Quality Control Degree

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What is a Quality Control?

Quality Control is a field of study focused on the application of basic engineering and technical skills to ensure consistent construction, system, and manufacturing standards.  Quality Control (QC) Technology has four primary areas of emphasis:

  1. Identification, defining, and managing of standards and managed processes
  2. Mental acuity including job and industry knowledge, hands-on experience in a manufacturing setting, and latent skills
  3. Managing people, equipment, resources, and processes
  4. Accurate and timely reporting to stakeholders

A Quality Control Technician and Technology degree program will likely include the following instructional principles: quality control systems management, technical standards, inspection procedures, testing procedures, relevant instrumentation training, equipment maintenance, equipment operation, and reporting standards.

Quality Control Degrees

Degrees in quality control and quality assurance can be obtained from a number of accredited universities and colleges.  In addition to the selection of a college, students can select modality of choice along with degree levels that fit their specific needs.

Modalities offered by many colleges and universities include online only, traditional on-site, and hybrid programs.  Hybrid learning models essentially blend the best of both online degrees with classroom-based degrees allowing most work to be completed outside class with a defined schedule to meet as a class in person.

The degree levels in QA and QS include both graduate and undergraduate degrees.  To help you find the best degree for you, we have assembled a summary of each degree type along with means to quickly connect to colleges and universities offering your preferred degree.

Quality Control Associate Degrees

Associate degrees are designed to twenty-four month programs of full-time study.  Meanwhile, students enrolled on a part-time basis can reasonably expect the program to take longer depending on degree requirements.

QC degrees at this level can be conferred as an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA) depending on the overall emphasis of the degree.  Students will take both core classes and general education courses in most associate degree programs.  General education classes will likely include English composition, psychology, communications, math, history, and philosophy.  Core classes may include a variety of business, operational, auditing, management, and production courses.

Quality Control Bachelor Degrees

Online bachelor degrees are available from a number of higher education institutions in the QC space.  Bachelor degrees can be conferred as a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Science (BS).  A bachelor’s degree will take most students around 4-years to complete given the general education courses and core curricula.

Core classes you can reasonably expect to take during matriculation in a quality control program include the following:

  • Fundamentals of Quality
  • Essentials of Measurement Science
  • Technical Communications
  • Data Analysis
  • Technical Documentation
  • Statistical QC and Analysis
  • Quality Auditing
  • Reliability and Safety
  • The Manufacturing Process
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • System Failure Analysis
  • Value-Based Quality

Quality Control Master Degrees

Master degrees in quality control and quality assurance prepare students and professionals for a variety of career opportunities.  Students enter the program from engineering, quality, management, and science backgrounds in all industries.

QC experts study business principles and processes of an organization to help their company promote operational excellence, reduce waste, and boost a company’s bottom line, and help to refine inefficient processes.  Quality control has evolved over the last three decades to include virtually every sector of the economy including non-profit organizations, finance, healthcare, telecommunications, hospitality, and manufacturing.

Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) degree programs combine management skills and communication techniques with theoretical knowledge and analytical techniques.  The net result is to help each student create a set of heuristics to make great decisions around the best practices to enhance quality, improve productivity, and the practices associated with reaching those objectives.  Students in most programs will be afforded the ability to select core classes and electives to effectively customize their degree program.

Students in most master degree programs can expect to learn about a variety of topics and acquire knowledge in the following areas:

  • Managing human behavior in an organization
  • Implementing quality design concepts and processes of manufacturing operations
  • Developing acceptance sampling plans & related dashboard reporting systems
  • Planning and implementing a comprehensive quality assurance program
  • Problem solving root causes of quality-related issues
  • Performing process capability studies and cost analysis studies
  • Managing statistical reports and statistical analysis design systems
  • Engineering reliable processes and products
  • Performing vendor analysis and vendor quality rankings
  • Creating systems and processes to support quality, safety, reliability, and sustainability
  • Managing an organization focused on quality processes and results
  • Analyzing statistical process control charts and departmental implications

Quality Control Education Requirements

While each degree program will vary, quality control will contain similar courses.  The most typical classes you will find in a quality control degree program are listed below.  To learn more about these degree pathways, simply toggle to that degree portal.

Employment & QC Specializations

Quality control majors will have a specific cadre of skills and knowledge.  A quality control manager or QC engineer will be equipped to pursue various careers in the field.  For students seeking similar challenges, careers in adjacent areas may be interesting.  Careers akin to quality control include the following: production manager, safety engineer, fabrication director, machinist, drafter, systems engineer, CAD manager, operation design, manufacturing engineer, materials engineer, management science, production engineer, and management engineer.

Quality Control Careers

Career paths in quality control and quality assurance can be found in virtually every industry in our economy.  From pharmaceuticals and automobile manufacturing to financial services and aviation, quality control managers are embedded within companies to ensure a reliable, quality product or service.

There is virtually no limitation to the sectors a quality control technician can be employed.  Given the right resources and management’s priority on quality outcomes, a quality manager can be a valuable member of any organization.

Quality Control Job Outlook

Quality control jobs appear to be pacing with the national average and steady for the foreseeable term.  Surveys performed by ONet indicate jobs like an machinist and industrial mechanic are projected to growth by 6% and 16% respectively. The largest employers of quality control managers are auto and aerospace manufacturers followed by plastics and textile manufacturers.  States employing the most QC managers include California, Texas, Ohio, and Michigan.

Additional Resources in Quality Control

  • Quality Assurance Association (QAA)
  • American Society of Quality (ASQ)
  • Society of Quality Assurance (SQA)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • ASTM International (ASTM)
  • AOAC International (AOAC)

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