How To Learn Six Sigma: A Stepwise Approach To Look At It

How to learn six sigma
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To thrive in the highly competitive market today, businesses often adopt a range of tools and techniques to help them improve the ongoing processes and reduce the scope of errors to ensure maximum profit. Out of all the management techniques, Six Sigma seems to be the most popular one.


So, if you have decided to search for how to learn six sigma and get certified, you did the absolute right thing.


To put it simply, Six Sigma is a process improvement technique that aims to analyze and reduce errors using statistics and data analysis. Through six sigma, the cycle times can be improved as the manufacturing defects are reduced to as low as 3.4 defects per million events/units.


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This data-driven approach can help businesses perform better and ensure more profitability by bringing down defect rates, improving `product quality and boosting employee morale.


If you are planning to adopt this approach to improve your business, getting a sigma certification can help. Besides mastering necessary business skills, a certification also looks good on your resume and can help in career advancements.


Here is what you need to know about learning six sigma.


How To Get Certified for Six Sigma?

Although there is no one specific official Six Sigma training course or certification, there are several organizations and online learning platforms out there that offer Six Sigma certification.


Some individual consultancies and institutions have come together to offer their variation of Six Sigma training. A few examples of such groups are the International Association for Six Sigma Certification and The Council for Six Sigma Certification.


Most training bodies follow the pattern of providing Six Sigma training followed by a written exam. You will be awarded the certificate upon successful completion of the exam.


For online and self-paced six sigma courses, you can sign up on platforms like Udemy, Coursera,, Alison, Simplilearn and edX. Some online platforms Also teach you how to learn six sigma online free.


Here are a few things you need to consider before applying to a Six Sigma training course:


  • Pick between learning Six Sigma and learning how to do Lean Six Sigma. Although both have the same goals, there might be a few differences in practices. Six Sigma works toward increasing production with minimum defects and lean six sigma focuses on reducing the wastage.
  • In keeping with the different roles, it plays in management, Six Sigma has several levels including white belt yellow belt, green belt, black belt and master black belt. Do check out which level is suitable for you according to your prior knowledge and the role you play in the organization.
  • Get a better understanding of the tests associated with the certification before you apply for a training course.


Common Considerations To Learn Sig Sigma

Planning to take your career to the next level? Here is what you need to know before you choose the right level of six sigma

  • Keep in mind which industry you belong – Having a thorough knowledge of the management processes and philosophy of the industry you belong to is important to understand how your Six Sigma training can help you improve.
  • Analyze your current role – Ask yourself how will the training help you in your current role.
  • Look to your future goals – Are you planning to switch to a better job or perhaps another industry? Will a Six Sigma certificate help you land promotion and move up in management? Make sure that going for six sigma training is in line with your future goals.
  • Know which belt is for you as per your job – Do thorough research about the various six sigma belts and go for the one that will be most suitable for you according to your job profile.
  • Learn about practical application – Read six sigma books, articles, and case studies to know about the practical application of six sigma.
  • Finish Your Projects – Your proficiency test will probably be a combination of a written exam and hands-on projects.
  • Get certified – Once you have completed your projects and written exam, you will receive your Six Sigma certificate.


Institutions to Get Six Sigma Certification


Different Levels of Six Sigma Certification

Different six sigma certifications or levels point out the roles that individuals are suited to play when it comes to completing projects and promoting practices that support quality management.


Knowing the different Six Sigma levels can help you opt for the right course and work on the right skills to add to your company’s value and move ahead in your career.


The different levels of six sigma are:

1. White Belt: It is an entry level certification. The learners receive basic grounding and participate in projects and tasks associated with waste reduction and quality management.


2. Yellow Belt: This is awarded to learners who know a little more about Six Sigma concepts than the fundamentals. They may act as fully contributing team members in projects and even guide limited-scope projects. They may also offer assistance to managers who are at higher Six Sigma levels.


3. Green Belt: This certification is for individuals who have participated in a full Six Sigma course and are well aware of the methods for developing and improving processes and products. This training is useful for those working in financial management, healthcare management, project management etc. Green Belt holders are trained to take charge of projects.


4. Black Belt: It is advanced training that requires previous knowledge of Six Sigma concepts. This certification shows that you have mastered six sigma philosophies. Professionals with this training are fit to plan and lead complex projects.


5. Master Black Belt: You can become a master Black Belt if you are a seasoned Black Belt who possesses strong leadership and problem-solving qualities.


Six Sigma Methodology: DMAIC

The process of how to learn six sigma online also includes mastering the use of the DMAIC method to executive six sigma principles. Here’s what you need to know about this approach that is focused on improving existing business processes.
D: stands for defining the requirements of customers and the project goals.
M: stands for measuring the main aspects of the current business process.
A: stands for analyzing the data.
I: stands for improving the process. This step involves testing and verifying that the improvements are achieving desired results.
C: stands for controlling the processes’ future implementations. This will help keep errors away in the future.

But, Wait, How To Do Lean Six Sigma?

Six Sigma methodology was framed to improve production processes by using statistical analysis. It does so by reducing variation and bringing down defect rates. To achieve its goal, the methodology uses either the DMAIC approach (Define, measure, analyze, improve, control) or the DMADV approach (Define, measure, analyze, design, verify).


However, Lean Six Sigma focuses solely on doing away with waste, offering maximum value to customers with the lowest amount of investment possible. It addresses waste reduction by forming an efficient toolkit by combining the DMAIC and DMADV approaches.


For companies that are willing to streamline business processes and provide their customers maximum value, knowing how to learn Lean Six Sigma is the way to go.


Although the two have several similarities between them, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma do seem to stand out to be distinct in a few areas:

  • Six Sigma is a program whereas Lean Six Sigma is both a program and a philosophy.
  • Lean Six Sigma attempts to bring about changes in the culture of the organization, Six Sigma does not.
  • Six Sigma aims to reduce or eliminate defects that can adversely affect the ability to deliver high-quality products or services. On the other hand, Lean Six Sigma aims to eliminate waste as well as speed up the business process. The former focuses on the customer and end product while the latter is centered around waste and production methods.
  • In terms of ownership, the responsibility of implementation lies with special purpose teams in the case of Six Sigma. In Lean Six Sigma, the entire process members are expected to adopt. It’s because the latter focuses on continuous improvements across the whole value stream of operations management.



Q. How much does six sigma certification cost?

Ans. One of the first concerns that people have while researching how to learn six sigma online is the cost of the training. Since the training is not standardised, different Six Sigma training programs have varied costs.  The cost of training in higher levels will be more than the basic levels. You can compare different courses and opt for the one that meets all your learning requirements and is within your budget.


Q. How much do certified six sigma professionals earn?

Ans. While a Six Sigma certificate can certainly help you land a good job or advance in your career, it is tough to give an exact amount for how much six sigma professionals earn. How much you will make as a trained professional depends on the industry you are a part of and the position you hold in your organization.


Q. How long is a Lean Six Sigma certification good for?

Ans. Usually, Six Sigma certifications do not come with an expiration date. However, lean sigma certification from a few institutions are regarded as current if they have been issued in the last 3 years.

To Sum Up..

When looking for how to learn six sigma to get certified, firstly look at your current job role and where you would want to go from there. After determining that, you can pick the desired level of six sigma certification from a reputed online institution.


Each course will have its own style of teaching and activities to be done by you before you can get certified.

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