Business students can earn Microsoft Specialist certification

  Thursday, February 5, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Business students can earn Microsoft Specialist certification

A new program launched last semester is giving students in Pittsburg State University’s Kelce College of Business one more advantage over their peers. 

The new program allows students in Computer Information Systems courses the ability to earn the Microsoft Office Specialist certification, a distinction that Microsoft says can earn an entry-level employee as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than “uncertified peers.”

By earning the certification, the students demonstrate that they “have the skills needed to get the most out of Office,” according to Microsoft. As Microsoft Office is one of the most-used programs in the business world, KCOB officials said earning the certification could be pay great dividends in the students’ professional careers.

“The chances are very slim that a graduate will enter the workforce and not encounter Microsoft Office in their careers,” said Dean Paul Grimes. “It’s a very good program that is used practically everywhere. We want our students to be highly skilled in Office and be able to show that on a resume and to potential employers. That’s why we’re now offering this certification program.”

Grimes said the KCOB is focusing heavily on Microsoft Excel certification, as it’s a program that plays a significant role in the business world.

“Microsoft Excel, of all of the Office programs, is incredibly important to business students and professionals,” he said. “If you can show that, as a graduate, you are well-trained and skilled in Excel, I’m confident you’ll get a closer look when applying for jobs. It’s an invaluable skill for business students.”

The program was piloted in KCOB last semester with approximately 10 students. That number grew to nearly 50 this semester, and Grimes expects the program to expand significantly in the fall.

The program comes at a good time for PSU students, as the university recently reached an agreement with Microsoft to provide Microsoft Office to students, faculty and staff for free.

Through a partnership established between Pitt State and Microsoft, university students, faculty and staff can receive free versions of Microsoft Office and Office 365 – the software suites that include popular programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students, faculty and staff to have access to Microsoft Office at absolutely no cost to them,” said Angela Neria, PSU chief information officer. “We are most appreciative to Microsoft for this offer and partnership.”

The offer includes a free Office 365 account with one terabyte of storage in the proverbial “digital cloud.” Microsoft allows all students, faculty and staff to download Office on five computers, five tablets and five mobile devices. 



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