If desired, multiple MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certifications may be obtained, and two levels of expertise are offered: basic MOS and MOS Master. Certification at either level requires a candidate to demonstrate skill and expertise in Access via an exam. For employees who use Access on the job, obtaining certification can enhance their careers and provide a distinguishing credential. Courses cover report creation and database management.
While there are no formal prerequisites, anyone considering certification should have a basic understanding of the Internet, computer use, and productivity software. Microsoft also generally recommends at least one year of experience with the version of Access for which a candidate is pursuing certification. Such experience should be in a setting where Access tasks are regularly performed (i.e., at work, in school, etc.). Microsoft further recommends at least 20 hours of preparatory study. A listing of exam preparation resources is available at www.microsoft.com
Microsoft Access Certification Options
The core Access exam is taken for both basic MOS and Master certification. Master certification also requires a core exam in PowerPoint and expert exams in Word and Excel. A directory of testing centers is available at www.certiport.com.
Microsoft Access Certification candidates must choose to become certified in Access 2013, 2010, or 2007. The exam is taken on a computer at an authorized testing center. Rather than a question-and-answer format, it requires performance of technical tasks in Access. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to:
- Structure databases
- Build tables
- Build forms
- Enter data
- Organize data
- Write queries
Popular Career Options
People with MOS certification in Access provide valuable expertise to any organization that uses the database program. They may be database users, Access trainers, database creators, user-supporters, teachers, or professors. Because of the level of knowledge required to obtain certification, they often become the Access experts within their organizations. Individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field and obtain Microsoft Access certification may also find work as database administrators.
Employment Prospects and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that database administrators were expected to see employment opportunities grow by 11% from 2014-2024, which is faster than average. The median salary for database administrators was $81,710 in 2015, according to the BLS.
Microsoft Access certification programs prepare students to have expertise in areas like databases, table and form building, and data entry.