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Learn Excel with online courses

Microsoft Excel can be a useful business tool, but many users may not be aware of its most powerful features. Learn how to do more with Excel and advance your career with online courses delivered through edX.

Introduction to Excel

At the most basic level, Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program used to collect, analyze, and display qualitative and quantitative data. Excel spreadsheets can be used for everything from simple calculations and sorted lists to complex analysis using a range of formulas. 

Each cell within an Excel spreadsheet represents a unique data point. The wide range of formulas help professionals uncover relationships between different data points. Excel can also be programmed to access information from external databases, which is useful across data modeling, statistics, and financial applications.

Today, Excel skills are marketable in almost every industry. Whether you’re in healthcare, IT, finance, business intelligence, or computer science, Excel skills can help you gain valuable insight through analysis. The more familiar you are with this powerful software, the more you can do for yourself and your organization. Begin your learning journey today with edX.

Excel | Introduction Image

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Excel tutorial course curriculum

If you’re new to Excel, an introductory course can help get you up to speed quickly on Excel basics. Online Excel courses may explore how to set up an Excel sheet, perform basic calculations, use formulas, and create data visualizations with charts and graphs. 

More advanced Excel courses may cover statistics, probability, random variables, Excel VBA, sampling, pivot tables, VLOOKUP, and hypothesis testing. Even those with ample Excel experience may find new ways to use the program by taking an online course and learning Excel for beginners with the added support of instructors and other resources.

No matter your experience level, edX has a wide variety of online Excel training courses and other learning options for individuals of all backgrounds.

Jobs that use Excel

Microsoft Excel was designed to support accounting functions, making it a long-time industry staple. This knowledge can also be useful to professionals in other fields. For example, retail managers can create streamlined methods for tracking inventory or managing budgets. Administrators can track workplace trends to better understand and serve staff members. Even busy parents can use the power of spreadsheets to delegate household tasks and keep track of appointments.

Today, proficiency in Excel is typically needed for roles in business analytics, data analysis, and statistics. Having a bachelor’s in data science degree or even master’s in data science or a related field will be helpful in your search for data-focused roles that use Excel. An online data analytics boot camp may also teach you how to use Excel.

Advanced Excel trainings can help you build knowledge needed for roles such as:

  • Data analysts, who collect and analyze data to make informed business decisions. They gather data for interpretation and analysis, then develop strategies to optimize statistical efficiency and quality.Footnote 1 Data analysts use their knowledge of Excel to work with large quantities of data on a daily basis. 

  • Financial analysts, who use financial data to help individuals and organizations attain maximum profit. They primarily research, consolidate, and analyze numerical data to assist companies in making financially sound business decisions. Excel is an important tool for these working professionals, as they use this application to track important metrics like annual revenue and spending. For this reason, they're often expected to stay organized and know Excel inside and out.Footnote 2 

  • Accountants, who help businesses in every industry make critical financial decisions. They perform financial audits, reconcile bank statements, and check that financial records are accurate throughout the year.Footnote 3 To succeed in their profession, accountants need to analyze financial data on a regular basis. In order to do this, they may need to be proficient in Excel. 

  • Web programmers and software developers, who have found Excel to be a useful skill. Many programmers use this application to document certain aspects of their programs, or to calculate how their program will react under different circumstances.Footnote 4 In addition to getting up to speed with Excel, skills from a coding boot camp can be beneficial for aspiring web programmers. 

Become an Excel expert online

You can brush up on your Excel knowledge through an online course or boot camp that teaches both fundamental and advanced skills. For someone new to Excel, a boot camp offers learners a flexible educational experience to learn Excel as part of their coursework in as short as a few months. 

For a more advanced learner, earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in data science, computer science, or a related field will be helpful on your journey to mastering Excel. These degree programs may teach the necessary prerequisites for a variety of analytical roles. As you begin your search, you will find that each job is different and has its own unique hiring requirements.

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