Both bachelor's and master's degree programs in quality assurance are commonly offered 100% online. Students can watch lessons and communicate with classmates and instructors through a course website. Tests may be taken online or at a location near the student's home, monitored by a proctor. Prerequisites for these programs typically involve high school math and science coursework.
The bachelor's degree programs teach students the basics of designing and implementing effective quality procedures in the production process. This program prepares them to take the industry's certification test.
Admission to a master's program in quality assurance requires a bachelor's degree in quality assurance or a related field. In these master's degree programs, students explore advanced topics in quality assurance, such as learning to solve production problems and to manage vendor systems. Completing a master's degree program qualifies the student to take certification exams in fields such as reliability engineering or quality management.
Bachelor's QA Degree Program
Quality assurance professionals are responsible for ensuring that products or manufacturing processes meet regulatory criteria and produce satisfied clients. Bachelor's degree programs in quality assurance (QA) emphasize the design and implementation of effective quality procedures. Undergraduate QA degree programs are intensive in math and statistics. Prior to enrollment, students should have taken course in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, physics and chemistry at the high school level. Bachelor's QA degrees prepare students to take a certification exam administered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
Online bachelor's degree QA programs are typically completed entirely online with no mandatory campus attendance. These QA programs are also approved by or affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Measurement Science Conference and the American Society for Quality. Online bachelor's QA degree programs utilize a course website for obtaining assignments, doing research and interacting with students and faculty through content delivery software. Final exams are often issued through a proctor, such as an ASQ member, a librarian or local school faculty member.
Students enrolled in an online quality assurance bachelor's degree program may use any computer platform provided the computer has sufficient memory and the capability to run the most recent browser versions. E-mail and high-speed Internet connectivity are also required. International students should investigate worldwide Internet providers to ensure that they don't incur additional charges.
List of Common Online Undergraduate QA Courses
In addition to general education courses, students enrolled in online QA bachelor's degree programs learn to create productive, cost-effective manufacturing or communications systems.
Students enrolled in this quality assurance course are introduced to such concepts as quality costs, sampling, data reliability and liability issues.
This quality assurance course emphasizes engineering techniques, including testing, inspection, auditing and management information systems.
Students enrolled in a Six Sigma course become familiar with methods of continuous quality improvement.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Hazardous Materials Information Systems
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Master's QA Degree Program
Students embarking upon distance learning quality assurance master's degree programs explore topics such as benchmarking, customer satisfaction and ISO 9000. A master's degree QA program is designed to prepare students to take certification exams in the areas of quality auditor, quality engineer, quality manager and reliability engineer. Students learn to solve technical and administrative quality problems, to create and manage vendor systems and to analyze spending procedures. Master's degree QA programs are intensive to mathematics, statistics and research. Prior to enrollment, students should have a bachelor's degree in quality assurance or a related field.
Online master's degree programs in quality assurance are designed to be completed entirely online. If several people within a corporation are seeking this degree, some schools conduct courses at the worksite. Students interested in this option should contact schools to see if this feature is available. These programs are broad enough to provide quality assurance expertise in such diverse fields as service industries, engineering, science, healthcare and management. Classes are delivered using video files, traditional textbook instruction and e-mail.
Students are required to have an e-mail account and high-speed Internet access. Some courses may require the student to buy or to have access to a particular software program.
List of Common QA Graduate Degree Courses
Online QA graduate degree courses contain advanced instruction in such areas as measurement and testing, experimental design and productivity.
Probability and Statistics
Students enrolled in this distance learning QA course measure central tendency, dispersion, continuous probability distributions and production.
Human Quality Assurance Factors
This online QA course emphasizes the operator's role in processes and instrumentation design.
The ISO 9000 course examines the quality standards set out by the International Organization for Standardization.
Upon successfully completing a QA bachelor's degree program, students may seek careers in industrial production management. Students choosing to work in this field implement quality efficient or 'lean' manufacturing techniques and problem solving methods. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed a median annual 2015 wage of $93,940 for industrial production managers (www.bls.gov). The BLS does caution that jobs in this field are predicted to decline by 4% during the decade spanning 2014 to 2024. However, quality assurance degree program graduates may work in a variety of industries, including healthcare and food services as well as for government agencies.
Students who earn an online master's degree in quality assurance may choose to become quality engineers. Quality engineers are employed in various fields to design and implement manufacturing, communications, biomedical or agricultural processes that are both effective and cost-saving. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that engineers' starting salaries are among the highest of college graduates. Job growth for industrial engineers is anticipated to grow by 1% in the decade from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS listed a median annual 2015 salary for industrial engineers at $83,470.
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) provides numerous quality certifications, including biomedical auditor, quality manager, pharmaceutical GMP professional and Six Sigma black belt. To take ASQ certification exams, the student must have a degree from an institution accepted by ASQ or have sufficient work experience. Certifications must be renewed every three years with the exceptions of quality inspector, quality improvement associate, quality process analyst, Six Sigma green belt and quality technician.
Online degree programs in quality assurance are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, usually fully online. The coursework teaches students quality control and engineering techniques as well as probability and statistics.