What Is a Microsoft Office Specialist?

A Microsoft Office Specialist has passed an exam in one of the component applications of Microsoft Office. These include Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access. The certifications are designed for people with careers as administrative professionals, clerical workers and business analysts. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Microsoft Office Specialist's Tasks

A Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) can work in many careers. Unlike other certification programs, the Microsoft Office Specialist program is not just for people in computer careers; it is also for people in a variety of professions who simply use computers for day-to-day tasks. For example, administrative professionals, clerical workers and business analysts all work constantly with these applications and often earn a specialist certification to increase their proficiency with the software. Specialists may be more efficient in using Microsoft applications, may be more marketable and may earn more.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education Associate's degree or postsecondary classes
Median Salary (2014) $47,610 (for computer user support specialists)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 12% (for computer support specialists)
Work Environment Office setting, possibly home office

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Different Types of Microsoft Office Specialists

Microsoft offers three different certification programs for Microsoft Office Specialists. The programs cover different editions of Microsoft Office, allowing people to choose the best program for their profession or employer. As of January 2014, the three specializations were in Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office 2013.

Microsoft Office Specialist's Skills

Microsoft Office Specialists have different skills depending on the exams they have taken. For example, a specialist in Microsoft Word knows how to use all the advanced options in the application. They understand how to format documents, create tables and use the picture, graph and chart tools. As another example, a specialist in Microsoft Excel understands how to create basic formulas, functions and charts and how to use multiple worksheets, objects and other tools.

Becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist

Becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist includes passing one or more exams offered by Microsoft. You can prepare for these exams by studying the literature provided by Microsoft and other companies. Some schools and companies offer courses to prepare you for the tests. Exams are taken at authorized testing centers around the country.

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