Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that has revolutionized the processes in a number of organizations. It was introduced by Motorola in the 1980s to help deliver better products and services with little or zero defects. Its popularity has grown since, and has been adopted by many modern-day organizations.
The reason why many businesses are integrating Six Sigma principles into their production processes is to help increase quality, production, and ultimately boost profits. The strategy focuses upon process improvement and variation reduction. Today’s competitive industries have stressed the demand for Six Sigma expertise.
Individuals can choose to specialize in Six Sigma and also receive certification. The International Association for Six Sigma Certification is among the leading organizations that certify Six Sigma experts. There are many schools in the US that provide the necessary training to obtain this certification. Apart from certification, colleges and universities also offer Six Sigma as a specialization or course for students who wish to prepare for a career in this field.
MBA Six Sigma
Masters of Business Administration in Six Sigma is a comprehensive graduate program designed to provide students with Six Sigma knowledge and skills, as well as a thorough understanding of business management. Students in the program will learn about the development of Six Sigma, its role and function, and modern day applications.
During the first phase of the degree, the coursework will emphasize on management-related areas and subjects. Students will gain an insight on basic business functions and areas such as marketing, administration, managerial finance, and human resource management. The last few semesters in the program are dedicated to Six Sigma courses.
Students will learn how to:
Implement Six Sigma concepts and principles in work settings
Use various statistical tools and techniques
Understand the role and responsibilities of Six Sigma
Gain an in-depth understanding of Six Sigma concepts
Explore variables and the impact of social and political factors
Prepare for the Six Sigma certification exam
The coursework of Six Sigma MBA will include a number of subjects and assignments. Each course will explore a certain aspect of the business field and Six Sigma concepts. Students must remember that the components of the degree curriculum may vary a little from place to place. Here are a few of the topics that are covered:
Business Organization- 2-3 credits
This is an introductory course that will help students gain fundamental knowledge about scientific management, business theories, and basic functions of organizations.
Accounting and Finance – 2-3 credits
Accounting is one of the major functions of a business. The course will explore fundamental principles of accounting. Students will learn about various financial activities and functions. Topics covered in the course include: accounting framework, financial statement analysis, and merchandising.
Marketing – 2-3 credits
This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of marketing and promotional strategies used in firms. Students will learn about marketing mix variables, market competition, advertising techniques, and how to effectively implement marketing plans.
Information Technology – 2-3 credits
In this course, students will acquire an overview of information technology and its role in today’s organizations. Students will learn how to present business data using graphical mediums, computers, and business software.
Operations Management – 2-3 credits
This course will cover the main concepts of operational functions. Students will learn about areas such as the following: organizing and controlling resources, planning, goods/service production, and operation management theories.
Six Sigma Quality Management – 2-3 credits
In this course, students will be introduced to Six Sigma quality management approaches. ISO-9000, quality improvement techniques, improvement systems, and case studies will be discussed in this course. The Six Sigma process basically teaches students the skills to effectively define, analyze, measure, improve and control a firm's manufacturing process or business transactions.
Six Sigma for Black Belt Certification
This course is geared towards providing students with knowledge about advanced Six Sigma concepts. Students will learn how to incorporate lean management tools. Some of the main areas covered in the course are: value stream mapping, team management, and Six Sigma roles. Students can also prepare for the certification examination by studying this course.
A Six Sigma MBA degree will typically take two years to complete. Most colleges are offering two-year MBA programs. Those interested in joining the industry as quickly as possible can opt for an accelerated MBA program. On the other hand, some students prefer to study at their own pace by enrolling in an online MBA degree.
Degree Completion Requirements
All components of the degree must be covered successfully by students. Each course component will be equivalent to a number of credit hours. The credit hour requirement may vary from school to school, but usually ranges between 34-45 hours.
The admission requirements of an MBA Six Sigma program will depend upon the school you plan to enroll in. Every business school has its own set of admission requirements which may vary. Usually, students will be required to submit the following documents:
High school transcript
Bachelor degree transcript
Letter of recommendation
Online MBA Six Sigma
Individuals can opt for online MBA degrees if pursuing classes at a campus-based institute is not feasible. Online learning may be convenient for some, especially for those who are already employed or stay at home parents.
Six Sigma professionals may be able to join manufacturing, healthcare, finance, or federal agencies.
Human resource departments, accounting departments, and production departments are a few areas that seek Six Sigma professionals. Individuals can work as:
Industrial production manager $89,190 (2012)
Logistician $72,780 (2012)
Transportation, storage, and distribution manager $83,890 (2013)
*The mean annual salary figures have been provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Certification and Advancement
After completing an MBA in six sigma, individuals can also take the sigma certification exam. This certification is offered by many organizations.