CertiPort is the third-party company that runs the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification program. In the 10 months since the public release of the Microsoft Office 2003 productivity suite, only four exams in the
* Microsoft Office Word 2003 Expert: covers advanced topics, tools and techniques involved in formatting and organizing content, formatting documents, working with forms, collaborating with others, and customizing Word document tools, interfaces and controls.
* Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Expert: covers analyzing and organizing numerical, textual, and database data in Excel, formatting data and content, collaborating with others, managing Excel data and workbooks, and customizing Excel document tools, interfaces and controls.
Pointers to skill standards, prep guides, and MS Press self-study materials are available online for both exams.
Certiport has run the Microsoft Office Specialist program (formerly known as the Microsoft Office User Specialist, or MOUS) program since its inception in 1997. This program now includes over 1.5 million certified individuals, making it the second-largest certification program in the world -- only the Microsoft Certified Professional, or MCP, program can claim a larger historical population.
Right now, in addition to the exams mentioned above, the only other exams currently available in the MS Office 2003 track are basic Word and Excel exams. It will be interesting to see how much longer it takes for the as-yet unavailable exams -- three that cover Access, Outlook, and PowerPoint -- to arrive, thereby completing the program's offerings. According to information on the Microsoft Office Specialist home page, all three additional exams should soon be available. When that happens, count on me to follow up with more information about these introductions.
Ed Tittel is a long-time certification follower. He's series editor for Exam Cram 2, a popular assembly of cert prep books from Que Publishing, and a contributing editor for Certification Magazine. He also covers certification topics for InformIT.com, and numerous other TechTarget Web sites.
This was first published in August 2004