Microsoft Office 2010&2013

u 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 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."

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:

  1. In order to earn Microsoft Office Specialist certification, individuals must pass one of the following tests: PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Access or Outlook.
  2. In order to earn Microsoft Office Expert certification, individuals must pass either the Excel Expert exam or the Word Expert exam.
  3. 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.

Microsoft Word Training Courses

Not long ago, large companies relied on professional data entry clerks and word processing specialists, employed to convert handwritten or typed notes, forms, and contracts into electronic documents. However, the explosion of desktop and portable PCs across nearly every kind of business has forced many professionals to consider formal Microsoft Word training. As fewer companies hire dedicated clerks and secretaries to handle daily typing tasks, workers with targeted MS Word training find themselves tapped for complex jobs and deeper professional development.

MS Word courses and certifications

Although government statistics report an overall drop in the number of jobs that require formal Office certification, Microsoft's Learning team reports that job seekers can use Word exams to prepare for demanding interviews. Basic Word certification requires candidates to understand:

  • How to switch between multiple document views.
  • How to protect documents from editing.
  • Multiple modes of sharing and distributing documents.
  • How to use illustrations and templates.

The Expert level Word certification assures that candidates can:

  • Configure custom formatting, dictionary, and grammar options.
  • Develop original templates and reusable formatting elements.
  • Master indexes, tables, and authorities.
  • Conduct mail-merge operations.
  • Use forms and macros to speed up routine tasks

Microsoft Excel Training Courses

One of the most widely used tools for professionals who work with numbers or analyze data is Microsoft Excel. With the ability to calculate formulas, sort and filter data, build charts and graphs, and provide on-demand reports, MS Excel can easily be the most beneficial desktop application in a professional's tool set. For those who are just entering the work force, or transitioning to a more analytical role within an organization, MS Excel training can make the difference between work performance that's acceptable and work performance that's levels beyond 

Take number crunching to new levels

MS Excel training is available for a variety of levels of proficiency. Beginning MS Excel concepts include:

  • Creating a new workbook
  • Entering and editing text and numerical data into cells
  • Inserting and deleting data rows and columns
  • Using simple math formulas to perform calculations that update results when values change
  • Building charts or graphs that depict business trends

For intermediate to advanced level MS Excel users, concepts are extended to include:

  • Using a PivotTable to "slice and dice" data, helping to analyze and summarize it more effectively
  • Exporting Excel data to a Microsoft SharePoint site so others in an organization can consume it
  • Allowing others to edit the data via Excel Services
  • Business Intelligence or Data Analyst - these professionals summarize and analyze organizational data
  • Financial Analyst - this role looks for performance trends in financial markets
  • Marketing Analyst - this role analyzes past and future success rates for particular marketing campaigns

Preparing for Microsoft certification

In a competitive business environment, professionals must do everything they can to set themselves apart from their peers. Completing MS Excel training may not be enough - some employers may require candidates to obtain certification demonstrating proficiency in Microsoft or other tools. A Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification, awarded for passing a standard- or expert-level Excel exam offered by Microsoft, can be a major differentiation between one professional's skill set and another. MS Excel training can cover the concepts and skills that are required to pass the certification exams. By certifying proficiency in MS Excel, a professional has an automatic leg up against competing candidates for many positions in the workplace

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint training can give professionals in almost any field the skills needed to create presentations that convey messages with pizzazz.PowerPoint, a presentation building software, has become an industry standard for assembling slide-based visual demonstrations and sharing information. The software's uses are wide-ranging: Educators and students rely on it for classroom demonstrations, human resources professionals rely on it to help with staff training, and companies and even government groups use it to brief employees on important matters. All it takes to make the most out of this powerful presentation tool is a little PowerPoint training, which can teach users how to effectively use the medium to relay information.

Basics of Microsoft PowerPoint courses

Those looking for PowerPoint training will likely find many options, ranging from traditional college courses to online seminars to continuing education classes. Today's professional can learn the ins and outs of PowerPoint from a multitude of sources: books, Web-based tutorials, CD/DVDs, or training courses from a brick-and-mortar school or online institution. Online classes provide a flexible option, as many Web-based PowerPoint courses allow students to work at their own pace--something that can be a lifesaver for anyone trying to manage a career or family while learning a new skill.

Though training can vary, most students should walk away from a PowerPoint training course with the following knowledge:

  • How to format text on slides
  • How to create and add graphics and animations to slides
  • How to embed multimedia into presentations
  • How to modify objects on slides
  • How to prepare for and deliver an effective presentation

Students should also learn to select the kind of information that is best relayed through a presentation.

Microsoft PowerPoint certifications

The vendor, Microsoft, offers a specialist certification covering PowerPoint and other tools in the Microsoft Office suite. Certification could boost career skills by demonstrating that a professional has a valid and comprehensive understanding of the software. TheMicrosoft Office Specialist or MOS certification can be obtained by taking a single test over a specific application, according to information from the vendor.

Whatever training method or certification path chosen, students will likely find it helps to be a visual thinker and have some basic understanding in the way the human brain processes and understands information, as these can be useful in developing vibrant and attention-grabbing presentations.