CQE vs SSGB (or other)
Angel Jaen
2 Posts
I was wondering if I could get some input on my certification dilemma.  I'm a business analyst in our company's quality assurance department, and am looking to further my knowledge of statistics and data analysis.  Aside from enhancing my current duties, I may also use these skills to get more involved in data science/analytics work at my organization.  In addition to projects at work, I'd like to pursue a certification to help with this.  After some research, it seems like either the CQE or SSGB exams would be most appropriate, though I can't decide which one would benefit me most.  The CQE BoK has a lengthy section on statistics, but it seems more geared towards manufacturing environments, which does not fit my current situation.  SS may be more relevant to the work I do, but AFAIK our organization does not have anyone who practices it (plus I have little to no interest in project management).   

Which of these would work best for my situation?  I'd also consider other certifications.  CSQE has been a dark horse candidate, given the amount of software development done here.  Thanks!
4 Replies
Trish Borzon
637 Posts
Hi Angel Jaen‍ - Welcome to myASQ and thanks for being a member!  I guess it would depend on where you want to go and your strengths.  CQE is one of THE toughest exams though.  A good place to start might be the Certification Pathways Tool https://asq.org/cert - It will see if you qualify. 

Duke Okes‍ - could you provide some insight?  

Good luck!
Duke Okes
133 Posts
Not sure I can add insight, but will raise some questions and make comments.

Where do you want to go with your career?  If it's into heavy analytics then none of the ASQ certs will be of value.  While some of the BOKs get into statistics, they don't approach is from an analytics perspective, and there's no mention of models such as CRISP-DM.  However, there are some analytics certifications available on the market.

While the CQE may be 'manufacturing oriented,' a good analyst will recognize that everybody is manufacturing (hospitals manufacture healthy patients, hair salons manufacture people with shorter/different hair styles, hotels manufacture well rested travelers, ...).  Most of the CQE topics can be easily translatable to other industries/sectors, although the CQE certification itself is probably primarily of interest to manufacturing companies.

Personally I would see CSQE as having the greatest potential in the future, given that software is what will eventually be controlling nearly any/everything.  However, whether that niche would be of career interest only you would know.

Six Sigma provides a really good framework and a lot of tools for improving processes, so regardless of where you work (and whether or not they use SS) it can be of value.  Many of us were doing something very similar in the early 80's before the buzzword came about.  However, my personal view is that GB is only a beginning, and BB is the real value added.

So it's important to know whether you want to get certified for the certificate (e.g., marketing potential), or for the knowledge (e.g., knowledge value potential).
I suggest you take a serious look at the CQPA (Process Analyst).  It focuses on a variety to tools without  the heavy stats of CQE and or the SS structure of the GB.  This cert is too often overlooked but bring many quality tools without any specific problems solving structure like DMAIC, but also teaches the basic six-step model if that is needed.  

It is a bit more advanced then the fundamentals of CQIA and as other have stated, it all depends on the level of analysis / Stats you will be wanting.  
Angel Jaen
2 Posts
Thank you all for the input!  I agree that career goals are important when deciding which certification to pursue.  While I’m still in the process of figuring that out, it might help if I gave a little background.  I’ve been a business analyst for most of my career, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m looking to expand my current position beyond this role.  I’ve always enjoyed the data analysis aspect of my work, and thought data science/analytics would be worth consideration.  I have some statistics and programming experience via college and a couple of boot camps, so I have a feel for what it’s like.   I still have questions about various roles within that discipline, but that’s another story.

My current position is in quality management, and from what I’ve seen there appear to be opportunities to find analytics work in this field.  I thought one possibility to learn more would be through certification.  I took the CQPA exam a few years ago and found it useful.  I guess I’m looking to pursue something that will both further my skills for my current position, and also learn more about statistics/analytics within quality management.
From the way Duke Okes‍  described each cert, it sounds like SS route might be more appropriate, as I my current position largely has me implementing and maintaining our company’s quality management system.  However, I find the black belt project requirement a bit daunting, given the lack of practitioners around me.   I also agree with your thoughts on the CSQE.  Even though it seems like a skill set with great future potential, my interest in software development and auditing aren’t as strong, so I don’t know if I’d want to go down that path.  

I apologize if this isn’t too helpful narrowing things down.  As I mentioned before, I still have things to figure out on my own on where I want to take my career.  Plus there’s only so much I want to share here in a semi-public forum.  If nothing else, what you’ve mentioned here has provided me with some new insights, and I believe will help me make a decision.