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Monday, October 22, 2001

MOUS, a self-paced learning course
Sumesh Raizada

COMPUTERS and the wide spectrum of information technology are one of the biggest source of employment and career in the world. More and more persons are getting attracted towards the lucrative careers in the world of information technology. Today, careers related to information technology can be found in every industry in some form or the other. However the scope and extent may very from industry to industry. Some of these careers are very technical in nature and require extensive on job as well as classroom training, while other professions do not require such an extensive training program yet are equally lucrative and offer great career opportunities. Once such career, which does not require very extensive and technical training is of Microsoft Office User Specialist.

Normally a personal computer cannot be imagined without Microsoft Windows and Office applications installed on it. Microsoft Office is undoubtedly the world’s largest and most used program. This program enjoys the distinction of being the most versatile and user-friendly computer application that finds its use at every level of an organisation as well as in-home. These programs are so vast that one cannot ordinarily say that he knows everything about the Microsoft Office applications. However looking at the uses of these applications in the day-to-day working, there can be a lot of value addition and enhancement in efficiency if one can really claim to be a specialist in the Microsoft office applications. Realising the potential of specialisation in Microsoft Office applications, a lot of the big corporate in the world appoint specialist in Microsoft Office applications.


These programs that were considered to be self learning type earlier are now becoming specialised programs due to inclusion of numerous value-added features and properties that can enhance the efficiency considerably. Thus certification in Microsoft Office applications could be a great career for aspiring young graduates. However, for becoming a specialist in Microsoft office applications one needs to qualify the MOUS or Microsoft Office user specialist certification from the Microsoft Corp. This is a self-paced learning course and is globally recognised as the standard for demonstrating desktop skills with the Microsoft Office suite of business productivity applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Outlook and the Microsoft Project applications and thus is a benchmark of expertise in these applications.

For pursuing Microsoft Office user specialist course one must pass one or more certificate exams for Microsoft Office or Microsoft project. You can appear in as many certifications you want to enhance your worth as a Microsoft Office user specialist. The certification exams provide a valid and reliable measure of technical proficiency and expertise by evaluating the overall comprehension of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Project applications. These certification exams are aimed at judging the ability to use the advanced features of these applications and also the ability to integrate them with other software applications. The course contents and the examination material are being developed by industry experts and have a universal recognition all over the world. These certification programs are also available in India including over 9,000 other iQcenters worldwide. The Microsoft Office user specialists program is a wide program and is divided into several categories like MOUS certification in Office 2000, MOUS certification in Office 97, MOUS certification in Microsoft Project 2000. These programs are further divided into track.

The course contents of these programs are very broad and offer various levels of MOUS certification. For example MOUS certification for Office 2000 applications offers two types of MOUS certification, that is core and expert. A comprehensive master certification is also available for those wishing to demonstrate the breadth of their ability by obtaining a combination of core and expert certifications in Office 2000 applications. Similarly in MOUS certification in Office ’97 also there are two types of certification i.e. proficient and expert. However, similar to the MOUS certification for Office 2000 applications, a comprehensive master certification is also available for those wishing to demonstrate the breadth of their ability by obtaining several expert certifications using Office ’97.

These courses are very modern and follow a different examination pattern. Like other computer based courses, MOUS certification examinations does not involve multiple-choice examination pattern except for Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Microsoft Project 2000 Expert that have a few multiple choice questions. The pattern of examination is rather very practical and is being conducted within a ‘live’ Microsoft Office application. The modus operandi of the exams is such that using an actual document, examination candidates are asked to perform a series of tasks to clearly demonstrate their skills.

You can pursue this course at your own pace and can appear in the examination at anytime you want. Normally, examinations last an hour and result is declared immediately. However the certificate comes after 2 to 3 weeks. You can take this exam as many time you want until you clear it, however you have to pay the examination fees for that. This program is available in India also. IQ centers are located in all big cities.

The potential of this course is endless as you can expect a good career in basic programming, office applications, secretarial jobs etc that will never be affected by any kind of recession and slowdown. You can also get good jobs in the field of training in information technology as Microsoft Office applications is a basic curriculum for any computer-based learning course.