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School of Business Recognized as a Certiport Authorized Testing Center

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Job seekers are always on the lookout for ways to stand out from the crowd and become more employable. One way to bring resumes to the top of the stack for consideration are certifications. Fortunately for School of Business students, obtaining an in-demand certification can now be done through the School’s new Certiport Testing Center

The initiative, which launched last fall, will advance the School’s commitment to producing ready-to-work graduates by helping students develop fundamental technical skills that are vital in today’s businesses and technology-influenced industries.

Certiport is the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery and program management services delivered through an expansive network of more than 14,000 Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide, including the School of Business at the College of Charleston.

Currently, the School of Business Certiport Testing Center offers the Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel and the Expert in Excel certifications upon successful completion of the Microsoft Office Excel 2016 Core Exam 77-727 and the Expert Exam 77-728, respectively.

It is recommended that all business students, regardless of major, demonstrate mastery in Microsoft Excel not only because of its frequent use across industries, but also its influence on salary.

According to Microsoft, entry-level employees with a Microsoft Office Specialist certification can earn as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than their uncertified peers.

Part of the mission at the School of Business is to provide a quality education for students by ensuring that they have the hard and soft skills to effectively and responsibly address business challenges. By maintaining a strong relationship with the local business community and training students to meet the needs of those future employers, the School of Business is producing some of their most desirable recruits.

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“While conducting an ongoing needs assessment with the local business community, we found that employers want individuals with a high proficiency in the Excel software,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “In this case, we heard the business community loud and clear and worked to offer the Excel certification. It is our hope that Certiport coupled with our programming here at the School of Business will continue to produce graduates that have the skills employers need."

After passing the certification exam, participants are awarded a certificate as well as a digital badge to showcase on resumes and social media. To date, more than 300 certification tests have been completed by students at a nearly 80 percent pass rate.

School of Business undergraduate students and faculty may take the certification exam once at no charge. If needed, one retake is available as long as qualifications are met.

To learn more information about the Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel and Expert in Excel certifications, including how to prepare and sit for the exam, visit the Certiport Authorized Center page. For questions about the center or certification, please contact director Chen-Huei Chou, Ph.D., at ChouC@cofc.edu.

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