January 11, 2010 | Barb Carr

Career Development: Advance your Career through Certifications

ClassThere are a myriad of ways to achieve an education in today’s world, including classroom, e-learning and correspondence training. College degrees are not the only way to advance your career through education, certifications are also valuable tools in career development.

Certification programs can build upon your degree and/or work experience and help you stand out in today’s job market.  An article in the January 2010 issue of Quality Progress “Boost Your Chances with Certifications, Training” reported that top certifications in today’s market include:

Six Sigma Black Belt (BB)

Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) and Certified Quality Auditor (CQA)

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Other certifications mentioned in the Quality Progress article included those for engineers by degree, like professional engineer, engineering management certification fundamentals and engineering management certification professional. (See American Society for Mechanical Engineers or Engineering Management Certification International for guidance).

In the U.S., Six Sigma certification is offered by The Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) and American Society for Quality (ASQ). CQE and CQA certifications can be completed through the ASQ (including self-study options), and the PMP can be completed through the Project Management Institute (PMI).

According to an ASQ survey, U.S. BBs who are certified BBs earn, on average, $2,838 more than their counterparts who aren’t certified, and CQEs earn $3,718 more. A survey of 5,000 PMPs worldwide revealed a median salary that is 13-17% higher than their non-credentialed peers with similar experience.

Don’t forget that many career opportunities need people with TapRooT® or root cause analysis skills, and you can learn incident investigation and root cause analysis in just 2 days of training.

Getting ahead with today’s shrinking company resources requires a willingness to grow and learn. Learning through certification can be the value add that gets you noticed!

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