Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my career

1

152 Sumo

#1
Hello all. I would like some advice on which, if any, ASQ certification I should try to get. Here is my background: I currently work as an ISO 9001 internal auditor (3 years) at a gas turbine overhaul facility (industrial). Previously, I worked as a quality inspector (4 years) at a different gas turbine overhaul facility (aviation). Prior to that I was an assembly mechanic at same facility. I also spent 7 years in the USMC as an aircraft mechanic. I have a BS in aviation maintenance management.

I have decided to do what I can to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my career. I recently applied to two different quality engineer positions at the same company and was unsuccessful. I feel that I was qualified, but didn't even get an interview. I have the feeling that QA folks with engineering degrees have better luck with employers. So, I decided to get some more education to make myself more valuable to future employers and of course improve my effectiveness in QA.

I thought of the following: ASQ certified quality engineer or certified auditor. Engineer seems to be more marketable, but I would like some input before I invest the time and money into preparation for the exam.

Thanks in advance!
 
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ScottK

Not out of the crisis
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Re: advice on ASQ certifications

Hello all. I would like some advice on which, if any, ASQ certification I should try to get. Here is my background: I currently work as an ISO 9001 internal auditor (3 years) at a gas turbine overhaul facility (industrial). Previously, I worked as a quality inspector (4 years) at a different gas turbine overhaul facility (aviation). Prior to that I was an assembly mechanic at same facility. I also spent 7 years in the USMC as an aircraft mechanic. I have a BS in aviation maintenance management.

I have decided to do what I can to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my career. I recently applied to two different quality engineer positions at the same company and was unsuccessful. I feel that I was qualified, but didn't even get an interview. I have the feeling that QA folks with engineering degrees have better luck with employers. So, I decided to get some more education to make myself more valuable to future employers and of course improve my effectiveness in QA.

I thought of the following: ASQ certified quality engineer or certified auditor. Engineer seems to be more marketable, but I would like some input before I invest the time and money into preparation for the exam.

Thanks in advance!
Sounds to me like you have the experience to take either exam.
If you want to stay in auditing I would take the CQA first, then the CQE in the next round.
If you want to look for QE type jobs then study and sit for the CQE.
Either would be helpful in a job search as employers often use them as key words when searching for quality professionals.

CQE will take more studying.
 
1

152 Sumo

#3
Re: advice on ASQ certifications

Thank you Scott. I looked at the body of knowledge for CQE, and you're right, it does look like it would take a lot more preparation. I am very curious about CQE because it seems like a more versatile career path. To be perfectly honest, I really don't enjoy auditing but I enjoy working out quality problems and I truly believe in quality principles. I am leaning towards CQE.

Thank you very much for your input, Scott.
 
J

JAltmann

#4
Re: Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my ca

Get both! The CQA is a little easier IMO but the CQE is a little more respected, but you may find alot of employers that don't recognize the true value of ASQ certifications or what is involved in attaining them.

Best of luck in whichever route you choose.
 
K

kg209

#5
Re: Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my ca

Hi Sumo,

I have both the CQA and CQE. I got the CQE first, passed first try but with a LOT of studying. I got the handbook from ASQ and the Primer, test questions, and electronic test from Quality Council of Indiana. I highly recommend all of these materials. Even with all of these it took me many months to prepare, but once I had that CQE I was amazed at the number of job offers and headhunters coming my way, and even picked up a nice raise at my current employer. The CQE is a very inclusive certification and seems to be much in demand.

I received my CQA just a few weeks ago and found it to be a much easier test. If you get your CQE first and want to augment it with a CQA this will be very easy for you to accomplish. Can't hurt!

Best of luck to you, there are a lot of CQEs here on Elsmar that would be happy to offer you more insight if you choose this route.

KG
 
1

152 Sumo

#6
Re: Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my ca

Thanks KG. Very helpful post. I sent a message to my local ASQ members organization in Houston. I think I am going to shoot for the CQE. I know it is harder, but I feel that it will help me in the job hunt, and to be a more effective QA employee.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#7
Re: Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my ca

Semper Fi!

Why not get something that might really help get you a job like an A&P followed by an IA from the FAA? I capitalized on my military aviation background (even though I started life as an 0311) and haven't been out of work in 30 years (Aviation helped to get me where I am today)

Between you and me (USMC '68-'79) most of the CQ whatever's I have come into contact with over the years remind me of "Doggies" with all the shiny badges, buttons and bows on their Class "A's" the you and I had to contend with in years gone by.

Or better yet, capitalize on your BA and go for an MBA....There's a whole lot more doors ready to open for folks with real leadership experience, and a Masters than there are for folks locking themselves into a potentially narrow path field like Quality
 
1

152 Sumo

#8
Re: Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my ca

Semper Fi Randy! I do have my A & P license. I got my license right before getting out of the Corps. I got out just after 9/11. So, there wasn't a whole lot of work in the airliners. I took what I could get and got a job at an engine overhaul shop that had a really big Navy contract (same engines that powered the KC130s I worked on in USMC as well as Navy P3s). My current company does the exact same work, but on the industrial version of the same engine. So, for about 17 years now, I have been around the same engine in some shape or form. The last 7 years I have been in a Quality role. At this point, I am not sure if I want to invest time into doing a 180 deg move. But, I won't completely ignore the idea. I don't want to work as an A & P mechanic, that is for sure. If I started now, there would be guys 10 years younger than me with seniority. With they way they go through layoffs, I'm not doing it.

I have thought about getting an MBA. Like the dilemma I have with ASQ certifications, I don't want to put money and effort into it if it is just for a title. It needs to really pay off.

Anyway, thanks for the advice Randy and Semper Fi!
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#9
Re: Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my ca

I have thought about getting an MBA. Like the dilemma I have with ASQ certifications, I don't want to put money and effort into it if it is just for a title. It needs to really pay off.

Anyway, thanks for the advice Randy and Semper Fi!
Ahhhh, have you tried Gov't Contracting? I went from the twisting wrenches to QA/QE, went into EHS and then into ISO type work....The MBA helped me go from lets say the $40K arena into the 6 figure realm in under 10 years.

As for 180 degree move take a gander at me...I started as a high school drop-out 0311 in 1968, became an Arkansas cop in 1972, became a Lockheed aircraft mechanic in 1985, started full time EHS in 1996, self employed consultant in 2001, back into EHS fulltime in 2004 and then what I'm doing now as a management systems auditor/trainer in 2005. Educationally I've gone from dropout to HS grad, earned a BS in Occupational Health & Safety and then an MBA.....I've gone way, way past 180 degree.

Did it all happen overnight? Not hardly, but I know exactly what I'm talking about and what you're going through because I have walked the exact same path you're walking now except that I now know where the obstables/mines are and have the ability to tell folks..."Don't go down that trail!"
 
1

152 Sumo

#10
Re: Advice on ASQ certifications to strengthen my resume and continue in QA for my ca

Thanks Randy. My best friend from USMC has also tried to talk me into MBA. He got his MBA probably 5 or 6 years ago. He is now VP of acquisitions at his company. I don't know his salary, but I am sure it is six figures. Big thing for me right now is looking for another job, kind of immediately. I have issues with current company/position and I want to move closer to family. That, of course, doesn't mean I can't start pursuing further education. But right now, my focus is on the short term and that is where I started thinking about CQE. I didn't get interviews for two QE positions I recently applied for, which made me consider learning more and beefing up my resume with CQE.
 
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