Whether looking to advance in your current company, apply for a better position, or get started in the business world, it's very valuable to be a MOS. MOS (sometimes MOUS) stands for Microsoft Office Specialist, which is an in-depth certification provided by Microsoft. . . and being one can set you apart in a very competitive job market. Having Microsoft Office Specialist certification doesn't just look good on your resume-- the skills you will learn will help you to be more efficient and knowledgeable in your day to day work. Whether you're an Administrative Assistant or a Database Manager or a Teacher, MOS training and certification can streamline your working methods.
In order to receive your Microsoft Office Specialist certification, you must pass one of the Office Specialist exams. You can choose to take the exams for the entire Office suite, or for only the program you need at the time. The exams themselves can be taken at computer learning centers, community colleges and universities, and even office supply stores such as Comp USA.
Since this is a highly specialized exam that requires quite a depth of knowledge, there are a variety of training options for those looking to take their MOS exams. This includes in-home self training using free online tools and classes, to paid online training programs, to college-level courses on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook.
Using Free Tools and Resources
For those that are quick learners, there are a variety of free options available to teach you what you need to know to pass your MOS exam. There are also many books on the market meant to teach the ins and outs of the different Microsoft Office programs. The downside to this, though, is the difficultly learning some specifics without a teacher.
The online courses available to prepare you for your MOS exam range from full-term courses to seven-day accelerated "boot-camps." Doing a simple Google search will give you countless MOS training options, whether they be specifically for taking the MOS exam, or for learning the Microsoft Office suite. The advantage of this sort of course is that it combines the convenience of learning at home with led teaching. For most, this is an ideal option for preparing for the MOS, as there is a huge array of options available for all price ranges and time constraints.
Community College Courses
Chances are, your community college has several courses on Microsoft Office that will easily prepare you for the MOS exam. The advantage of this type of course is having hands-on teaching in a classroom environment. This is especially good for those slightly less computer-savvy, or those who don't learn easily from reading. Or even just those who prefer a classroom environment. Most community colleges have ultra-cheap rates for residents, and usually have few or no required courses for most Microsoft Office courses. This would only work well, however, for those with little time constraints, as most programs take a full semester to complete.
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