Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool widely used in business and data analysis. Becoming a certified Microsoft Excel expert can significantly boost your career prospects and demonstrate your proficiency in this essential software. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to become a certified Microsoft Excel expert, providing you with resources, tips, and strategies to enhance your Excel skills and earn your certification.
Why Become a Certified Microsoft Excel Expert?
Obtaining a certification as a Microsoft Excel expert offers several benefits:
- Credibility and Validation: Certification validates your Excel skills, providing credibility to potential employers or clients.
- Career Advancement: Excel expertise is highly valued in various industries. Certification can open doors to better job opportunities and promotions.
- Enhanced Productivity: Mastering Excel through certification enables you to work more efficiently, saving time and increasing productivity.
- Expanded Skill Set: Certification allows you to explore advanced Excel functionalities and techniques, broadening your skill set.
- Professional Development: Continuous learning and certification demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and development.
Why Get Microsoft Excel Certification?
You might be asking yourself: why should I bother getting certified in Microsoft Excel? Certification in Microsoft Excel can help prove to your team and potential hiring managers that you have the qualifications needed to get a job done right. Communicating conclusions after analyzing data, creating pivot tables, and understanding workbooks are all impressive skills every project manager should master. In some cases, jobs may require you to have a Microsoft Excel certification in order to apply for the job.
If you want to set yourself up for success in the world of project management and heighten your career, getting a certification in Microsoft Excel is essential. Completing your certification in Microsoft Excel will show potential hiring managers and current team members that you are willing to go the extra mile to strengthen your project management experience.
What Jobs Require Microsoft Excel Certification?
Did you know that over 80% of jobs require Microsoft Excel experience? Earning your Microsoft Excel certification and becoming familiar with Microsoft Office programs can increase your earnings by over 10%. The current job market is tight and any boost to your candidacy can help tremendously.
While having your certification in Microsoft Excel can certainly boost her candidacy, there are some jobs where having a physical certification can make a big impact. Below you will find top jobs and their average salaries that require Microsoft Excel experience:
- Project Manager – median salary $102,630
- Program Manager – median salary $145,947
- Operations Manager – median salary $103,019
- Business Analyst – median salary $90,454
- Senior Financial Analyst – median salary $119,858
- Business Development Manager – median salary $143,110
- Accountant – median salary $76,084
- Sales Manager – median salary $150,361
- Production Supervisor- median salary $139,525
- Marketing Manager- median salary $96,575
Being proficient in Microsoft Excel and having a certification to prove your talents can help you stand out from the rest when applying to jobs and asking for promotions.
How to Become an Excel Expert?
In order to become a Microsoft Excel expert, you must prove your ability to manage worksheets, work with cell ranges, apply formulas, and use functions in order to create charts and other projects successfully. The only official Microsoft-recognized certification program is the Microsoft Office Specialist program. You can earn two types of certifications by completing this program:
- Microsoft Excel Associate Certification
- Microsoft Excel Expert Certification
Next, we will explore the differences and similarities between the above 2 levels of the Microsoft Excel certifications.
Microsoft Excel Associate Certification
The Microsoft Excel associate certification will show your understanding of the basic fundamentals of Excel. This certification shows your proficiency in creating cells and ranges, and managing worksheets and workbooks. When taking the exam you will be prompted to create and edit a workbook while also using tarts and graphs in order to represent data in a visual way. The exam will also test your knowledge of creating budgets, financial statements, performance charts, invoices, and general data analysis.
When preparing for the exam it is important to use every resource available to you. From self-paced courses to online forms of study, there is something for everyone.
About the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): Excel Associate Exam
Once the course is completed, you will be able to take the exam either online or in an authorized testing center, depending on your preference. You can find resources such as practice exams to help you prepare for the exam date.
Ensure you are taking the correct exam by checking to see that the exam name is Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel Associate. During the exam, you will need to answer 18 questions in the span of 60 minutes. The exam will test your knowledge of the management of worksheets and workbooks, the organization of data cells and ranges, and the use of formulas and functions.
Microsoft Excel Expert Certification
By earning this certification you will prove your understanding of creating, managing, and distributing spreadsheets that can be used in various professional settings. The overall exam will help prove your ability to customize Excel operations in order to meet the needs of a project team or client.
Keep in mind that throughout the exam the F1 key will be disabled. So, be sure to rely on the facts you have studied and trust your preparation process. This exam will be unlike others that offer multiple-choice questions. Instead, you will need to show that you can successfully complete tasks in Excel on your own.
Steps to Become a Certified Microsoft Excel Expert
Follow these steps to become a certified Microsoft Excel expert:
- Evaluate Your Current Skills: Assess your current Excel proficiency to identify areas of improvement and determine the certification level that aligns with your goals.
- Choose the Right Certification: Microsoft offers various certification levels, such as MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) and MOS Expert. Select the certification that suits your career aspirations.
- Understand Exam Objectives: Familiarize yourself with the exam objectives for the chosen certification. Microsoft provides detailed information on the skills and knowledge required to pass the exam.
- Prepare and Study: Utilize available resources such as online courses, tutorials, practice exams, and study guides to enhance your Excel skills and prepare for the certification exam.
- Practice Hands-On: Excel is best learned through practice. Apply your knowledge by working on real-life projects, exercises, and sample data.
- Take Mock Exams: Practice with mock exams to familiarize yourself with the exam format and identify areas that require additional focus.
- Schedule and Take the Exam: Once you feel confident in your skills, schedule the certification exam and complete it within the designated timeframe.
- Continuing Education: Excel is continuously evolving. Stay updated with new features and functionalities by engaging in ongoing learning and professional development.
Tips for Excel Skill Development
Consider the following tips to enhance your Excel skills:
- Utilize Online Resources: Take advantage of online tutorials, blogs, forums, and YouTube channels dedicated to Excel tutorials and tips.
- Practice Regularly: Dedicate time to practice and experiment with Excel features. The more you use Excel, the better you’ll become.
- Explore Advanced Functionalities: Dive into advanced Excel functionalities such as pivot tables, data analysis, macros, and conditional formatting.
- Participate in Excel Communities: Join online communities or local Excel user groups to connect with other Excel enthusiasts, share knowledge, and learn from each other.
- Work on Real-Life Projects: Apply Excel skills to real-life projects or work scenarios. This will help you understand how Excel can be used in practical situations.
- Seek Professional Courses: Consider enrolling in professional Excel courses or attending workshops to deepen your understanding and learn advanced techniques.
- Stay Updated: Keep up with the latest Excel updates and new features released by Microsoft. Stay informed about industry trends and best practices.
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Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
Becoming a certified Microsoft Excel expert can significantly enhance your career prospects and demonstrate your proficiency in this valuable software. By following the steps outlined in this guide and leveraging the provided tips and resources, you can develop your Excel skills, earn your certification, and unlock new opportunities in various industries. Excel proficiency is a valuable asset in today’s data-driven world, and investing in your Excel expertise can yield substantial returns in your professional journey.
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