Achievement House Blog

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Standing Out: Let Microsoft Certifications Set You Apart in the Workforce

Julia DeBald

In today’s world, we all need computer skills to excel in our careers. Even jobs that don’t require you to be a technology expert still expect you to know how to use some of the most popular programs, such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word. Having one or more Microsoft certification can be the difference in getting a job offer over other potential candidates. AHCCS’s Computer Science courses prepare our students not just for the Microsoft certification tests, but for the digital age. 

AHCCS currently offers the opportunity to take the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams at no cost to the student! This Spring semester, the Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint specialist courses are being offered. Microsoft Word will be offered in the Fall of 2020. Students can sit for the certification exams at the completion of each course if they maintain a 70% grade point average and complete all their assignments. Once they pass the exam, they will be awarded the certificate associated with the Microsoft course that was taken. Computer Science teacher Ms. Carmela Curatola shares with us just another reason to seek out all three Microsoft certifications.

Students will automatically earn an additional 4th certification if they pass all three tests, which is a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification,” Ms. Curatola says. “This certification is a boost to students in their academic performance and helps prepare them for school and future jobs. It is a plus on their resume!

Regardless of whether a student taking these courses wants to go for a certification or not, all three classes help students obtain 21st century skills. Microsoft Excel is valuable in the business world because it shows potential employers that students know how Excel can be used to calculate and analyze trends or performance in the marketplace, represent data in a logical manner, and analyze what that data means. Microsoft PowerPoint helps students learn how to communicate data and information in a cohesive way, skills that can be utilized both in their personal and professional lives. Microsoft Word is extremely popular among individuals that want to use a powerful system for creating items such as letters, tables, brochures, resumes, and the like. Ms. Curatola tells us why she feels becoming certified in new programs will prepare students for future high demand jobs.

Our economy has become information/digital based, so being able to use tools such as Microsoft Office products will give our students the ability to become more productive in the use of their time and more efficient thinkers,” Ms. Curatola says. “They can select the proper technology tool to accomplish tasks, make informed recommendations and decisions, and create new ideas and solutions to problems. Their future work world is yet to be determined, but technology changes constantly. The jobs of tomorrow may be different from those of today, and we want our students to have the ability to transfer their skills to new programs that continue to enter the marketplace.

The Computer Science department can offer your student even more than just Microsoft specializations. Just this semester, a Web Development course is being offered that allows students to create their own webpage which focuses on their resumes to attract potential employers. Students can learn to write Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) codes so their websites are interactive and professional. In the Fall of 2020, we will also be offering the following Computer Science courses:

  1. Intro to JavaScript
  2. Intro to Computer Science
  3. AP Computer Science Principles
  4. Unity

To find out more about the above courses, click HERE or reach out to your guidance counselor!