What training/certificates should NEW quality people seek?

B

Bob_M

#1
Considering I'm relatively young in age and experience compared to some of our regulars, I'm not quite sure what type of Training/Certificates a new "Quality" managers SHOULD seek out. (This can apply to people looking to work for small or HUGE companies).

Notes: I got into this Quality "gig" by opportunity not choice. I have no idea if "Quality" is the career choice I will stick with (I'm 30 - B.S. Mechanical Engineer with very little experience beyond my current company of 7 years - OK enough self doubt :bonk: ). However, I am curious what I should be doing/learning to further myself and our company (small ~25 people). I'm not looking for training to secure my job or impress the boss (but it might help). I'm curious what I really should try to learn.

Examples:
In-House Calibration - Should I have some training or are procedure suffiecient?
Statistics - We don't use them NOW, we have an SPC training software, but what should I be prepared to learn?
6 sigma - In a small company where "I" manage all quality projects with minimal support? What is all this black-belt crud I keep seeing in various posts?
Auditing - I already took lead auditor for ISO9k2k.
Others that I can't think of yet?

Should a "new" quality person try to get quality certification letter after their name? Should I join ASQ and similar groups? What minimal publications and standards should we have in-house?

Any general tips and suggestions are welcome.

(Feel free to move where needed. I'm getting older and the years are starting to fly by and I need to start thinking about MY future...)
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#2
All that garbage such as certificates and letters behind the name and all that reaaly don't amount to a hill of beans unless they can be placed into action.

What do you need to do your job to the best of your ability for your organization? This is the important question.

What do you want to do, and what do you need to do it? This is a follow on question.

I've got literally pounds of certificates and diplomas stashed in files....they're just gee-whiz documents. For the most part they are useless to me in my present vocation.

As for letters behind your name...I think at one time I could put over half a dozen abbreviations for things behind my RLDaily not counting my degrees. Guess what? Smoke & Mirrors..............unless you benefit from them.

As for joining societies like the ASQ? Absolutely. The problem many times is stagnation of the orgaization and poor participation of members. I attended my 1st ASQ meeting in my new section...what a disappointment. There were 3 other members there and we were in a noisy restaurant. Poor location, poor attendance..nice people though.

As for "Quality" as a career choice, it's kinda like EHS...you don't see none of those types as CEO's and Presidents. When you accept that you can enjoy your career.
 
B

Bob_M

#3
Randy said:
All that garbage such as certificates and letters behind the name and all that reaaly don't amount to a hill of beans unless they can be placed into action.

What do you need to do your job to the best of your ability for your organization? This is the important question.

What do you want to do, and what do you need to do it? This is a follow on question.

I've got literally pounds of certificates and diplomas stashed in files....they're just gee-whiz documents. For the most part they are useless to me in my present vocation.

As for letters behind your name...I think at one time I could put over half a dozen abbreviations for things behind my RLDaily not counting my degrees. Guess what? Smoke & Mirrors..............unless you benefit from them.

As for joining societies like the ASQ? Absolutely. The problem many times is stagnation of the orgaization and poor participation of members. I attended my 1st ASQ meeting in my new section...what a disappointment. There were 3 other members there and we were in a noisy restaurant. Poor location, poor attendance..nice people though.

As for "Quality" as a career choice, it's kinda like EHS...you don't see none of those types as CEO's and Presidents. When you accept that you can enjoy your career.
Thanks for the comments.
I'm not really worried about the LETTERS, but the right ones might mean I learned something. (maybe)
I'm not quite sure what I or my company NEEDS to learn to better ourselves. I suppose that was the original intent of the post (before I started babbling).
Perhaps I'll look into ASQ when I get a chance...
I'm not look to be CEO or President, and unless we grow ALOT over the next XX years, I really have no where to go up the ladder. (6 "office people" in total and not likely to grow for a LONG time - Hopefully it does not shrink any more!).
I personally am NOT a "career" personality. Give me a job/task and I'll work my best to finish it. (I'm still learing how to be a "manager" of a big part of our company - quality). *shrug*
 
C

Craig H.

#4
Bob:

I agree with what Randy said. What I would suggest for quality is kind of like what I suggest when someone asks me to teach them computers. To me the best way to learn is to have a certain task that you need/want to accomplish, and then figure out the best way to do it (The Cove is a good place to find folks to ask how).

Certifications are nice, and since I have already gotten into one argument over them today, I won't go into this too far, except to say that once you get some experience, studying for the cert is a good way to "fill in" your knowledge base. For instance, I had little contact with many of the measurement methods covered on the CQE (such as eddy current, for example). I still know little, but I do know they exist, and if for some reason it comes up I am not totally in the dark.

Good luck with your quest for quality knowledge!

Craig
 

CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#5
Bob,

I agree with Randy about joining ASQ. I don't attend meetings on a regular basis, just no time, but it can keep you in touch with peers from all walks of life. I can't say that I am real pleased about the current state of affairs with the organization, but I won't cancel my membership.

The Chicago section runs some pretty intensive training courses. I took some a few years ago and I was impressed. I recently took a course through the Milwaukee section on the upgrade from 1994 to 2K. I was pleased with the course.

JM US$.02 worth

CarolX
 
R

Randy Stewart

#6
Bob,
What it comes down to is "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Me, I'm still not sure. I like what Craig said about "filling in" your knowledge. I've gone from submarine safe QAI to the wide open tolerances of locomotive parts (we had one that hadn't changed since 1950 something) to production and prototype automotive.
One thing I will say about the certs, it can give you an idea of what is out there. I don't use all that stuff (we don't do pure SPC either) but I know what I'm looking at if I see run chart or an X bar & R chart. Heck, I've had 3 semesters of Greek, I don't have a clue what I'll ever use it for, but I can parse! All I'm trying to say is that if something interests you, go look into it. Expand your horizons, and you'll be surprised what all you can get into under the 'Quality" umbrella (CAD, Engineering, Calibration Lab, etc. etc. etc.).
Besides there are still a big bunch of people that will pay some bucks to have someone come in and tell them what they already know that they should do! That's consulting. :thedeal:
 
B

Bob_M

#7
Randy Stewart said:
Bob,
What it comes down to is "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Me, I'm still not sure. I like what Craig said about "filling in" your knowledge. I've gone from submarine safe QAI to the wide open tolerances of locomotive parts (we had one that hadn't changed since 1950 something) to production and prototype automotive.
One thing I will say about the certs, it can give you an idea of what is out there. I don't use all that stuff (we don't do pure SPC either) but I know what I'm looking at if I see run chart or an X bar & R chart. Heck, I've had 3 semesters of Greek, I don't have a clue what I'll ever use it for, but I can parse! All I'm trying to say is that if something interests you, go look into it. Expand your horizons, and you'll be surprised what all you can get into under the 'Quality" umbrella (CAD, Engineering, Calibration Lab, etc. etc. etc.).
Besides there are still a big bunch of people that will pay some bucks to have someone come in and tell them what they already know that they should do! That's consulting. :thedeal:
At least I'm not the only one who doesn't know what he want to do when you grow up. (I'm not quite done with my second childhood and I hope I'm far from midlife crisis :ko:) Is it wrong to not "FEEL" like an adult at 30 even with a wife and mortgage? :bonk:
Well while I was the Product Engineer (only) a few years back I REALLY enjoyed the CAD part of my job. Unfortuantetly that is just a minor task as needed now... (there are plenty more parts I could draw for internal use, but we don't really NEED them at the moment).
I know more than I give myself credit for or even realize and the Cove and the Covers have taught me alot.

So what are some good classes / topics I and anyone else new could/should look into?

I've already done:
Lead Auditor class, basic SPC software- internal, basic Gage R&R - peform and plug into spreadsheet, basic in-house calibration based on "hands on training", internal training, and example on the cove, I've done simple PPAP submissions which included VERY BASIC FMEAs and the like...

I guess I have the "basics" covered thru minimal usage and Cover help, but it might be a good idea to get some extra training in 2004 if possible/needed.
 
N

noboxwine

#8
Craig H. said:
Certifications are nice, and since I have already gotten into one argument over them today, I won't go into this too far,
Craig: With who ? Remember, 2 acronyms, MAX. :vfunny:

Metal B:

Join Quality societies so at least you can keep in tune with the latest trends, gizmos amd buzzwords. Some of it is indeed fruitless, but you need to be able to speak intelligently about it (especially if you move to another company). You can choose whether or not to become active in a local chapter. You'll get some good out of knowing whats new and reading some of the publications.

If you feel like you need CQE, CQM, etc. then do it. But do yourelf a favor: Practice intimately everything about what it should stand for. Just like registration, certifications only say the tools are there. It's up to you to use them to make you and your people a value-added member of QA world.

Six-Sigma: Get all the fundamentals before you embark on too much of this. I think the jury is still out on it's effectiveness.

Basic Statistics can be your best friend. Learn it, understand it and use it. Easy to learn and apply without being intimidating to anyone.

The best way I was ever able to utilize all the magnificent tools available was to educate others with it. If forces you, the Professor, to have a solid working knowledge. Giving people a CD has never benefited me or my people. I'll pop ya a real world example of a format that has helped me and my people from Job Shops to Tier One.

I am takin' 5. Hope this helps. Anyone else ? :bigwave:
 
J

J Oliphant

#9
A new certification

Bob,

I'm biased and inexperianced.... I just spent 600$ of my own money to learn and try to pass the CQE.

last year I got the CQT (that too also was my own money).

I spent some time deciding this because my employer really doesn't care. :( I'm one a small group of chemists that have interest (and really one of the ONLY chemist) in the Quality assurance duties we have (In fact I've even picked up a few extra duties--all to be done in my "spare" time of course).

But the certification has meaning to me, because I feel it shows initiative, interest and passion for being involved in it. And if my employer doesn't allow me to "grow in it", hopefully a new employer will take my certification as a sign of intiative...

Question: Do you think future employers might? as said, I a little skinny on the experience and sometimes find myself excluded (particularly six sigma: :mad: )

As for great amounts of knowledge from it -- only if you need a lot of external pressure to pick things up. Even ASQ primer courses... Sometimes it is more about pressuring you to puzzle things out on your free time- then actually giving stuff.

good reasons:
prove to employee,etc inititative.
curiousity of the many aspects of quality.

poor reasons:
letters.
pay raises.
'gaining a lot of needed knowledge' (asking questions here and elsewhere is better)
 
C

Craig H.

#10
J:

First, WELCOME to the Cove!!!

You ask some good questions. First, to answer your question about future employment, I would say that having the certifications should help (with the right employer) and definately won't hurt your chances. As far as the certifications themselves, they are a way of finding out "what's out there", to steal from an earlier poster. The techniques you learn should also add to your arsenal of problem solving tools. Coming from your background, the emphasis on data should be very familiar to you, so in that respect you are already well ahead of the game.

If I may ask, what did you spend the $600 on? When studying for the CQE, I found the CQE Primer, from the Quality Council of Indiana, to be a very valuable resource, and it can be had for much less.

Finally, if you do decide to persue certification, there are quite a few of us here on the Cove that enjoy questions that make us think. If you need it, you should find help here, with those of us who have been there, done that, have the tee shirt, and the CQX certificate.

Good luck.

Craig H.
 
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