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What You Need to Know About Becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist
Posted: October 4, 2016
Even 25 years after its debut, the Microsoft Office Suite remains the gold standard in office software. If you want to build a career in business, start by becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist. Here’s what you need to know.
Microsoft is in just about every office.
More than 90 percent of businesses provide their employees with Microsoft and expect their staff to know how to use the applications. Which ones are you familiar with?
You don’t need to know every app.
While you may want to learn the entire Office Suite, it’s more important to become a specialist in the applications that make the most sense for your career. Excel is really important if you work in payroll or accounting. PowerPoint is the go-to if you’re the one who creates presentations for the boss. And Word remains the most popular text processing program in the world.1
Certification means you have in-depth knowledge on Microsoft applications, including how to:
- Create, edit, manage and save documents
- Format and manipulate text and paragraphs
- Create tables, lists and graphs
- Create and manage references
- Insert and format graphics
- Integrate applications
The “specialist” certification level can be attained in Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word.
You do need to learn those shortcuts.
Have you ever had to duplicate a number on the next cell in Excel? Just use Ctrl + D. Do you need to move a block of text in Word? Just highlight, right click, cut and paste. Even if you already feel comfortable with the whole Office Suite, you may not know all the short cuts each application offers. You need to! The reason Microsoft is so crazy popular in business is because all those time-savers help an office staff be more productive. Use the software to its full potential and you could increase your own productivity and become an asset to any business.
The only way to prepare is to train and practice.
Spend as much time as you can on the programs for as long as you can. Then, take lots of online practice exams before you sit for the actual certification exam. When you stumble upon something new, make sure you add some extra practice time to commit it to memory.
Certification exams are taken online at testing centers.
Each exam takes about 90 minutes and you’ll need to demonstrate your proficiency in individual applications by performing program tasks in real time.
At Career Quest Learning Centers, we know how valuable real world skills are in a real office. That’s why we teach from the Microsoft Office Suite across our curriculum. Want to find out what certifications we might be able to help you prepare for? Give us a call at our Jackson campus at 877-365-8144 or in Lansing at 877-481-4930 now.