Quality Magazine

Google Searches for 'Six Sigma Certification' Show Weakness in the U.S.

July 27, 2010

CLEVELAND, OH- After a few years of serious economic downturn, the economy is finally looking brighter. Although, we still have a long road to travel, the economic status for the United States seems to not be worsening, which for now, is definitely progress. The prognosis for Six Sigma, a quality improvement strategy started by the Motorola Company in the 1980s, is much different. For the first time since the 2008 economic collapse, Google searches for 'Six Sigma Certification' finally began to show weakness in the United States.

According to Google Trends, at the end of the second quarter of 2010, searches for 'six sigma certification' lost a total of 14% of traffic -- 7% in the first quarter, and seven more in the second quarter. This was the first documented weakness in Six Sigma-related web searches since the beginning of 2008, just before the famed economic collapse began. Over the course of 2009, Six Sigma related searches, including "lean six sigma," skyrocketed almost two-fold. This occurred because employers were looking for a way to reduce costs and increase efficiency within their organizations. Additionally, individuals knew that six sigma black belt certification would be something that potential employers would highly regard -- a must in a climate of high unemployment.

Although web traffic has almost doubled for "six sigma certification" since the 2008 collapse, the sudden downward drift of 2010 reflects a feeling of complacency that our society is undergoing with the current economic situation. Craig Setter of Aveta Solutions comments, "Since we have been living with this problem for so long, it has almost become 'normal' to be in a state of economic despair. Perhaps an upswing in the state of the economy will bring about another decrease in popularity for Six Sigma, due to the complacency that exists when things are 'OK.' Unfortunately, Six Sigma Methodology is best utilized all the time in business, not just when things get difficult. Many businesses use methods like Six Sigma as a last resort, even though they work much better as a maintenance tool."

Six Sigma Online is a leading provider of online-based Six Sigma Training and Certification, with programs offered by Aveta Business Institute.