Is the Green Belt Worth it?

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  • #4454

    I have been thinking about taking the classes required to earn the Six Sigma Green Belt before I graduate, but have heard from various people it isn’t really worth it. They were saying that almost everywhere that requires it will pay you to get certified and other than a good talking point in an interview it won’t put you much ahead of the competition. Any advice would be helpful!


    Reply to Ben of #4454:

    Hi Ben!

    I have heard similar things regarding earning the Six Sigma Green Belt. I would say that if it is easy for you to get the certification i.e you don’t need to take extra classes or you don’t mind taking the courses the certification requires than go for it. Otherwise, I would take courses that seem more interesting to you or take courses in different disciplines of ISyE that you want to explore. I don’t think the certification would hurt you in any way, if anything I think it would help you. However, I also don’t think it is essential to earn since most companies do have their own certification process.

    I hope that helped!


    Thanks for the input, Bella. I have a very similar opinion on the topic as you. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that!


    I would simply say the Green Belt is worth it because it is free, and it doesn’t require you to take any additional classes to graduate. I’m a Quality Engineer now for Collins Aerospace (almost 2 yrs now) and the certification isn’t exactly useful because we use the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) system (rather than 6 sigma) but everything everything I learned while taking classes for the belt is useful. Plus while several companies will pay for to take the course in the future you’ll find a lot of employees loose the will to do the extra needed to get the cert. You know yourself best, but I’d advice you to get your green belt now if you’re even considering it.

    Amanda Bostwick

    I agree with Cecilia that it’s definitely worth it because the free cost! As a senior who is finishing completing the Green Belt the courses required for it are interesting and since they are ISyE electives it won’t add to your normal course load. I especially loved ISyE 515 (almost only offered in the Fall) but amazing course if you have the chance. It’s the most real world experience you’ll get in the ISyE curriculum at UW aside from ISyE 450.


    I agree with what both Amanda and Cecilia said above. The certificate is pretty easier to get because they offer the classes every semester basically (summer too) and the grade minimum requirement of a B is doable for the courses. Even though most companies will get you the certification for free, it has been a good talking point in interviews for me just because I am familiar with a lean philosophy. It might not have the same value as it once did, but I believe the opportunity Madison gives us to get it as an undergraduate is well worth it.

    Veronica White

    It depends on what you want to do!

    Yes I agree with all of the above comments. It is a great opportunity UW-Madison offers to get you certified before graduating. It also is free. But these should not be the reasons WHY you get it.

    But there are also a few reasons I would recommend maybe not getting it:

    • if you feel you can’t take a class you would like to or can’t be as active in another activity because the green-belt is in the way
      • Instead, take/do the courses/experiences that are more meaningful and interesting to you. Then, speak about those courses/experience during your interviews. In an interview, saying you took most of the courses from the green-belt but couldn’t pass up on (insert interesting course/experience here) speaks volumes about your passions, self-awareness, and differentiates you from your peers that did get it just because they could.
    • if the courses required to get the green-belt aren’t of any interest to you, you might not want/enjoy a job that requires it or uses that skillset
      • i.e. if you don’t see yourself in one of these commonly six-sigma trained roles:
        • Business Process Analyst
        • Operating Systems Specialist
        • Consultant
        • Data Scientist
        • Manufacturing, Mechanical, Processes, Reliability, Quality Engineer or Manager
        • Warehouse Operations Manager
        • and similar roles

    Ultimately, my advise is time is valuable. Ask yourself, is there something better you could do to make yourself more marketable for the jobs/positions you want or more successful in your future goals. If no, they yeah go for the green-belt! If yes, will it take away time from those other things?

    Companies what a competent and passionate worker in their positions, so as long as you show those things(through certifications, extra-curricular, or other) you will be fine 🙂


    Good Luck!!


    Reply to Veronica White of #4530:

    Wow, thank you for such a detailed response, Veronica. Based on my current requirements, summer internship plans, and the certificate I am receiving it would be very difficult to complete the green belt requirements. I was trying to decide if the heavy workload it would put me under would be worth it but I think you helped me determine to focus on what courses I am currently enjoying and sell my current skills and passions to employers instead of trying to add on one more certification to my resume.


    I would say Green Belt is worth it, because it doesn’t require any extra coursework and is a really good talking point in an interview. Having the Green Belt Certification on your resume, immediately attracts eyes of recruiters. Since it is free and doesn’t require any extra coursework, there’s no reason not to do it.

    Alexander Hallquist

    I would say the green belt is worth it for some different reasons. I think the classes you take for it build off of each other very nicely and leads to a great way of problem analysis and decisions. I also believe it’s a great starting point to see if manufacturing and process like it are a career path you would be interested in.

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