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Microsoft Office Professional Certification and Certificate Programs

Learn about curriculum requirements of a Microsoft Office certificate program. Find out about employment and continuing education options for graduates, as well as the certification process.

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Essential Information

Microsoft offers certification to professionals who prove they have mastered the company's Office software suite. While Microsoft itself is the only organization that can offer certification to Office specialists, there are some vocational and technical schools that offer certificate and training programs in the subject.

Certificate programs in Microsoft Office technology teach students how to use the basic software programs included in Microsoft Office suite, including the spreadsheet program Excel, the word processing program Word, and the presentation program PowerPoint. The certificate programs may be offered as part of larger degree programs in business and office administration or independently through continuing education and extension programs. 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.

Education Prerequisites

Students who seek to enroll in a certificate program in Microsoft Office technology should have a basic understanding of computers and keyboarding.

Program Coursework

Courses found within a certificate program related to Microsoft Office Suite are designed to be very practical, hands-on courses that walk students through the computer programs step by step. Some examples include:

  • Microsoft Word basics
  • Advanced Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel basics
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft expert skills
  • Microsoft Excel formulas

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
  • Accountant
  • Editor
  • Medical assistant

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated in 2012 that administrative assistants earned an average of $33,560 annually. During the same time, the average annual salary for executive administrative assistants was $50,220. The BLS projects that job opportunities for secretaries and administrative assistants will increase 12% from 2010 to 2020.

Continuing Education Information

The Microsoft Office Specialist certification is ideal for those who are eager to prove their command over Microsoft programs to potential or current employers. The company offers certification at several levels, including Basic and Expert. The company also comes out with new versions of its Microsoft Office Suite every few years, and offers updated certification exams so professionals can demonstrate their skills on current versions.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (6)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate in Education, Leadership & Emerging Technology
        • Certificate in 3D Animation - Pre-Production

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    • Nevada (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Web Design and Development

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Heald College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Computer Sciences
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Computer Programming
        • Computer Programming for Certifications
      • Information Technology Management
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Information Technology Management
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Networking and Telecommunications
      • Software and Computer Media Applications
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics