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Earning Your Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

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While most of the certifications we explore at PearsonITCertification.com are much more technical in nature – geared toward system administrators, network designers, etc. — the Microsoft Office Specialist certification is one of the most popular exam tracks, with eight different exams required. In this article, Brien Posey explores what it takes to earn this highly valued certification.

Although the articles on this website have traditionally focused on exams geared toward system administrators, Microsoft does offer other exam tracks. One particularly popular exam track is the Microsoft Office Specialist certification. This article outlines what is involved in earning this particular certification.

Exam Requirements

Being that Microsoft Office has long consisted of a suite of products (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), one might expect that earning a Microsoft Office Specialist certification would involve passing a grueling series of exams. However, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, it is possible to earn the Microsoft Office Specialist certification by passing a single exam.

At the present time there are eight different exams to choose from to earn a Microsoft Office Specialist certification for Microsoft Office 2010. These exams include the following:

MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2010

Exam 77-881

MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2010 Expert

Exam 77-887

MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2010

Exam 77-882

MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2010 Expert

Exam 77-888

MOS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010

Exam 77-883

MOS: Microsoft Office Outlook 2010

Exam 77-884

MOS: Microsoft Office Access 2010

Exam 77-885

MOS: Microsoft Office SharePoint 2010

Exam 77-886

In addition to these exams, there is a ninth exam that is currently under development that will eventually also qualify for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification program. This exam is:

MOS: Microsoft Office OneNote 2010

Exam 77-853

The Master Certification

Microsoft offers masters certifications for many of their technology tracks, and Microsoft Office is no exception. However, the master certification for Office 2010 bears little resemblance to the master’s certification programs for products such as Exchange Server.

Some of the other Microsoft Certified Masters programs require candidates to spend up to three weeks in Redmond attending training sessions. The training typically costs upward of $20,000, and at the end candidates must face off against what could probably be best described as an inquisition board. In contrast, Microsoft Office Masters candidates must only pass a series of exams. There is no required training in Redmond and no inquisition. The cost is comparable to taking any other Microsoft certification exam. In order to earn a masters certification for Microsoft Office 2010, candidates must pass all of the following exams:

MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2010 Expert (Exam 77-887)

MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2010 Expert (Exam 77-888)

MOS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010 (Exam 77-883)

MOS: Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 (Exam 77-884)

As an alternative to the Microsoft Office Outlook exam, candidates can opt to take the MOS: Microsoft Office Access 2010 exam (77-885) instead.

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