Exploring Options For Six Sigma Training

There are a variety of Six Sigma training options available, but it is important that each individual chooses a method that works with both their personal schedule and learning style. It is also a good idea to establish a comfortable budget for training expenses, which should include curriculum, textbook and exam fees (if applicable). If someone is seeking certification to improve performance in a current position, he or she may even consider asking their employer if there is a possibility for company-sponsored training.

Some people choose to simply purchase a Six Sigma Certification book or manual, and study the text on their own time, while others find it helpful to have some form of additional resources. It is up to each individual to determine the best option.

Many providers offer hands-on, instructor led courses held in a classroom setting. With this option, students have the additional benefit of having a live instructor available to answer questions. It also allows individuals to communicate with other professionals, as they progress through the courses. This can open the doors for powerful brainstorming sessions, and possibly lead to valuable business relationships through networking.

However, not everyone has time to attend instructor led courses. For individuals who may have greater time restraints, there are very effective online delivery methods that offer the same type of structure that is found in a classroom. Some providers may also offer instructor assistance through live chat; as well as, forums that can encourage more collaboration among students.

There are also online options that are self-paced, meaning that the student can start and stop sessions as needed. This is often the best solution for individuals that have busy schedules, or simply enjoy learning at their own pace. This can be done from any location, which is very convenient if an employer is sponsoring the training and allowing it’s completion during work hours. Typically, students will have a full year to complete the certification process, and will have the added benefit of reviewing the material as many times as necessary before taking the exam.

When choosing a training provider, it is important to find one that fits within a budget. Some providers may offer complete packages that include the courseware required for the class as well as certification examination. There are also training providers that separate these costs to make the cost of the training itself seem more appealing. Prospective students should ask about the total cost for courses, materials, and exams when speaking with a potential provider; it is important to do thorough research.

Many organizations have also realized the value of having qualified Six Sigma professionals on staff, and find that investing in employee training can quickly improve quality and productivity. If individuals feel that obtaining a certification can be beneficial to their organization as well, it may be a good idea to submit a request for training to a supervisor. In many cases, companies will consider paying a portion, if not all, of the expenses.

The job market seems to get more and more competitive, and completing a Six Sigma certification process can often be very effective in attracting the attention of potential employers, or enhancing an employee’s value to a current organization. Finding the right type of Six Sigma training can help individuals not only prepare for the exams that are required for certification, but for real world application of the Six Sigma methodologies and techniques that will be expected of them upon completion.


Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.