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Can Learning Excel Boost Career Prospects?


If you're wondering whether you should take a course in Microsoft Excel, you should know (if you don’t already) that it is one of the most frequently used business software packages out there. It handles tasks ranging from data entry and management to sophisticated problem solving, which makes it a valuable tool for making significant business decisions.


Currently, Microsoft estimates that about 1 in 10 Excel users are leveraging the more sophisticated features of the program to develop business insights. Those who are able to manipulate functions and formulas in this way are known as the "Excel programmers" in their organisations, and they frequently earn much more than their peers. So if you think that if you sign up to take a course in Microsoft Excel you will only learn how to populate a spreadsheet, it's time to think again. Check out two of the promising careers for which you become a much more competitive candidate with advanced Excel training below:


Management consulting


These professionals fly in to work alongside with companies to help them with their major strategic decisions. Currently made notorious by the Showtime dramedy "House of Lies," this is a profession that new college graduates can turn into a long-term career. Fortune 500 companies bring in management consultants to help with everything from maximising revenue and minimising strategy costs to improving company morale.


Consultants earn their hefty fees by analysing the issue that the company wants to fix. Through an exhaustive look at the data, these consultants provide recommendations. Their calculations sometimes involve such sophisticated tasks as regression analysis or the use of pivot tables to segment data. Management consultants often work lengthy hours. These companies make most of their new recruits straight out of university, so you'll want to get some Excel training alongside your undergraduate course of study.


Investment banking analysis


New graduates in finance compete for available analyst openings at the major investment banks each year. If you can land a career in investment banking, it's likely that you'll have solid, secure income for the rest of your life. While investment banking analysts provide many different functions, the majority of their time goes into developing initial public offering deals (IPOs) or mergers and acquisitions (M&A). For each deal, the analyst needs to put together a pitch book to show the client that the suggested transaction is a wise idea. Much of this pitch book is made in Excel, as the analyst brings data from the balance sheet, income statement and other financials and uses them for transaction analysis, valuation, leveraged buyout and cash flow modelling.


Investment banking analysts also utilise Excel graphing functions to place graphical representations of their hypothetical models in Word documents and PowerPoint decks. This work is often laborious - but the compensation is also quite high as a result. The best way to enter an analyst program is straight from university, although some boutique investment firms hire people wanting to make a career transition later in life.


Accounting, marketing and business analysis are other professions in which one can also find additional success with Microsoft Excel training. Because of the user-friendly nature of the products that Excel creates, those who can use Excel with the greatest versatility are the most likely to find the highest levels of success in the workplace as a result.



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