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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Quality Assurance

Majors Overview February 13, 2014

Receive information about an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in Quality Assurance, and its coursework, career choices, and certification and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Quality Assurance

Schools don’t usually offer quality assurance management degrees in the form of Associate of Business Science programs. However, those interested in the field would benefit by enrolling in any associate degree program in quality assurance such as an Associate of Applied Science.

Students enrolled in associate degree programs in quality assurance can expect to become at various skills including quality management, cost reduction, product and service improvement, statistical process control and quality transformation. They also become experts at testing and inspecting products at different stages of the production process to ensure that the required quality is maintained.

Students become experts at recording data and making recommendations aimed at improving overall product quality. It usually takes about two years to complete most programs; admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in a quality assurance program is devised to impart basic concepts of quality assurance through classroom lectures while imparting hands-on experience in quality control through practical exercises. Coursework that focuses on quality control and management may include relevant topic areas such as:

•Statistical process control
•Sampling techniques
•Quality measurements
•Quality planning techniques
•Blueprint reading
•Manufacturing processes
•Team management
•Inspection methods
•Nondestructive testing procedures

Career Choices

Coursework is devised to enable graduates to seek entry-level jobs in quality control positions immediately on completion of the program. Quality control is relevant in various industries that require the regulation of quality. Graduates could aspire for such positions as:

•Quality control coordinator
•Quality manager
•Product auditing agent
•Manufacturing inspector
•Product testing coordinator

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Quality control professionals can seek advancements in their career, by receiving imparting of training in company standards, gaining experience, and spending time on the job, without having to earn another postsecondary degree. However, schools offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in quality assurance, and individuals are trained to obtain quality management positions in fields such as the food and pharmaceutical industries.

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) offers certification options that can be availed by professionals in the field of quality control and assurance. In December 2011, seventeen certifications were offered by the ASQ. Qualification for a majority of certifications calls for experience in the field and satisfaction of education prerequisites. For instance, to qualify for the Quality Inspector certification, an individual would need to have a GED certificate or high school diploma, in addition to two years of experience. Those without a GED certificate or high school diploma would need additional three years of experience.

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