How Do I Get Microsoft Certification?

Microsoft Certification

Microsoft Office is one of the most recognised, well-respected computer programs that incorporates Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.  A Microsoft certification allows someone to be a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) in one or more of the programs and is a great benefit on your resume.  But how do you get this kind of certification?


Before you start looking for courses, it is important that you have a good basic ability to use computers.  You will be trained on the specific programs but a good understanding of the basics of computing is key. Once you have this basic knowledge, whether self-taught or from a computer course, you can start looking for the right Microsoft course.

Lots of people self-teach themselves to use Microsoft but to be able to get certification, you need to have formal training that ensures you do things the recognised and standardised way.  There are a variety of different places that offer these courses from colleges and universities to training specialists.

Choosing the right program

Each class will be on a single subject, so you will get Word Courses, Excel Courses, PowerPoint Courses and so on.  While you might want to train on all of them, you will need to enrol in each course to do this.

For example, if you create newsletters, press releases, manuals or blog posts then you would start to get a MOS Word certification.  If you are in charge of databases or want to have a career in this area, then the MOS Access certificate would be the place to start.  And for those who create presentations or want to go into being a PA, then MOS PowerPoint would be their choice. You can even get a certificate for Microsoft Outlook certificate for their email handling program.

taking online exam

Taking the exam

Once you have gone through the training, you will then be in a position to take the exam which is how you receive your certificate.  You must use a test centre authorised by Microsoft to take your exam and each lasts for 90 minutes. Exam questions will involve completing tasks with appropriate tools within the software.

Test takers can view their results straight after finishing the exam and those who have passed will get their certificate through the post.  If you don’t pass, but you think you should have, you can challenge answers marked incorrectly.

Please see Microsoft Office Specialist Exam Demo

Benefits of taking MOS certification

There is a case that you can learn a lot about the different Microsoft Office software options simply by trying them and getting familiar with them through use.  But if you want to pursue any kind of career that involves using this software, then a certificate is a way to show you are using it to the correct standard.

In fact, you can actually see an increase in your salary and position when you are a qualified MOS versus something who isn’t.

Because you have to pass an exam to receive the certificate, it holds weight with employers and is definitely a plus on your CV or resume.  You will also be well placed when Microsoft release new updates and features to quickly adapt to their use.


An MOS certificate can be a requirement for some roles, especially if the software is essential for the job.  But even for those where it isn’t a requirement, it can be a big plus in your favour, showing you can use the software to the highest standard and implement it in the way that Microsoft designed it.  This can help boost your job prospects and even see you earn a higher wage with the certificate behind you.

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