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I need help learning advanced Excel skills, with a real, on-the-job, application

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About a year ago at my office, I had an intern start here, who had an experience and fancy talent for designing Excel spreadsheets quickly, by using the shortcut keys, with detail and accuracy, and at an advanced level. He was promoted quickly into a more demanding position. One of my weaknesses, is that I don't have advanced Excel skills with shortcut keys. I am at an intermediate level. If I were take an Excel test at a staffing service, I would probably get a high score for intermediate level, but they didn't test me at the advanced level. I believe I can come up to the advanced Excel skill level, if a had a practical, real, on-the-job application and spreadsheet project, while I am taking an advanced Excel course. I have taken Excel spreadsheet classes in the past, but they had only given me a brief introduction to advanced Excel, with imagined examples and scenarios of how an employer, in general,(not your current employer or the employer you want to work for) could design a spreadsheet, but not for a real, now, employer-specific/job-specific need, for a new spreadsheet design, which will be designed quickly, with detailed accuracy, using advanced Excel skills and shortcut keys. I don't want to ask how the new intern got his experience doing this before he started, but I do need this type of experience in order to advance in my career as an Administrative Assistant. How would I get this type of experience? I could also use some help with advanced Outlook skills.

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There are a lot of excel tutorials out there - in software and video form. Simply do a Google search. There is never going to be an employer-specific class unless you work for a giant company, but you can find out enough to adapt it. I think that it doesn't matter if you know short cuts or not - if the result is the same, I don't think it should affect your job unless you are lacking speed. But of course, accuracy is critical. It also could be that the internet was promoted for other reasons as well. I worked side by side with someone who came in after me but come to find out they had a gangbuster resume with skills where they specifically hired them to move up and those skills were not related to the specific job, but a more advanced one. Remember that part of being an admin and furthering a career is not just about excel but about people skills.


Also, if there is an extension class at a local college about advanced excel or outlook but its not advanced enough, talk to your teacher about it. maybe a group will form or they can tutor you. I used to know someone who would do one on one with senior citizens or even professionals.

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I hate Excel and avoid it at all cost. I know it is needed for spreadsheet work but I tell employers up front, I type well, I great on the phone, I'm organized, I can do large payroll accounts, I compose awesome letters, but I don't do Excel. It hasn't impacted my career...yet. If you want to learn on the job and you need Excel to advance, ask you boss to have you trained. It can only help the company.

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There are several options out there to consider:


1. Video Professor: This is video based. Pros: Like watching a teacher. I think you can get a free trial to test drive their products. Cons: I hear it might be tough to get out of subscribing.


2. link removed: Also video based, taught by experts. Cons: I believe you have to buy the entire library of everything else they have for a couple hundred dollars.


3. link removed: Interactive simulation. Pros: Tests what you know, creates a customized course based on it. Probably best out there if you're looking for just Microsoft training. Cons: Limited to just Microsoft applications. I'm not sure if they sell to consumers or just to businesses.


4. Microsoft: Microsoft has a free online training product out there as well. Pros: It's Free. It's somewhat interactive. Cons: Kind of tough to locate on the Internet, and the system's navigation is a little weak.

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What is it you want to leaen in excel like functions calculations or just more layout presentation skills? Or both perhaps?


I use excel for reporting and have not bad skills at it, if you want to ask pm me. I can do VBA excel programming too and is quite a nice trick to pull in excel if you want to show off a bit too


I could actually send you a file with exercises but it is technical, like calculations if that is the thing you want to learn, and from a real interview tech test as well.



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Have you looked into taking any courses or even certificate programs on Excel?


I teach Excel (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced). I know about all of the scenario's you speak of. I think what you need to do is try to find (google or even the library) of many examples and lessons.


Also, I would make sure that you are at an "Intermediate" level before really immersing yourself into the "Advanced" material. I have had many students take my courses who think they are "Intermediate" only to be completely blown out of the water when I get to the "Advanced" material.

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there is an excellent site for VB coding which I use regularly called Mr Excel. They can help you with any specific problems you're running into, and you can pick up lots of neat tricks from reading other peoples' questions and the responses they got


In a corporate business setting Excel skills are very highly prized. Defo worth learning more

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  • 4 months later...

I have a thought right now about a catch-22. About 8 years ago, my software classes in college, which included Excel, gave brief introductions to advanced Excel skills, such as macros and visual basic. When I started my job as an Administrative Assistant, in the interview, they asked me what my software skill level was. I told them intermediate. Advanced software skills were not required for my job, but HR often prefers an employee having advanced software skills, in order to select the best qualified candidate, whether the employee will really use the advanced softwares skills or not. During my employment with my current employer, I am only told what to do in a spreadsheet, such as data entry. I believe in order for an employee to challenge themselves, and learn and grow in their advanced software skills, then the employer should be open-minded enough to allow an employee to start a spreadsheet project the employer could benefit from, with perhaps some tutoring from a Community College tutor so the tutor can help a student with their short-cut keys or whatever, and let the employee be somewhat creative in his/her project, without being forced to follow a strict set of rules from an employer. I believe giving an employee some freedom to be creative in his/her project will help inspire, motivate, and help the employee learn faster, similar to an education/learning situation in school. Getting back to the catch-22. I believe it is a catch-22, when a job seeker doesn't have enough advanced software skill experience learned from a work-study job, (I won't include the college courses as job experience for the advanced software skills, because it was not for an employer-specific project, and if you don't use the advanced knowledge right-away, then you can easily forget what you had learned.) and the employee's entry-level job, in my case an Administrative Assistant, does not challenge me enough and force me to learn the advanced version, then how can I achieve the advanced spreadsheet skills employers want? If one was fortunate enough to learn these advanced spreadsheet skills while on-the-job, because an employer gave them some creative freedom, then one needs to keep using those skills, and not discontinue, or take a rest from their use, because if you don't use it, you lose it (One can easily forget it. This is so true with software skills.) BTW (By The Way), I am an average learner. I am not naturally gifted at learning fast and remembering everything I've learned (such as a child prodigy learning how to play the piano easily), unless I write it down, and then take a test or something. I think, during hard economic times and high unemployment, employers can expect to interview a state champion for their job and job-specific field, and they can usually get what they want.

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  • 10 months later...

My current Administrative Assistant job does not let me design spreadsheets of increasing complexity. About 8 years ago, I worked part-time at a non-profit agency, which let me use my Excel skills at about an intermediate level, such as creating bar graphs and pie graphs, but I was a volunteer, and there was no advancement opportunity. I am very skeptical, if an employer would honor intermediate to advanced Excel skills learned and practiced as a volunteer. The employer wants to see that one was paid for using these skills learned and practiced on the job, to demonstrate one can design a somewhat sophisticated spreadsheet fast, accurately and perfectly, which then gets the approval of the supervisor, because these spreadsheets include the company's money. With that being said, I may need help with a question: What type of employer would let a worker, who had taken an Excel course in a past, college degree, and had used Excel at a beginning(data entry) to intermediate level(charts/graphs/basic formulas) on both a volunteer and paid job, hire a worker, such as myself, presumably low-paid, part-time, with an emphasis on the task of designing spreadsheet projects from scratch, in order to help me practice and learn designing Excel spreadsheets of increasing complexity? The only employers I know of, who would want to help a worker such as I, would be a financial aid, college work-study job, which I can't do, because I am not a student. Maybe volunteer part-time for a non-profit again, who would let me design their spreadsheets? What new employer, who sees this unpaid experience on a job application, would honor that?

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