Sigma certification can help show a current or future employer that you understand the cores behind the Six Sigma management program and style. The focus of Sigma is to reduce manufacturing defaults to the point that there are no defaults for 6 standard deviations. A standard deviation is a statistical term; the first standard deviation will hold roughly 65% of all cases, the second 90 and the third 95. Six standard deviations is only a few per million. The statistical symbol for a standard deviation is σ, which would Romanize out as the word Sigma, hence the connection between 6 Sigma and six standard deviations. Businesses want management with Sigma certification so that they can trust these people to reduce the amount of manufacturing defects in the products being produced.
It’s easy to tell someone you understand a system, but without proof it’s even easier for them to distrust you. The advantage to Sigma certification is that you have the proof that you’ve done the course work and actually understand the 6 Sigma program well enough to have earned the Sigma certification. It might feel like busy work or a waste of time and money, but understanding the system is a great career move if you want to be in management in a manufacturing field. 6 Sigma is one of the more popular managerial philosophies, so having certification in it is actually a rather transportable accreditation that doesn’t lock one into a specific firm. If your company is requiring you to get Sigma certification, be glad, it’s better that than their own in house training program. 6 Sigma is likely to be better training, more compatible with other businesses and more transportable.
General skills are very good, standardized practices can be very good. General skills let people change jobs, even within the same company, and standardized practices can make business to business trading easier because you know what to expect from each other and practices will be standard. The other advantage from the point of view of an employer is that if they have employees with Sigma certification they can make that a known fact when they’re dealing with others. Being able to advertize that not only do you have low rates of defect and error, but that you have staff that’s been trained in the procedures to make this a recurring trend can be a powerful tool for a business person who knows what they’re doing. Ultimately, Sigma certification helps the employee and the employer both, and in somewhat distinct ways. The employee gains a skill they can take with them to any similar job and have proof of, the employer knows their employee is trained, and can let other people know it’s formal training as well.