A report from March 2016 claimed that over 1.2 billion Microsoft Office users were registered with more than 60 million Office 365 commercial clients on board as well, per Windows Central. With these types of large figures surprising critics and industry analysts each year, it is no wonder why so many IT professionals are rushing to obtain their Microsoft Office 365 certification. What exactly is this certification for and how does one obtain it?
The Primary Objective
As mentioned above, over 1 billion people use Microsoft Office and there are tens of millions of commercial clients with active Office 365 subscriptions. This does not mean, however, that they are “experts” when it comes to installing, configuring, managing, using and troubleshooting Office 365. The primary objective of Microsoft Office 365 training and certification is to establish you not only as an experienced and knowledgeable IT professional but as an IT professional that is certified to operate, manage and troubleshoot one of the most popular productivity software suites of all time and its cloud-based solution that has revolutionized the industry since it was first released.
Growing Market, Increasing Demand
The tens of millions of commercial clients that use and rely on Office 365 subscriptions also need hundreds of thousands of IT support specialists and certified professionals that can apply their skillset, knowledge and overall expertise to helping them to manage it. For those who rely solely on this type of productivity software within their business, having an on-site expert to troubleshoot, install and configure the included programs is an essential investment.
Any type of issue experienced within the typical workday that shuts down Microsoft Office can quickly make a dent in the overall production for the day – a decline that honestly a lot of businesses cannot afford. This high demand significantly boosts the marketability of any IT professional with certification in Microsoft Office 365, allowing you to stand out among the non-certified professionals who may apply to be considered for the same position.
Using Your Existing Knowledge as a Base
Perhaps the best part of reaching out for certification in Microsoft Office 365 is that you do not necessarily have to start from scratch – especially if you already have a considerable knowledge and overall skillset when it comes to this software suite. Do you already use it on your home computer? Is this software package used by your coworkers and upper management? If so, then you already have at least a foundation on which you can build upon as you enjoy and endure your journey to certification.
For instance, chances are that you already know the basic functions of Microsoft Office 365. However, is there a specific program that perhaps stumps you a bit or that you do not use as much as others? For instance, do you use Microsoft Outlook as your default web client? Have you designed and updated an abundance of slideshow presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint? Many people are familiar with Microsoft Word simply because of the obvious need for word processing regarding personal and professional document development.
However, when was the last time that you had to manage a database or create an Excel spreadsheet/graph from scratch? In addition to building upon your existing knowledge base, it is also recommended for you to focus on your individual areas of improvement. Experiment and access the programs that you are not as familiar with and over time you will achieve mastery within them.
Key Aspects to Target
There is a wealth of information to learn and master on your path towards becoming a certified professional within the world of Microsoft Office 365. Taking a high-quality training course from an institution with a proven track record of successful exam performance from its students is a worthwhile investment.
However, there is still a lot of work that you personally need to do when studying for the exam. In addition to usage and management of the software suite, you should pay special attention to the details and features that may easily go overlooked by the typical user. That is, of course, until an issue arises and troubleshooting from an experienced IT specialist is required. For instance, how familiar are you with the firewall ports integrated in Microsoft Office 365? Do you know the different types of Microsoft Office 365 packages and primary features? Can you walk a user through accessing Single Sign On with a Web Application Proxy Server?
Patience, Patience and Patience
At various points along your journey to certification, you may encounter quite a few overwhelming topics. You may even consider derailing your journey or switching tracks to pursue another area of study instead of Microsoft Office 365. If your long-term goal is to make yourself more valuable and in-demand within the IT market, then you will want to become certified in programs and protocol that are used by the most people. Keeping that in mind, Microsoft Office 365 should be viewed more as an mandatory destination than an optional detour on your journey to IT certification and credentials.