Jobs that Require Six Sigma are on the Rise

Six Sigma

Wanted Analytics, a hiring demand and data analytics provider, has been tracking the trend in employment opportunities for government-issued security clearance holders and the numbers speak volumes: Online ads for jobs requiring a security clearance jumped by 24% over the same 90-day period from 2010 to 2011, an increase of 45,000 postings.

Roughly 75% of the ads required “Confidential” clearance. Not surprisingly, the highest incidences of postings requiring security clearance were in the network, software and systems engineering fields.

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Also attractive to many employers are job candidates with knowledge of Six Sigma and lean business processes, Wanted Analytics reported, describing Six Sigma as “one of the most common certifications required in job ads.” In addition to engineering jobs, which are commonly associated with Six Sigma, the certification is increasingly required for management analysts, operations managers, systems analysts and information technology project managers.

“Lean business processes are becoming more important as companies are using them as a way to reduce costs and increase productivity,” Wanted Analytics reported in February 2012.

The private sector has long recognized the value of Six Sigma, with many government contractors among the major U.S. companies implementing lean business techniques. Lockheed Martin Corp., for instance, began introducing lean production measures in the late 1990s, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The federal agency lists the defense contractor on its roster of “case studies and best practices” relating to the effects of lean manufacturing on the environment.

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Lockheed Martin has used lean techniques to reduce its hazardous waste output, among other measures.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is considered to be among the most prominent advocates of lean techniques in the public sector, as are the branches of the nation’s armed forces. For example, the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research notes on its website that its Lean Six Sigma efforts seek to “improve productivity, encourage innovation and foster a culture of change in the pursuit of excellence.”

The U.S. Army, meanwhile, honors efforts to improve business processes through its Lean/Six Sigma Excellence Awards Program (LEAP). In 2011, PEO Ammo was among those honored, recognized for introducing a slate of Lean Six Sigma projects that saved the Army about $160 million that year.

Given all of these factors, it’s likely that servicemembers who have security clearance and Six Sigma certification may be among the most attractive applicants for a variety of positions within the public and private sectors. That makes sense: Six Sigma certification can equip a candidate with the skills and knowledge necessary to boost return on investment by streamlining production processes and improving business operations, while a government-issued security clearance indicates that an individual has earned a level of trust and responsibility.

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