Skills you'll gain: Leadership and Management, Data Analysis, Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Operations, Business Analysis, Business Psychology, Database Administration, Databases, Operations Management, Operations Research, Organizational Development, Research and Design, Security Engineering, Software Security, Statistical Analysis, Computer Graphics
Beginner · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Business Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Leadership and Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Operations Management, Planning, Sales, Strategy, Strategy and Operations, Supply Chain and Logistics, Training, Calculus, Culture, Organizational Development, Differential Equations, Probability & Statistics, Data Analysis, General Statistics, Statistical Tests, Business Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Correlation And Dependence, Experiment, Probability Distribution, Problem Solving, Regression, Research and Design
Mixed · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Mathematics, Business Psychology, Strategy and Operations, Organizational Development, Data Management, Data Warehousing, Design and Product, Operations Management, Product Lifecycle, Product Management, Project Management, Resilience
Mixed · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Operations Management, Business Analysis, Operational Analysis, Supply Chain and Logistics, Process Analysis, Business Process Management, Strategy
Mixed · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Collaboration, Communication, Leadership and Management, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Research and Design, Business Process Management, Data Analysis, Data Management, Strategy and Operations
Beginner · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Accounting, Business Psychology, Operations Management, Communication, Financial Accounting, General Accounting, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Finance, Marketing, Business Analysis, Collaboration, Human Resources, Leadership Development, Operational Analysis, Organizational Development, Strategy, Supply Chain and Logistics, MarTech, Business Communication, Cash Management, People Management, Strategy and Operations, Digital Marketing, Change Management, Decision Making, Process Analysis, Brand Management, Financial Analysis, Investment Management, Marketing Psychology, Taxes, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Business Process Management, Conflict Management, Cost Accounting, Emotional Intelligence, Influencing, Performance Management, Customer Relationship Management, Design and Product, Market Analysis, Media Strategy & Planning, Planning, Product Marketing, Sales
Beginner · Specialization · 3-6 Months
Skills you'll gain: Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Operations, Leadership and Management, Business Process Management, Marketing, Performance Management, Sales, Strategy, Operations Management, Business Analysis, Operational Analysis, Supply Chain and Logistics, Change Management, Project Management, Accounting, Business Communication, Communication, Cost Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Leadership Development, Market Analysis, People Management, Risk Management, Planning, Problem Solving, Research and Design
Mixed · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Probability & Statistics, Estimation, General Statistics, Mathematics, Probability Distribution, Algorithms, Correlation And Dependence, Linear Algebra, Machine Learning, Markov Model, Statistical Machine Learning, Theoretical Computer Science, Matlab, Operations Research, Strategy and Operations
Intermediate · Course · 1-3 Months
Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that is important for quality management across a wide range of industries. It is defined by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) as “a method that provides organizations tools to improve the capability of their business processes” by reducing variation in output and improving performance and profitability. “Sigma” refers to standard deviations, or the variance of a set of data from its mean, and “six sigma” processes result in plus or minus three standard deviations (i.e. six total standard deviations) from the center line in a control chart.
As this name and definition suggest, Six Sigma methodology places a strong emphasis on statistics and rigorous data analysis. While there can be some differences in specific implementations of these techniques, a particularly emblematic and widely shared methodology used by virtually all Six Sigma professionals is the process known as the “DMAIC” cycle: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control.
Lean methods of process improvement are closely related to Six Sigma, and in fact are sometimes combined as “Lean Six Sigma.” While both methodologies rely on statistics-driven approaches to quality management, lean approaches focus on eliminating waste and non-value added processes, in contrast to the traditional Six Sigma emphasis on reducing variation and improving control. In practice, these techniques are often interrelated and complement each other, as both work towards the goal of delivering the highest level of quality at the lowest cost.
Because Six Sigma techniques can be applied in any business that require a high level of process control and efficiency, an education in this methodology is a gateway to a wide range of careers. Industries that employ Six Sigma professionals include manufacturing, construction, mining, design, and agriculture, and typical roles using these skills are found in project management, operations management, and supply chain management.
While an education in Six Sigma can be acquired through courses at a variety of institutions, specific certification in Six Sigma (and/or Lean Six Sigma) methodology are provided by organizations such as ASQ, the Council for Six Sigma Certification, and the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC). Practitioners are awarded “belts” based on their level of expertise in a similar fashion as the marital arts, progressing from yellow belt to green belt to black belt.
Yes, Coursera offers individual courses as well as Specializations spanning multiple courses that can prepare you for Six Sigma certification, as well as courses to provide you with additional tools to complement your Six Sigma (and and Lean Six Sigma) education.
Because these courses are offered by renowned institutions like the University of Georgia, the University of Amsterdam, and Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, you can learn online while maintaining a high level of quality control over your own education. Learning online also allows you to complete course materials on a flexible schedule, making them an ideal fit for working professionals that want to add new skills to their toolkit.
Before learning Six Sigma, it's helpful to have good problem-solving skills. You'll also benefit from having current or past experience in leadership positions before learning Six Sigma. Experience with training, teaching, mentoring, or coaching is also very helpful. Six Sigma has level rankings that build upon each other. Therefore, you'll need to begin at the lowest introductory level (white belt) before advancing up the ranks to yellow belt, green belt, black belt, and master black belt Six Sigma. Good communication skills, management skills, and experience with business processes are also important to have before starting to learn Six Sigma.
People best suited in roles in Six Sigma are those who are natural leaders or comfortable in leadership roles. It's also helpful to be someone who is currently experiencing a problem to solve, particularly within an organization, so that your studies are directly relevant to your current situation and can be applied in the real world. But even if that's not the case, those who are in management roles are well suited for roles in Six Sigma. People who have a positive attitude are also well suited for these roles.
Learning Six Sigma may be right for you if you have a need within your business or organization for quality improvement and are willing to follow a systematic process to solve issues and eliminate inefficiencies and defects. If you're in the corporate world and looking for a tool that is effective and proficient in quality management, learning Six Sigma may be right for you. It might also be helpful if you have a need to improve communications with your employees, shareholders, or customers or if you want to improve the total process of your product design, communication, and interaction within your organization.