Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Online with Course Info

Find out about online Microsoft Office Specialist certification courses and in which programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification, the first of three levels, is a credential granted by the Microsoft Company after students complete Microsoft Office skills exams. Courses that prepare students for these exams are widely available fully online through community and 4-year colleges, vocational schools and universities. Some schools allow students to enroll in an online MOS preparation course at any time, while others operate on a semester system.

It is important to note that, while some schools award credits and/or certificates of completion of training programs, the MOS Certification is only available from Microsoft. After finishing a training program, students must take the Microsoft certification exam at an approved testing location.

As a result of software upgrades and changes, many versions of this software are available, and depending on which programs students are using, the company offers different certification courses and exams accordingly. For example, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, and Microsoft Office 2000 each have their own preparation courses and exams. Expert-level certification requires passing either the Word Expert or the Excel Expert exam, while the highest level, master certification, requires passing four exams: Word Expert, Excel Expert, PowerPoint Expert and either the Access or Outlook exam. Regardless of software version and type, students need to be able to view these programs on their PC.

Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

In order to learn the basics of the Microsoft Office applications, students must have access to the Microsoft Office programs on a PC. Online MOS courses are typically completed in modules. Each module covers a basic program function, such as creating, organizing and formatting content, in one of Microsoft Office's five basic programs. Students are taught to use the tools to create finished products. After completing the course, students can take the MOS certification exam at a proctored testing center near their home. Upon successful completion, students will receive an award from Microsoft in the mail.

Common Program Courses

The five Microsoft Office software programs are:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Access
  • Outlook

Becoming certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist online requires the completion of a training course and an on-site proctored exam before Microsoft can mail you a certification award. These training courses are available in all 5 Microsoft Office programs and can be applied for both business and personal use.

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