Distance-learning diploma programs in quality assurance management aren't typically available, but bachelor's and master's degree programs in this field can be found online. Undergraduate degree programs provide a foundational understanding of quality assurance management, while master's-level programs are intended to serve working professionals. Programs can be found in a fully online or blended format; they may require a practicum or workplace experience to be completed in person.
In some cases, schools offer online bachelor's programs in quality assurance management in a degree-completion format. This means that incoming students must already have an associate's degree or a certain number of general education college credits. Prospective graduate students seeking a master's degree in this field must have a bachelor's degree, which may need to be in a technical major.
Coursework by Degree Level
Online degree programs in quality assurance management offer students the ability to be currently employed in the industry while taking classes, regardless of geography. The majority of coursework is self-study with faculty supervision. Some programs require a practicum or workplace experience which, for students employed in the industry already, can be completed without interruption to the student's full-time position. Distance learners complete online coursework by logging on to a virtual classroom containing course materials and communication tools.
At the bachelor's level, online degree programs in quality assurance management include general education coursework as well as classes in the basic sciences, management principles and statistical tools useful for careers in the field. Examples of common online courses in quality assurance management programs at this degree level include the following:
- Total Quality Management
- Fundamentals of Quality Control
- The Economics of Quality
- Quality Problem Solving
- Six Sigma Methods
- Process Control & Capability
- Quality Auditing
Master's degree programs in quality assurance management usually take two years to complete and cover topics including total quality management, ISO 9000, benchmarking and customer satisfaction. Students might be required to complete a culminating experience of some sort, such as a major research project. Typical distance-learning courses in quality assurance management at the graduate level may include the following:
- Quality Function Management
- Advanced Probability & Statistics
- Statistical Quality Control & Sampling
- Quality Assurance in the Service Delivery Process
- Human Factors with Quality Assurance
- Quality Project Management & Productivity
Each year, over 1,000 new standards are published by the International Organization for Standardization, requiring product and process compliance managers to understand and meet all that apply. Some graduates complete further degree programs in order to achieve increased responsibility in their current positions, while others seek work in a myriad of regulated industries, including food, bioengineering and pharmaceuticals.
Although diploma programs aren't usually offered, online programs in quality assurance management can be found at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. The former provides students with knowledge on the fundamentals of the field, while the latter features more specialized instruction.