sigma Black Belt, 161 (86.56%) respondents preferred the Six Sigma Black Belt. When the MBA was challenged by a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, a surprising 182 (97.8%) chose the Master Black Belt.

Then, a Project Management Certification was tested against various levels of Six Sigma Certification. Of the respondents, only 41 (22.04%) chose a Six Sigma Green Belt over a Project Management Certification. The Six Sigma Black Belt certification and Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certification both defeated the Project Management Certification with 116 (62.37%) and 168 (90.32%) respondents preferring Six Sigma Certifications respectively.

What does this mean? According to Setter, it means that, with experience being equal, more Management-level business professionals would choose an upper level Six Sigma trained individual over both an MBA and a Project Management Certification. What makes a Six Sigma Certification so job-worthy? "Maybe it is the great leadership and problem solving skills a Lean Six Sigma trained individual possesses. Perhaps it is the knowledge of the Six Sigma Methodology that could help their company cut out excess processes and costs. The reason behind the Six Sigma Certification preference will have to wait for another survey," laughs Setter. He continues, "It just shows how valued a Six Sigma is in today's workplace."

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