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. Yet, Microsoft is the only organization that offers certification to Office specialists, who prove they have mastered the company's Office software suite. Students must have a basic understanding of computers and keyboarding before being admitted into these programs.
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
- Medical assistant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated in 2018 that administrative assistants earned a median of $36,630 annually. During the same time, the median annual salary for executive administrative assistants was $59,340. The BLS projects that job opportunities for secretaries and administrative assistants will decrease by 7% from 2018 to 2028.
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.
Those whose jobs depend on the use of Microsoft Office Suite may improve their skills and competitiveness by earning a Microsoft Office Specialist certification. Preparation for this certification may be completed in a larger degree program or through a Microsoft Office certificate program.