Technology has changed the face of the corporate world. The most ordinary of office jobs are now performed using computers, making it imperative for professionals from the highest rung of the corporate ladder to the lowest to have basic to advanced IT skills.
Being computer illiterate can be a huge handicap in the job market. When the competition for jobs is already intense, leaving gaps in your resume on account of your inability to efficiently use the computer can cost you dear!
Not just professionals, but even college and school students are required to complete a fair amount of their coursework using computers. They need to havea more than working knowledge of computer applications to complete tasks that range from typing out project reports to preparing class presentations.
And what about home makers and stay at home parents who are in charge of monthly budgets, bill payments, tax calculations, and helping the kids with their homework? Can they survive without knowing how to work a computer?
It’s quite clear that computer skills are not just necessary career skills, but important life skills that people use for performing a multitude of tasks.
And what are the trademark computer skills that nobody, but nobody can do without? If you don’t know the answer, it’s the proficiency to use the different applications that are part of the Microsoft Office suite. For the uninitiated, the MS Office suite comprises the following applications:
MS Word: A robust word processing program for writing papers, filing reports, etc.
MS Excel: A spreadsheet program used for organizing, formatting and calculating data.
MS PowerPoint: A program that allows users to create visually rich slideshows and presentations.
MS Access: A relational database management system.
MS Outlook: An email client that allows you to view, organize, and respond to emails.
Chances are that for most office, school or home-related tasks, you need to have basic to advanced level skills in using some or all of these programs and one of the surest ways of demonstrating your expertise in these applications is through Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification.
According to the Microsoft website, there are studies to indicate that MOS certified professionals have increased competency and productivity. They also enjoy greater credibility among their superiors, peers and clients. If you’re interested in earning an MOS certification, here are a few ways to prepare for it:
Microsoft Office Training Courses: Depending on your need, you can take individual courses such as Microsoft Word training or Microsoft Excel training or you can take a bundle course that includes training in all the important MS applications.
A lot of these Microsoft Office training courses are available online and can be completed at your own convenience. By the time you’re through with your training program, you will have the skills and the confidence to earn the MOS credential.
Free Online Tutorials:The Internet is a rich source of free preparatory material for the MOS certification tests.Not only can you find tutorials for different MS applications, but you may also be able to access practice tests to gauge the extent of your knowledge. That’s what they call trial by fire, or something close to it!
Microsoft’s Official Website: It may be a good idea to check the official website of Microsoft for preparatory material and/or practice tests for the different levels of MOS certification exams. They may put such resources up from time to time.
Self-study: Lots of people choose this method to prepare for the MOS certification instead of spending money on Microsoft Office training courses. There is nothing wrong with this method. In fact, some of the features of MS applications are quite intuitive and can be learned by trial and error.
However, it may not be as simple to teach yourself how to run Macros on Excel; use multimedia in PowerPoint presentations; or some of the other advanced features of these applications. So, your knowledge and preparation may not be complete from the point of view of taking the MOS certification test.