The number of jobs that consistently use Microsoft Excel to perform tasks appears to be limitless in today’s data-driven world. From Administrative Assistants to the highest-level CEOs of major corporations, everyone is using Excel to some degree. Therefore, Microsoft Excel is by leaps and bounds the most popular corporate training topic in America. In fact, for every 100 people we see enrolling in training, nearly 70 of them are signing up to take an Excel class. Companies and government agencies are sending their staff to take Excel classes like crazy.
Let that sink in for a minute. These are already hired, and in many cases, seasoned employees being sent to training classes – by their employer – to better learn Excel. If such a large percentage of corporate training budgets are dedicated to Excel classes, wouldn’t you think coming into a job opportunity ALREADY knowing the program at an advanced level gives you a leg up on your competition? Go ahead, you can say it. That is a resounding “Yes.”
Think about the position or occupation you see yourself in now or even a year from now, and I guarantee you, without question, you will be asked to play in the data sandbox on some level. It could be sales, finances, inventory, general expenses, forecasting, analysis, and on and on (about 100 more “on and ons”). You name the job and you will be asked if not required to know Microsoft Excel.
Let’s look at 10 occupations you can prepare for at your community college and discuss why you will use Excel, and more importantly, why you should know how to use the application at an advanced level BEFORE you enter the job market.
Nursing requires effective use of Excel for analyzing clinical, administrative, and financial information. Excel spreadsheets are used to analyze the length of stay on multiple units of an acute care hospital. Collect and summarize pre-operative risk assessment. Create sophisticated reports with subtotals that track clinical productivity. Track surgical implant usage and history by vendor, date, and cost. Create patient tracking systems across multiple providers. Excel Data Consolidation, Excel Subtotals, and Excel Advanced nested filtering streamlines these processes.
Excel spreadsheets are used to log and track mechanical repairs chronologically. Sorting and filtering for specific machines or dates simplifies and narrows search results. Job costs are recorded in Excel spreadsheets so the costs can be manipulated with the built-in aggregate functions.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist
Dental practices are using Excel for reporting of metrics and KPI’s. Macros and VBA are used to build friendlier and more robust automated tasks for end users. Data can be migrated from various sources with Excel’s data model using Power Query and Power Pivot. This will allow you to create interactive Excel based reporting workbooks or dashboards that can be easily and routinely generated. The date difference function can also be used to generate exception reports so daily exceptions that require attention are easily identified.
Excel spreadsheets are used regularly. Advanced formulas such as quasi-static motor starting time calculations are commonly done in Excel. Spreadsheets for cable sizing ampacity, heat load calculation, PU calculation for short circuit, and overhead sag-tension all use Excel’s built-in functions and complex user-built formulas. Utilizing Excel spreadsheets allow for tracking and filtering specific records, along with visual representations.
Medical Lab Technician
Whether in a hospital, office, or lab Excel is widely used throughout. Financial spreadsheets are used for accounts receivable and payable. Excel’s built-in financial function library assists in the specific setup needed. Employee rate of pay, requested time off, and clock history are stored in Excel. The built in Date and Time functions allow for the automation of these processes. Internal projects utilize Excel spreadsheets to track time and money involved in the project along with estimate at completion percentages.
Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Excel is used by paralegals to organize and automate invoices and overall financials. Excel has many built in financial functions specific to billing and recurring bills. Excel spreadsheets house contact information which can be sorted in several ways. Visual reports including Tables and Charts can be generated on demand from an Excel spreadsheet or Pivot Table.
Data Science requires mastery of the Life Cycle. This includes data acquisition and extraction, Data Mining and Modeling, Data Scrubbing and Data Warehousing, Data Visualization and Business Intelligence, Predicative Analysis and Qualitative Analysis. Excel can store this data in spreadsheets, workbooks, and dashboards. Excel PowerPivot does not have the row and column limitations that a spreadsheet has, making huge data lists easy to condense, summarize, and flip.
Excel’s built-in statistical functions simplify the analysis process and provide graphical representations for delivery to a broad audience. Excel VBA enables code generation to automate repetitive processes.
As a project manager you are accountable for the success of failure of your project. This involves tracking time, quality, and cost. Excel is a valuable tool in project management for conveying budgetary updates and discrepancies. Various Excel charts will demonstrate quality and defect goals against actuals. Excel dashboards are perfect for reporting to your resources, vendors, and management in a format that all can easily understand. Excel Scenarios enable you to quickly switch from actuals and back to original time estimates.
Competitive analysis, feature prioritization, and networking are key factors in marketing. Excel charts give the best visualization tool to reach your specific market while demonstrating how to solve problems, redefine the medium, and show your intended audience they are a priority. Excel Tables do the same for numbers orientated audiences while giving aesthetic appeal. Excel spreadsheets allow you to organize and keep track of which audience needs what approach and when.
Excel spreadsheets allow for comprehensive contact lists including when the last point of contact was made. Conditional Formatting can be used to highlight items in the spreadsheet when a certain dollar amount, date range, or inventory level requires attention. Contact lists can be both sorted and filtered on any field in a record to quickly extrapolate only information need at that time. Charts can then be used for easy and clear information presentation.
Excel is a staple in the workplace regardless of what your actual career will be. While our roles and responsibilities vary greatly, the software we use to organize the day-to-day operations is the same. Getting proficient or becoming an expert with Excel greatly enhances desirability as a candidate for either a new job, or a promotion from a current job. Recently graduated students are expected to have current and proficient software skills. Knowledge is power, let us get you that knowledge and enable you to take your career as far as you want it to go.