Quality Progress - December 2017 - 25
about quality, and-no surprise-
found that quality professionals
are happiest in organizations that
walk the talk.
In each year from 2011 through 2015, we
took a closer look at variables that help
determine whether a quality professional
will be well paid and happy in his or her
position. The topics were:
+ ASQ certiﬁcations (2011). We performed a rigorous analysis of the
circumstances under which holding
an ASQ certiﬁcation pays the best
+ Formal education (2012). We examined the value of degrees to quality
professionals. Spoiler alert: They pay
oﬀ gradually, showing the most beneﬁt
+ Soft skills (2013). We asked hiring managers what they look for in candidates
for hire or promotion. We received an
extensive catalog of answers.
+ Satisfaction (2015). We asked our
respondents not only how much
they're making, but also whether
they're happy with their salaries
and other aspects of their jobs.
We found several correlates of
Make sure to take a closer look at
these respective articles, but ﬁrst
start with section 26 of this year's
report, which gives overviews of
those pieces. There's plenty of food
for thought to help you see where
you are, and how you might gain
footing and climb to the next rung
on the ladder.
+ Cultures of quality (2014). We looked
at how employers show they're serious
whose title from the survey questionnaire's prepared list in the survey was
manager, there were more than 600
discrete job titles when responses were
worded more precisely. An employee
who held a title such as associate manager may have been promoted to senior
manager. Although the latter is a new
position for that person, both positions
will fall into the generalized title of manager as chosen from the prepared list.
These two factors give us, for many
current titles, a good percentage of holders whose last title was the same. These
situations are highlighted by the gray cells
in Table 4. For each title currently held,
this table shows the most commonly held
prior title, highlighted in green. For each
prior title, the table highlights the most
common current title. But there are two
colors that serve this function.
Here's why: We discussed earlier why
a job change might not involve a change
of title. In Table 4-Part A, for example, in
the row marked "manager," 571 people
holding that title also held the same title
previously (the gray cell). Notice that in
that same row, there are several orange
We used orange in each column to show
for prior titles what is the most common
current title. In this special case, the most common title is manager. We
did this because in most cases, it is, in fact, manager. This is because
manager is perennially the most common title among our respondents.
This year, they make up more than a quarter of all the quality professionals who took the survey. The result is that in many job changes, the
current title is more likely to be manager than anything else.
So, we used two different colors to highlight the most common
current title: orange if that title happens to be manager, and pink for the
most common current title other than manager.
In a few instances, a cell is both green and pink, or green and orange.
This occurs when the same cell denotes both the most common prior
title for its row and the most common next title for its column.
For example, for those currently holding the title of manager (the row
with all the orange), the most common prior title (leaving out manager)
is quality engineer, with 163 people making that transition. For those
whose last title was quality engineer, the title they most commonly hold
now is manager, and those job-changers fall in the same cell, requiring
the cell to be orange as well as green.
Having picked out some reasonably common transitions from one title
to another, we can construct some plausible career ladders for hypothetical quality professionals. Table 5, p. 28, shows one such ladder.
Consider the example of Mary Sue, who starts her quality career as
an analyst. It's a plausible first position for someone entering the quality
profession right out of college, with about one in 25 analysts having
never held any prior job (4.1%, Table 2), but 68% of analysts saying they
were required to have a four-year degree to hold the title.
After two to four years, Mary Sue takes a position as a quality engineer. This is almost certainly a promotion because the average salary
continued on page 28
qualityprogress.com ❘ December 2017