Microsoft Excel is the industry standard for spreadsheets, data analysis and statistical rendering in business. Building upon a simple grid system of letters and numbers, Excel allows you to enter numbers into cells and build upon them with complex equations. Excel combines a simple interface with the ability to perform complex mathematical operations, display data in a range of formats (including line graphs, pie charts, histograms, and three-dimensional diagrams), and many other features.
Learning to become proficient in using Microsoft Excel through a course is an investment in your career; many businesses require their employees to be proficient in Microsoft Excel as a standard, and will test their employees as part of their recruitment process. As a centre of international business, many big companies in London, especially companies in the financial sector will pay good money for somebody who is trained to perform advanced operations using excel.
The advantages of being trained in Microsoft excel are numerous; firstly it is a brilliant and simple way to store data, such as inventory, product sales, and customer details; secondly, this data can be used to detect patterns which show particular trends, helping to detect anomalies, and discover which practices are efficient and which are not; thirdly, the information gleaned from this data can be used to create diagrams which allow the user to present the data in a simple and easily digestible format.
Whilst many people are ‘Excel literate’, in that they can use the basic features of Microsoft Excel, taking a course in using Excel will not only help you to learn how to get the most out of excel for the purposes of business, market research and self-progression, but will also give you valuable arithmetic skills, and the ability to develop your analytical skills when it comes to interpreting hard data. These are skills which big business find essential when selecting candidates eligible for upper management, marketing and research.
Courses can take anything up to 90 hours, and take a great degree of concentration and practice. It is essential that –when undertaking a course- you find practical applications for the things you are using, as this will help you to understand the material with greater proficiency.
Remember that course completion times are only a guideline, and with hard work and concentration, they can be completed in a much quicker time. After completion, you will be awarded a Certificate of Attainment detailing the course you have undertaken and the skills that it has equipped you with.
Before choosing a course, look up the awarding body, and make sure it is ‘industry recognised’. If you are applying for a job or wish to progress in your career, contact the company for whom you are working (or wish to work for) and ask them which awarding bodies they recognise or prefer. In London, awarding bodies such as CPD UK are widely recognised by employers.
Courses in Microsoft Excel vary in the material they teach; some may simply cover the basics of data entry and equations, where other (more advanced) courses may offer module in Business Analysis and Pivot Table courses, along with many other advanced functions. Usually, the modules come with a course diagnostic used to identify your current knowledge gaps, allowing you to focus on the right area of the course to ensure you are not left behind in any area.
Excel has over 500 functions, so it is important to master the basic (and most commonly used functions) first, and then identify which functions are going to be most useful in your career, and focus on mastering them.
At the end of the course, you will be given a certificate with a grade to determine your proficiency; this can be shown to prospective London-based employers or included as part of a job application.