What Kind of Six Sigma Training is the Best for You?

Some of the most common questions I get are about which Six Sigma Training classes are appropriate, which ones I like, and what course of action candidates should take.

For example;

Hi Ted,

I’m considering a college course on six sigma before taking the next step with you. I believe you suggested this in your 1st email.

Purdue has one so i reached out to them but do you recommend any one in particular?

Thanks, Krystal

I do absolutely recommend taking training before making use of my guides to try to pass a certification exam. The certification exams are difficult enough for people who know the material well! Trying to simultaneously learn and prepare for the exam may be more difficult than it needs to be.

I wish I had a short, crisp answer for all of the inquiries I get about Six Sigma training, but I don’t. The answer is ‘it depends’ on your particular circumstances.

Once you know that Six Sigma is appropriate for your career path, the kind of training that would be best for you depends on all kinds of variables unique to you and your situation.

How I Evaluate Six Sigma Training Options

There are several pillars that I try to evaluate when recommending a training program for someone.

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself and the training provider:

Alignment of Training with You

  • Will it help you achieve your mission?
  • Does it align with a published Body of Knowledge?
    • You’ll likely want to match this with a specific certification organization.
    • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt online course via e-Careers. “the course I (took) did not relate to the exam – I like this about your study guide…How topics are explained and then have exam examples but also relate to the real world.” – Naomi Haynes
  • What do you get with the fees? Are books and lectures available?
  • What are the downloadable or physical resources?
  • How long do you keep access to materials?
  • Do you get a certification test voucher?
  • Does it include various software (like Minitab)?
  • What do you get if you successfully complete the program?

Effectiveness of Training

  • Have other people taken the training and liked it?
  • What have other people been able to accomplish due to this training? Is that in alignment with your mission?
  • What is the method and mode of instruction? And does that fit your learning style?
  • Are both academic principles and practical applications taught?
  • Are mentors available?

Your Ability to Take the Training

  • Is it affordable to you? Or, if you’re being reimbursed or otherwise subsidized, is it easy to work with the reimbursement office?
  • What are the time constraints needed to complete the training?
  • How long do you have to complete the work?
  • What are the prerequisites for joining?
    • Academic degrees?
    • Other six sigma belts?
    • Years working in the workplace? (Sometimes working in a quality role already?)
    • Company sponsorship?
    • An approved DMAIC project?

Six Sigma Training Options

Six Sigma training is offered in many ways. Here are some broken up by categories that you might want to investigate.

In-Person Classes for Six Sigma Training

Local colleges often offer courses. In the US, I see a lot of schools advertising their programs at the Six Sigma conferences I attend.

My growing list includes the following:

I personally took Six Sigma Greenbelt classes at my local community college years ago. It was held over the course of a semester and required regular class attendance, homework, a final exam, and a semester-long capstone project.

Here’s an example of the Six Sigma Green Belt description offered by my local community college:

Six Sigma Green Belt Training @ CPCC 12 week training Course with regular quizzes, Real-world Applied Case study DMAIC Project, Capstone exam. You’ll learn through a blended program of classroom instruction and online instructor-led labs.

To graduate with Green Belt Certification, the course requirements are as follows:

•Active attendance and participation in classroom instructions
•Complete all on-line modules with post-test scores of > 80%
•Approval of a project report demonstrating Lean Six Sigma methodology
•Passing grade of > 80% on the final exam

Here’s an example of the Six Sigma Black Belt description offered by my local community college:

Six Sigma Black Belt Training @ CPCC:  Six -hour Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification course. $3000

1.Certification Exam and demonstration of data analysis skills using Mini-tab
2.Demonstration of Skills: online assessment and testing
3.Class Participation: Group discussions and implementation planning
4.Computer lab: Exercises and reports

On-The-Job Training for Six Sigma Training

Many companies ask Six Sigma Black Belts to train high-potential candidates in their organization to be Six Sigma Green Belts. I have personally coached candidates to receive their Six Sigma Greenbelt.

Online Classes for Six Sigma Training

Several reputable companies offer online courses. I find it best to blend textbooks, offline videos, and online instructor-led classes. I personally took the Villanova Six Sigma Black Belt course, which offered all of those methods.

Note: My thoughts on the legitimacy of online Six Sigma exams.

Here’s an example of the Six Sigma Green Belt description offered by Villanova

Villanova Six Sigma Green Belt Training: $2,295 eight-week course.

Mid to upper-level managers responsible for top-line growth will gain skills to implement cost reductions and improved organizational capability and capacity.

Here’s an example of the Six Sigma Black Belt description offered by Villanova

Villanova Six Sigma Black Belt training: $4,095

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt  This 16-week course is ideal for knowledgeable Green Belt practitioners or those with equivalent experience who would like to enhance their status as recognized leaders.

12 week training Course with regular quizzes, Case study DMAIC Project, Capstone.

Join successful project managers who are saving billions by improving productivity, reducing waste, variation and defects.

Other Online Six Sigma training that I’ve heard about:

My Final Thoughts on Six Sigma Training Options

  • Remember your core mission.
  • You’ll likely benefit from multiple types and multiple instructors.
  • This is a continuing effort. You wouldn’t want your physician to go to med school and then not learn anything else over a 40-year career! It’s the same with Six Sigma. Invest in continuous learning.
  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

Comments (4)

I really want to thank you for taking time to write that awesome study out all the research I have did this is the best resource I have found thanks for taking time out to write this. Now any advice you have I will surely appreciate. Now I am going to stay focused on this guide thank you very much. Man your detail awesome I guess I should study section by section with all the hyperlinks do you agree?

Thank You
Anthony Smith

Very welcome, Anthony. Happy to help!

Your approach to studying should be dictated by the exam you are trying to pass. In most cases I do find it easiest to go section – by section and do a lot of practice problems. For example, I’d do all of the “DMAIC Define” questions that I could find, then study those until I could reliably get 95-100% correct. Once I reached that level, I’d move on to the next section. But the specifics are different by the exam type because the goal is to maximize your score and each exam does things slightly differently.

Which exam are you taking? I have my notes on how I passed the ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt here and how I passed the Villanova Six Sigma Black Belt exam here.

HI Ted – Great information listed on your site. I recently took a Yellow Belt online course from Project Academy. Pretty straight forward material. I’d like to advance to the Greenbelt certification. Like you mentioned, I don’t like the cost of the Villanova re-certification. $2,000 every 3 years gets a bit expensive so would prefer not to go that route. I’m leaning towards taking the exam with ASQ, but I do need to go through formal training. In your suggestions, I believe you mentioned local colleges or even universities like Purdue. I’m ok with paying 1800-2000 for good training to prepare to take the exam, just not sure ‘where’ to get the best training prep. I have 10+ years experience in implementations, process improvement and a handful of projects I have led. So hoping that would suffice for the ASQ requirement 🙂

Hi Mark, I would think your experience would qualify!

Quality instruction can be found several places. One recommendation that I would have would be to contact your local ASQ branch.

For one, ASQ membership gives you a discount on the exam. Second, you can network with other local professionals and can sometimes find amazing value. For example, I did my Green Belt at a local community college taught by a pro with decades of experience.

Given your experience, you might want to just sign up for my free program and take the practice exam to get a baseline of where you are. If you score well, self-study filling in the gaps in knowledge might be an expedient option as well.

Best, Ted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.