How Can I Learn to Use Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program used by many individuals and businesses. You can find training courses and certificate programs that can teach you basic and advanced skills using Microsoft Excel. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Computer Support Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Learning Microsoft Excel

Many colleges, libraries and career training centers offer training in Microsoft Office Suite applications, which includes the Excel spreadsheet program. Programs may be specifically for Excel, or may include more of Microsoft Office, which also includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Access. These classes allow you to create spreadsheets that can be used for budgets, inventories and other number-intensive databases. These courses can often be completed in 1-2 days and are usually offered at different levels of expertise for beginning and advanced users.

Once you have completed a basic Excel class, you can take intermediate courses and then advanced courses. Training is also offered by Microsoft itself on its website. Courses generally focus on a specific release of Excel or Office, such as 2010 or 2013.

Important Facts About Learning Microsoft Excel

Prerequisites Basic understanding of keyboarding, operating systems, and terminology
Programs Options for credit and continuing education are available
Online Availability Some courses may be completed online
Possible Careers Helpful for human resources specialists, administrative assistants, and managers
Median Salary (2018) $60,880 (for all human resource specialists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% growth (for all human resource specialists)

Beginning Classes

Introductory courses teach the basics of Excel such as creating simple spreadsheets, working with ranges, moving data and creating charts. In this course, you'll learn to perform calculations and practice basic formatting to make your spreadsheet more readable. Introductory courses also teach spreadsheet terminology and how to print.

Intermediate Classes

Intermediate classes in Excel will teach you how to lookup functions, create online workbooks and learn about subtotals, filters and advanced formatting. You may also cover auditing techniques and common financial functions such as present value and interest rates. Sometimes, intermediate and beginning courses will be combined into one, longer class.

Advanced Classes

Advanced courses prepare you to work with pivot tables and use advanced formulas. You can also learn to create and run macros and query external databases. Additionally, advanced classes may teach you how to password protect spreadsheets, work across multiple spreadsheets and use built-in functions.

Earn a Certificate

You may consider earning a professional development certificate while learning to use Microsoft Excel. Certificate programs compile individual continuing education courses into a sequence that builds on prior skills. This allows you to learn how to use graphics and templates to create professional spreadsheets or how to automate repetitive tasks and protect your workbooks. Some certificate programs may include courses in basic computing, but many require you have this knowledge prior to enrollment. Certificate programs may focus just on Excel or be for the entire Office Suite.

Become Microsoft Certified

Microsoft offers two levels of certification in Microsoft Excel: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and MOS Expert. A third level of certification, MOS Master, is available as well, but Microsoft does not have online training available for the 2013 version of Excel yet. Certification requires completion of one or more skills assessment exams. To prepare for these exams, you may complete a certificate program or take specific Excel courses that match your skill level. If you already have some experience using Excel you may consider taking the advanced course and then completing the certification exam.

Some schools offer training geared toward the certification requirements. In these programs, you can take practice exams and prepare for specific exam requirements.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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