HAMLET — Employers in Richmond and Scotland counties need employees with Microsoft Office skills — evidenced by the many job postings that require, or at the very least, prefer these skills.
“Office skills can even be necessary in jobs where you might not expect,” said Lance Barber, Richmond Community College’s lead instructor for Information Technology. “One of our graduates got a surprise during an interview for an electrical technician position with FCC in Laurinburg. The interviewer asked him if he was familiar with Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Luckily, he could answer yes because he had taken these computer classes at RichmondCC. He also got the job.”
It’s hard to get away from computers in today’s world, which is why RichmondCC has added new certificate pathways in Information Technology.
RichmondCC is a Microsoft Academy, which means current students can take Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams for free. Students who pass receive an industry certification that is recognized worldwide. It is easily verified and shows employers that a person is trained in these skills.
MOS covers most of the Microsoft Office suite, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, OneNote and more. Each is a separate exam and certification. Students can take as many specialist certificates as they want for free, and they can also take for free expert exams. The expert exams demonstrate superior knowledge of a given Microsoft Office application.
“Not only can are we offering certification exams to current students for free, but also relevant software,” Barber said. “Office 365, the subscription version of Microsoft Office, is completely free to students and employees of RichmondCC. This benefit is one of the best things to happen for our students. Now students can install and use Office applications on their own computers — for free — and practice wherever and whenever they like.”
The College also has MOS certified instructors who can help students through extensive hands-on practice.
“We have some of the best practice exams available,” Barber said. “GMetrix practice exams for MOS are currently free for students to use on campus or on their personal computers. They mimic the actual certification exams, so they really help students to prepare for the real thing.”
By introducing these practice exams, the passing rate for these certifications has improved immensely.
“As an instructor, it is a great feeling seeing how excited students get once they see that passing score. It is a real sense of accomplishment for them,” Barber said.
To learn more about Microsoft Office training and certification offered at RichmondCC, contact Barber by calling 910-410-1911 or emailing [email protected], or contact Kim Parsons by calling 910-410-1898 or emailing [email protected]
Fall semester begins Aug. 17. Registration for fall classes is ongoing. Visit main campus or the Honeycutt Center in Laurinburg to meet with a counselor and sign up for fall classes. Applications must be completed prior to registration. Applications can be filled out online one the College’s website at www.richmondcc.edu.
Wylie D. Bell is director of marketing and communications at Richmond Community College.