Members who have been around for a while, can you weigh in on this? The knowledge itself is great to learn (I have already begun reading through the CQPA handbook and really like the content), but I'm wondering if I should just read the material for it and wait to test for a more meaningful certification to save myself the hassle of examination preparation.
Thanks for any insight you all can provide!
That is a great question, and one that is dependent on your immediate career path.
I would recommend reviewing the fact sheet, https://p.widencdn.net/pq3ojw/41577-Cert-Factsheet-CQPA, that can give an idea of how the market sees its value, and what common industries CQPA's are found in.
I faced the same question a few years ago and decided to forgo the CQPA to focus on my CQA - which I passed on the first try. I have a BA, so I was able to use that time toward my experience. I do not regret skipping the CQPA, though I do not feel that it has no value. I think all certifications are noteworthy to potential employers, and the BOK for the CQPA is definitely a stepping stone for other certifications. I am currently studying for the CMQ/OE and look forward to the recognition and benefits of another certification.
One positive to the CQPA is that it gives you a trial run for the more advanced certifications because the cost and BOK are less significant.
Best of luck to you!
Amanda Foster ASQ CQA
It promotes a wide variety of tools and methods that are applicable to any industry, even manufacturing.
As a CQPA (and a CQA), I will simply tell you this. If you are new to Quality, I highly recommend ONE of the baseline certs (CQIA or CQPA) - they are a great way to obtain fundamental knowledge about the industry and get you acquainted with basic tools that will benefit you immediately and into the future. While I have primers for both certs, I chose the CQPA for several reasons - the most overwhelming to me was the concentration on CAPA...which I had been doing for my employer at the time. I think the CQPA gives you more and better "hit the ground running" kind of knowledge, and to me it makes for the stronger of the two, but that is merely my opinion.
Do not look for the certification to have a marketplace value...employers will not be looking for someone specifically with this certification. The VALUE in it, is in the solid knowledge-base that it provides you on some very important topics. As you study for further certifications, you will find that THOSE bodies of knowledge keep pointing back to the fundamental certs. Being poised with that knowledge will ease the studying process and build confidence. Also, since teaching is the best way to reinforce knowledge, it's great material to maintain if you ever want to consider teaching/speaking to...a local Student Branch.
I don't regret getting the CQPA...it gave me great footing as I began to consider which way I wanted to direct my career path.
I have been reading through the primer and decided to not go for the CQPA.
In reading some of the responses here and looking into my long-term career goals, it seems best to hold off and wait to go for certification until I have one I feel excited about. On of the other commenters (James Miller) made a good point about finding one that "speaks" to me. I think having that connection with a certification and BOK will make it easier for me to feel committed to study and pursue. In addition, with it being early in my career I do not see the match-up of financials to self-improvement. If I can gain the same knowledge the certification will qualify me to by reading the test material (and I more than likely will not see any sort of raise or additional career prospects for passing the test alone) then it makes the most sense to me to gain the knowledge, but forego the certification.
Unfortunately, seeking out certifications just for the sake of it is kind of where I started, but I think I now have a more clear goal in mind of where I want to go.
Thanks everyone for your input!