Why Become MOS Certified?

362935_sWhen I began my career as an administrative professional, the technology I used was simple—a typewriter. The recognized certification at that time was a typing certificate. I remember working with college faculty to obtain a typing certificate to verify my speed and errors on a 5-minute timed writing, which I later used as evidence to demonstrate to a potential employer my typing speed.

With the advances in technology, administrative professionals in today’s workforce need to become more technology savvy. While my typing skills are still relevant as I key text on a keyboard, administrative professionals are using software programs today such as: Microsoft Office, Adobe, QuarkXPress, Visio, WordPerfect, QuickBooks, WordPress, Google Docs, FileMaker Pro, and more.

Who is the technology expert in your office?

I recently had the opportunity to ask 75-100 administrative professionals “how many of you have studied and taken courses to learn the computer software programs and the terminology associated with the programs that you are using each day?” I was shocked by the response as only a few hands were raised. If we are not the technology experts in the office, who is?

In another recent conversation with individuals who support Information Technology (IT) Departments, one IT staff person said, “just because I know how to load and update software does not mean I know how to use it.” Yikes!

Today, I would like to invite you to study for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam so that you can receive a credential that is recognized globally to individuals who are seeking to validate their knowledge and skills related to Microsoft Office applications. The MOS certification is an excellent credential to have because once achieved you can:

  • Demonstrate to current and future employers that your technology skills are up-to-date.
  • Provide evidence that you are proficient in a specific software.
  • Show your commitment to your career.
  • Remain competitive when looking for new employment opportunities.
  • Potentially boost your earning potential.
  • Differentiate yourself from other job candidates.
  • List the certification on your resume and LinkedIn profile.


For years, I have held MOS certifications in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. I choose to prepare, study, and take the exams every couple of years to keep my technology skills current and relevant to the advances in technology. These certifications are listed on my resume and within my LinkedIn profile.

Does my employer require these certifications? No. These are professional accomplishments that I require of myself so I can be the most productive, confident, technology savvy administrative professional that I can be.

Each year I set milestones that I want to achieve to help me reach my greatest potential as an administrative professional. There is lots to learn in our profession. I know I cannot learn it all overnight. However, I can create short and long-term goals to help me reach my greatest potential as an administrative professional.

I invite you to register, prepare, and take a MOS certification exam before the end of the year. If you have any questions, contact me. I would absolutely enjoy being your virtual cheerleader!



  1. Great article Stacy! If I can help anyone to prepare for their MOS Exam with our Computer Magic Training MOS-qualified training courses, let me know!
    – Sharon Root, IAAP San Jose LAN Coordinator / Computer Magic Training

  2. Great article! A few of us met yesterday during lunch to discuss becoming TA certified. Thank you very much Stacy for your informative articles!

  3. Great read Stacy! Getting my MOS is on my official employer goal plan for 2016. I will be doing the ’13 version. I purchased the home version through a great deal MS offered through my employer. My employer provides the entire training track at no cost in SkillSoft modules.
    My questions for you are: 1. How did you test? One application at a time?
    2. What materials did you prepare with? 3. Did you earn IAAP ceus by earning it? Thanks so much for your encouragement & insights?
    Debbie Printz CAP

    1. Debbie, thanks for sharing a comment and asking some follow-up questions. Great job making the investment of time and resources to becoming certified.

      I update my certifications every few years. I focus on one application at a time. I review a college textbook to make sure I learn and know the newest features. I purchase the practice exams through Certiport and practice several times. This preparation helps me to know with confidence where specific buttons and features are located within the program so I don’t waste time hunting for features since it’s a timed test. I do not know if IAAP offers ceu’s for MOS certification; although, I know the MOS certification can be used towards earning the IAAP TA designation through IAAP’s certification program.

      Hope that information helps.

  4. I took an MS Office class as a way to get points to recertify my CAP. Even after having taught myself to use these programs and MANY years of experience working in the Office Suite, I am amazed by how much I learned!! Taking the class allowed me to sit for the tests for free and I now hold MOS Certifications for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.

    Thanks for the great article and the encouragement!

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