Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Today's highly competitive job market demands that job candidates prove their qualifications. Evidence that you possess the appropriate set of skills for the job can be substantiated by educational degrees and certifications. It's nearly impossible to land a job in the Information Technology field without being certified, even a degreed candidate in IT must evidence his or her capabilities by certification. Businesses want qualified candidates and it is up to you to substantiate your qualifications.
MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) is one form of certification geared specifically to the MS Office programs. It measures an individual's level of competency in applying appropriate techniques to complete a series of tasks. MOUS Certification is a globally recognized standard of skills for the Microsoft Suite of Business Applications. Businesses report gains in productivity specifically attributable to MOUS certification among their staff.
What are the benefits to you?
• Qualifies your experience and knowledge
• Shows your ability to "hit the ground running" without the need for training
• Improves your job effectiveness
• Boosts your credibility
• Opens the door to opportunities for advancement
What are the benefits to businesses?
• Improved productivity
• Simplifies employee selection and hiring process
• Sets a standard of performance
• Sets a standard for training efforts
What are the levels of certification?
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) on three levels (2000-2003)
• Specialist Certification exams certifies individuals in specific MS Office programs including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook
• Expert Exams certifies individuals at an expert level for Word and Excel only
• Master Certification certifies individuals on the the Microsoft Product. Individuals are tested on Word, Excel, and Powerpoint plus elective exams for Access and Outlook
MCAS Series replaces the MOS for Office 2007
MCAP Series – tests individuals on MS Office advanced features focusing on the individual's ability to provide organizational support and solve real world business problems
How do I get Certified?
1. Become familiar with the exam objectives for each program. Click here to download exam objectives and guides.
2. Measure your experience and knowledge against the detailed objectives
3. Assess your skill level
• How long have you been using the programs?
• What is the depth of your experience?
• Do you use the basic features?
• Do you use the advanced features?
• What version(s) of the program have you used?
• Never take an exam without preparation. Review each objective and try to carry out the tasks that use the features
• Use only approved courseware or training facilities to bring your skill level up to the standards
• Practice, Practice, Practice
5. Take the exams
• Locate and authorized testing center
• Schedule the exam
There are no prerequisites for taking the exams and each can be taken as often as necessary (with payment each time of course.) The best advice I can give you is to prepare well before taking it. Review each of the objectives and feel confident that you can complete the tasks. Practice each technique. The certification exams are timed so you cannot waste time trying different techniques. Good Luck!