Bachelor’s degree programs in quality assurance are not usually available under that title. Those still interested should look into bachelor’s degree programs in quality assurance technology or quality engineering technology. These programs may be offered as concentrations within another major, such as industrial engineering technology, or as a standalone option.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Quality Assurance and Engineering Technology
Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs that cover quality assurance as applicable to engineering technology train students to seek employment in positions that involve responsibility for monitoring and ensuring that quality expectations are met by manufactured products and services.
After they complete a bachelor’s degree program, graduates can expect to be adept at planning and designing effective QA programs, monitoring program effectiveness, and ensuring high-quality production within a manufacturing concern. Students without any previous college-level coursework take about four years to complete most programs.
Incoming students to some programs are required to have completed previous coursework in math and science subjects, in addition to manufacturing technology. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.
The QA program curriculum usually involves technical courses in subject areas such as materials and manufacturing and often includes a capstone project, whereby students are allowed to perform research and obtain knowledge about practical scenarios in quality control situations. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Problem solving in QA
•Statistical process control
Graduates of the bachelor’s program can seek job positions – both leadership and technical positions – within a quality control team at various industries, such as consulting firms, consumer services businesses, or manufacturing companies. They may pursue job titles such as:
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, job growth rates of 9% have been predicted for quality control systems managers, also referred to as quality assurance managers (O*Net OnLine). Validation engineers involved in designing and testing protocols for product quality and safety are expected to see the same rate of job growth during the said period. In 2012, quality control systems managers brought home an average annual wage of $89,190, while validation engineers banked $92,030 (O*Net).
Certification and Continuing Education Choices
Graduates can seek voluntary certification; numerous certification options are offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) for the benefit of quality control workers, including Certified Quality Auditor, Certified Quality Technician, and Certified Quality Inspector. While it is not mandatory to obtain ASQ certification, such credentials would help individuals with career advancements in the field.
Graduates from the bachelor’s program can seek continuing education by earning a master’s degree in quality assurance and engineering. Coursework offered through master’s and doctoral programs augments theoretical training through industrial design and production programs. While practical application dominates the orientation of master’s programs, emphasis on research in quality modeling and performance underscores doctoral programs.