I can type fast and create fancy PowerPoint presentations. Do I need a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification
Do you remember feeling this way after a long work day? The next question is: Should you/can you really apply for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification. Let’s take a closer view, since this certification requires more knowledge than just typing in Microsoft Word.
Let’s start with the basics. The Microsoft Office Specialist certification is fundamentally unique from any other IT certification. Although candidates and holders of other IT certifications may work in the IT industry as well, MS Office certification holders are often not considered experts in the field. They might be working in a variety of positions, including as administrative assistants, office managers, or in other positions that require Microsoft Office problem-solving skills. The official Microsoft certifications allow employees and their teams to improve their skills and knowledge, impress their managers, and perform better on projects of different scales. Although this certification is not likely to land them a job, Office Specialists are keen to improve their skills and increase their opportunities. It’s just another tool that helps you stand out from the crowd.
So where do you start?
Once you have decided to pursue certification, you will need to decide whether you want all the exams or just a few.
Users can currently be designated Microsoft Office Specialists in Word Excel, PowerPoint PowerPoint, Access Outlook, Outlook, and Project. Exams at expert levels are available for Word and Excel for those who want to show their skills.
You don’t have to take all the exams unless you are planning to train users or work in technical support. If you are looking to demonstrate your comprehensive knowledge, you can take four of the five exams (three of which are mandatory, and one optional). To settle on the best option for you, consider your long-term career goals.
What is the Expert Specialist Designation (ESD)?
You can be designated as a Specialist in any of the six programs listed in the previous paragraph. Excel and Word are the most used of the six programs and have the most widespread applications. Expert certification can be obtained by taking separate exams.
Microsoft expects an Office Specialist to be able complete everyday Microsoft Office tasks in a typical office setting. A Word Specialist should be able format text and paragraphs, create columns and tables, manage files, and use pictures and charts. An Excel Specialist should know how to format cells and worksheets as well as basic functions and formulas. They should also be able create charts and insert objects.
To become an Expert Specialist, you will need to be able create more complex documents. A Word Expert should know how to perform mail merges to create personalized forms letters with envelopes and labels. They also need to be able to work with master and subdocuments and add references. An Excel Expert should know how to use templates, manipulate multiple workbooks, create macros and use analysis tools.
Take your exams
Exams are 100% hands on. Exams will require you to apply your knowledge of Microsoft Office programs to real-world tasks. The exam will require you to complete certain tasks, such as creating a formula or formatting a document in a particular way. You must complete the exams within the timeframe given. The time frames vary by exam but they are all under an hour.
This is not a paper and pencil test. You will be working.