Publication Date

8-2010

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. A. Mark Doggett (Director), Dr. Terry Leeper, Dr. Stan Lightner

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science in Technology Management

Abstract

The modern manufacturing marketplace is extremely complex and constantly changing. Career professionals often seek job placement, career advancement, and continuing education through professional certifications. Professional certifications in the United States (U.S.) have been evolving since 1911. In the 1950s, engineering groups established professional certifications and licenses. In the 1980s, administration of accreditation of certification programs proliferated, and by the 1990s, many government and professional organizations sought to standardize procedures for the industry. Currently, professional certifications are available for virtually every profession and issued by multitudes of organizations.

Quality management (QM) encompasses an extensive combination ofprofessional abilities. Providers of professional certifications for quality management (QM) related occupations have increased as the demand for specialized employees increased. Certification can make professionals invaluable to their professions and offer substantial compensation. Return on the investment of personal development varies and requires consideration. Some non-accredited certification providers attempt to satisfy demand without conforming to consensual standards. Considering the accumulation of diverse sources professional certifications is subjective and industrial managers may consider them unnecessary, redundant of formal educations, or simply ineffective.

The dispute as to how certifications arr advantageous for what industries and individuals requires continual review. This investigation attempted to identify the individual career advantages, enterprise expectations, and the range of certification programs for quality management (QM).

The design of research used was a mixed-method approach to scientific inquiry. Participants from industrial professionals and certification providers participated in an online survey designed to identify certification parameters and perceptions.

Survey responses were statistically analyzed using a variety of descriptive and inferential techniques. The techniques included measures of agreement, central tendency, and dispersion combined with open-ended responses to deductively and inductively formulate, analyze, and interpret a referenced conclusion.

The results indicated essential parameters of professional certifications including what certifications existed, how they are implemented, acquired value ranges, perceived attributes and effectiveness, and a comparison of experienced and certified professionals.

Disciplines

Architectural Engineering | Construction Engineering and Management | Engineering | Structural Engineering | Technology and Innovation