Microsoft Office Professional Certification and Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in Microsoft Office technology teach students how to use the basic software programs included in Microsoft Office suite, including the spreadsheet program Excel, the word processing program Word, and the presentation program PowerPoint.

Essential Information

Microsoft Office certificate programs may be offered as part of larger degree programs in business and office administration or independently through continuing education and extension programs. Some vocational and technical schools also offer certificate and training programs in the subject.

  • Program Levels in Microsoft Office: Certificate program, Microsoft Office Suite Specialist Certification
  • Prerequisites: Basic understanding of computers and keyboarding.
  • Other Requirements: Microsoft is the only organization that offers certification to Office specialists, who prove they have mastered the company's Office software suite.

Certificate Programs and Certification in Microsoft Office

Students who complete these programs have the knowledge to use Microsoft Office programs in the professional world and to apply for Microsoft's Office Suite Specialist Certification. Courses found within a certificate program are designed to be very practical, hands-on courses that walk students through the computer programs step-by-step. Some examples include:

  • Microsoft Word advanced skills
  • Microsoft Excel basics & formulas
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook

Popular Career Options

Many businesses require that employees have a basic understanding of the Microsoft Office suite, as it is commonly used for the creation of documents, presentations and spreadsheets. Some positions that might place particular emphasis on Microsoft professional skills might include:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Account manager
  • Business manager
  • Executive assistant
  • Accountant
  • Editor
  • Medical assistant

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated in 2014 that administrative assistants earned an average of $34,500 annually. During the same time, the average annual salary for executive administrative assistants was $53,590. The BLS projects that job opportunities for secretaries and administrative assistants will increase 12% from 2012 to 2022.

Continuing Education Information

The Microsoft Office Specialist certification is ideal for those eager to prove their mastery of Microsoft programs to potential or current employers. The company offers certification at several levels, including Basic and Expert. New versions of Microsoft Office Suite are released every few years, and the company offers updated certification exams so professionals can demonstrate their skills on current versions.

Search Degrees, Careers, or Schools