You know Microsoft Office is the world's most popular productivity suite, but you might not realize just how dominant the software bundle is--and how an advanced knowledge of Office can help prospective workers land employment or advance an existing career. A May 2011 search of CareerBuilder.com found 27,614 job listings mentioning Microsoft Office or MS Office, with sentences like "An individual should have knowledge of standard Microsoft Office Applications" and "Working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)" appearing in job postings ranging from Blast Furnace Account Manager to Vice President Knowledge Management/Brand Development.
Who should pursue Microsoft Office training?
In any prospective employee's career toolbox, knowledge of Microsoft Office is the hammer--versatile, essential, used for large jobs and detail work alike. Expertise with Excel or PowerPoint can make one resume more appealing than another, potentially leading to more interviews and higher-skill positions.
On the Microsoft Office Specialist certification page, the company specifies who benefits from training with Office. "The certification benefits business workers who want to present themselves as truly knowledgeable and differentiate themselves in a competitive job market," the site notes. "Managers who hire candidates with a Microsoft Office Specialist certification are helping minimize training costs."
Which jobs demand training?
From administrative assistant jobs requiring a strong knowledge of Word to project management positions demanding strong Excel ability, training yields real benefits in the workplace. GoCertify reports median salaries by Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification as of May 2011, reported by PayScale:
- Senior financial analyst: $71,348
- Trainer, employee/human resources: $45,509
- Help desk analyst: $44,123
- Executive assistant: $51,089
- Executive secretary or administrative assistant: $42,554
While no training program or certification can guarantee a student will secure a certain job, training is a smart way to help boost one's technical skills without the commitment of a full degree program.
Areas covered by MS Office training
The Office suite includes a swarm number of products with their own individual uses. Take a look at the areas covered by Microsoft Office training:
- Project: Effortlessly improve project management with scheduling, budgeting and time reporting tools
- Excel: Create professional spreadsheets for data analysis and budgets
- Access: Track inventory, plan events and use marketing tools with this advanced database
- Word: Microsoft's flagship word processor includes formatting, page layout, editing and other advanced tools
- Outlook: Email and calendar software relied upon by many modern offices
- PowerPoint: Used for presentations and training sessions, PowerPoint is often essential for training and human resources professionals
- Visio: Organizational charts and network diagrams are simplified with this powerful tool
- SharePoint: Share information, manage documents, publish reports and build custom applications
- OneNote: This versatile note-taker--which can be used on PC, phone or Web--is a valued tool for administrative assistants on the go
- Publisher: Create newsletters, brochures and flyers quickly and professionally with this desktop publishing program
- FrontPage: Create professional websites without an advanced knowledge of Web programming
- InfoPath: Build advanced business forms and collaborative workflow with easy-to-use tools
Training in Microsoft Office means gaining a deep level of understanding of a crucial group of programs. Explore Office training today and take control of your job search.
Does Office training prepare students for certification exams?
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification is the vendor standard certification exam for any individual looking to prove his or her skill in the program suite. The exam itself comes with three levels of expertise:
- In order to earn Microsoft Office Specialist certification, individuals must pass one of the following tests: PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Access or Outlook.
- In order to earn Microsoft Office Expert certification, individuals must pass either the Excel Expert exam or the Word Expert exam.
- In order to earn Microsoft Office Master certification, individuals must pass three exams--Word Expert, Excel Expert and PowerPoint--plus either Access or Outlook.
Each certification exam costs $75 to take. If an individual does not pass, the exam money will not be refunded--another reason to train for the exam ahead of time.