Are you looking to boost your resume and stand out in the job market? One way to do that is by achieving a Microsoft Excel certification.
Not only does it demonstrate your proficiency in one of the most widely used software programs in the business world, but it also shows that you are dedicated to staying current and improving your skills.
What is Microsoft Excel Certification?
The Microsoft Excel certification is an endorsement provided by the software giant Microsoft, to verify the competency of professionals in using its Excel spreadsheets tool for various purposes.
Excel is one of several tools in the Microsoft 365 stack, which also includes Word and PowerPoint, and it is employed to store, organize, and track data sets through formulas and functions.
Obtaining this certification demonstrates that you possess expert-level proficiency with this tool and are ready for jobs that require Excel expertise.
The full name of the certification is Microsoft Office Specialist: Microsoft Excel Expert (Excel and Excel 2019) and it can also be referred to as MO-201. To earn this certification, you must pass the Microsoft Excel Expert (Excel and Excel 2019) exam. This exam is 50 minutes long, comprising of 25 questions, and it covers several areas of Excel usage including:
- Managing workbook options and settings
- Managing and formatting data
- Creating advanced formulas and macros
- Managing advanced charts and tables
Eligibility and Requirements of MS Excel Certification
When it comes to achieving a Microsoft Excel certification, there are no specific professional or academic qualifications required. All you need is the latest version of the software installed on your computer and an internet connection to take the exam. The system requirements for the exam include:
- Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 or later
- MS Office
- .NET Framework 4.0 or later
- Adobe Flash Player 10.0 or later
- High-speed broadband
- Internet Explorer Once you have registered for the certification exam, you will be given an exam date and also access to Microsoft IT Academy self-paced practice papers to help you prepare.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve your Excel certification:
Step 1: Understand the different types of Excel certifications
There are several different types of Excel certifications that you can earn, including Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS),
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals.
Each certification has its own set of requirements and focuses on different aspects of Excel, so it’s important to research which one is best for your needs and goals.
Step 2: Prepare for the exam
Once you have decided which certification you want to pursue, it’s time to start preparing for the exam.
Microsoft offers a variety of resources to help you prepare, including online training courses, practice tests, and study guides.
Take advantage of these resources and practice using Excel as much as you can.
Preparation for the exam:
While Microsoft does not offer an official practice test for the Excel certification, there are several sources of preparation materials you can access, including:
- Microsoft’s Excel certification exam outline of skills measured
- Microsoft’s Excel support documentation
- Microsoft’s “sandbox” to demo the exam experience and get a feel for the kind of questions the exam includes
- Microsoft’s certification support page
- Courses and tutorials by other brands, like iPrep, on how to use Excel and prepare for the exam
- Certiport’s learning resources and practice tests
Step 3: Register for the exam
When you feel ready, it’s time to register for the exam. You can register for an exam at a testing center or online.
You will need to pay a fee to take the exam, but this varies depending on the certification you are pursuing.
Step 4: Take the exam On the day of the exam
Make sure to arrive at the testing center early and bring a government-issued ID. During the exam, you will be given a set of tasks to complete using Excel.
The tasks will vary depending on the certification you are pursuing, but will generally focus on areas such as creating and editing worksheets, creating charts and diagrams, and working with data.
The MS MOS exams are all performance-based and are conducted in simulated or live environments.
Candidates are asked to perform a series of tasks in MS Excel that help demonstrate their preparedness, knowledge, and skill with the application software.
It is a somewhat short project that the candidate is required to prepare within 60 minutes. In a real-world testing situation, marks are based on points in subsequent steps of the solution.
The exam results are displayed immediately and you would know if you have passed as soon as you submit it. An official certificate is then mailed to your address within the next couple of weeks.
Step 5: Receive your certification
After you have completed the exam, you will receive your certification if you pass. Congratulations, you are now a certified Excel professional!
The duration for obtaining an Excel certification varies based on your prior knowledge of the program and how often you study for the exam.
Microsoft’s description of the Microsoft Office Specialist: Microsoft Excel Expert (Excel and Excel 2019) certification suggests that it is intended for individuals who have received around 150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience with Excel.
Is Excel Certification Wort It?
Earning an Excel certification can bring multiple advantages to your career.
It is a globally recognized achievement that can be beneficial in various industries such as accounting, finance, project management, marketing, technology and education.
In United States, as of February 2022, over 800,000 companies use Excel and other tools from the Microsoft 365 stack.
Possessing this certification can make you a more desirable job candidate, enhance your worth to your current employer, and even result in a salary hike.
A Glimpse of How Microsoft Excel Certification Works!
- Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used software programs in the business world, making an Excel certification a valuable addition to any resume.
- Excel certification can demonstrate your proficiency in the software and your dedication to staying current and improving your skills.
- Excel certifications are recognized globally, which means it can be beneficial in various industries such as accounting, finance, project management, marketing, technology and education.
- According to the Microsoft, As of February 2022, over 800,000 companies in the United States use Excel and other tools in the Microsoft 365 stack.
- Excel certification can make you a more attractive job candidate, increase your value with your current employer, and even set you up for a salary increase.
- Excel certification is a relatively low-cost way to improve your employability and earning potential.
- Passing the certification exam demonstrates that you have expert-level capabilities in Excel, which can be particularly valuable in fields like data analysis and business operations.