Pointful Education

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Excel Certified: An Attractive Skill for Job Candidates

When I was seeking a summer internship during college, I set my sights on large banks in New York City. The internships were highly competitive and the interviewing process could be brutal. As a result, I studied, prepared, and practiced till I was blue in the face, just to give myself a chance at landing a spot.

After multiple rounds at one bank, I got to the final interview: meeting with the head of the group. My nerves were at an all-time high. Succeed, and there was a great chance I’d get the internship. Bomb the interview, and I’d be back to square one. When it was time, I entered his office and before we could start, he answered the phone for 15 minutes, eating up half of our interview time. When he was done, he asked me, “Do you know Excel?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Do you know PowerPoint?”


“Ok, I think we’ll have you in the group this summer.” And then he proceeded to usher me out of his office.

And that was it! While knowing Excel certainly wasn’t the only thing that got me the job, it was the first question out of the mouth of the decision-maker. And I was grateful to be able to answer that question honestly and confidently!

Why Learning Excel Skills Is Crucial

In today’s (much more) competitive job market, this skill continues to stand out among recruiters and employers: proficiency in Microsoft Excel. Educators who are responsible for teaching business, career, and Excel skills to high school students understand the importance of Microsoft Excel in the modern workspace. Even more impactful is the Microsoft Certified Associate in Excel certification—a validation of mastery that could be a game-changer for our students’ futures.

In the age of data-driven decision-making, Excel is more than just a spreadsheet program; it’s a versatile tool for analyzing information, managing data, and even forecasting trends. Be it finance, healthcare, or marketing—virtually every industry has a use for Excel. As such, a basic understanding of this software is almost a prerequisite in today’s job market.

The Importance of Microsoft Certified Associate Certification

While knowing Excel is beneficial, being a Microsoft Certified Associate in Excel takes it to another level. This certification:

Verifies Skills

A formal certification verifies that the individual has a well-rounded and deep understanding of Excel's features and functionalities.

Boosts Credibility

It’s a validation from Microsoft itself, adding significant weight to a resume.

Offers a Competitive Edge

In a job market where many claim to have "Excel skills," a certification can differentiate candidates from the crowd.

Prepares for Advanced Roles

It equips students with the skills required for roles that demand advanced Excel capabilities.

Careers Benefiting From Excel Certification

  • Data Analyst: A role centered around deciphering data, where Excel is invaluable for manipulating and analyzing information.
  • Financial Advisor: For managing complex portfolios and forecasts, Excel remains a key tool in the finance sector.
  • Project Manager: Keeping track of timelines, resources, and budgets is much easier with Excel skills.
  • Supply Chain Manager: From inventory tracking to logistics planning, Excel helps in various facets of supply chain management.
  • Human Resources: Whether it’s managing employee data or creating performance metrics, HR professionals often turn to Excel.
  • Marketing Analyst: For tracking campaigns, analyzing consumer behavior, or budget planning, Excel is essential in marketing roles.
  • Healthcare Administrators: Patient records, appointment schedules, and budgeting are often managed using Excel in healthcare settings.

Making a Mark in the Job Market

  • Resume Highlight: Including Excel certification(s) on a resume makes it more appealing to recruiters.
  • Job Interviews: Demonstrating Excel competency can lead to more productive discussions during interviews.
  • Networking: Discussing certification and Excel skills during networking events can help form valuable connections.

Teachers and CTE administrators play a pivotal role in equipping our students for success. By encouraging them to not just learn Excel, but demonstrate that knowledge through earning a certificate, we’re offering them a tangible skill that has real-world applications. And it’s a skill with immediate returns. This certification can not only open doors for them but also help them stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. Therefore, offering Excel training and certification as a key component of any CTE program will set students on a path to a promising future.      

Check out our Pointful Education blog today to learn more about the best strategies to prepare your students for high school, college, and beyond.

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