Greenbacks For Black Belts - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Business & Finance

Greenbacks For Black Belts

Six Sigma isn't embraced widely for business technology, but certification can boost salaries

The use of Six Sigma quality methodologies is still relatively uncommon in business-technology operations. But the paychecks for technology pros with Six Sigma training suggest the demand is growing.

The average base salary for IT professionals with master black belts--the highest level of Six Sigma training--is $93,500, according to a recent study by Foote Partners, an IT workforce research and consulting firm that tracks 37,000 IT pros in its research database. The average base salary for the next-highest level, black belts, is $68,900.

chartIn a broad definition, Six Sigma is a management philosophy aimed at continuous improvement to reduce errors or defects in processes or products. In business technology, some companies are trying to use Six Sigma to boost the quality and success of projects, software development, and systems, says David Foote, president and chief research officer at Foote Partners. Borrowing from the martial arts, the Six Sigma system relates training and experience levels in Six Sigma to belts--green, black, and master black.

FleetBoston Financial Corp. has been a big advocate of Six Sigma in IT and other areas. On its Web site, it advertised for a master black belt to help develop systems and technology as a basis for Six Sigma, identify projects for "breakthrough improvement" in business process or customer satisfaction, and train others in Six Sigma. The salary: $73,100 to $161,000 a year. It was posted before the merger with Bank of America Corp. was disclosed, though that bank also uses Six Sigma.

And a search of IT jobs with a Six Sigma requirement at Monster.com turns up this example from America Online: "The vision of the Business Process Engineering function is to act as the liaison between technical and business organizations helping to define, standardize, continuously improve, redesign, and reengineer business-critical processes to transform organizations to achieve higher productivity, quality, and a sustainable business growth."

Sounds like a big vision. No wonder that of the 238 master black belts in the Foote research, 34% earn base pay of $100,000 or more. Of the 623 black belts, about 10% earn base pay of $100,000 or more. The highest salary for master black belts hits $245,000, with the lowest $39,500. Geography and company size are the biggest factors in the range from high to low, Foote says.

In addition to the high demands, there also appears to be a relative shortage of certified IT black belts. The Foote study found just 861--2%--of the 37,000 IT pros in its database had black-belt status.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
News
Python Beats R and SAS in Analytics Tool Survey
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/3/2019
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Places to Look for Great Developers
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/4/2019
Commentary
Cloud 2.0: A New Era for Public Cloud
Crystal Bedell, Technology Writer,  9/1/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll