Even though Excel is a program that was invented more than thirty years ago, people still use it today. Even in some cases, basic Excel skills are essentials to successfully complete a degree (e. g. accounting).
Students in school often complain when they have to learn Excel during the IT classes. What they don’t understand though, is that it’s not a punishment, but an actual privilege that will help them in their future career.
If you didn’t get this opportunity in school, but you still want to learn how to use Excel, a great number of universities offers paid courses. They could last one day (like the one on Swinburne University), or they could even last a month. Completing this kind of course will benefit you not only in your work area, but it can teach you some useful skills you can apply in your everyday life.
More opportunities in the job market
Knowing Excel can really improve your CV and make you seem more appealing to future employers. By knowing it, you show them that you were able to learn an important software application. It makes them believe that you will be eager to learn additional skills that might help not only you, but also the business they are running.
It also shows your strong organization and analysis skills.
Not only for accountants…
Not a lot of people realize that Excel is useful not only for those who work in finances. If you are a journalist, it will help you in managing a large amount of data. If you are a teacher, it might help you not only in creating seating charts or interactive maps, but also in, for example, organizing grades.
Excel can also be useful in the training of pilots. Red Triangle, a company that specializes in this type of training, creates cockpit mockups in Excel as a worksheet, and shows diagrams of indicators and switches. They also use comment boxes, to further explain the purpose and meaning of different states of lights and indicators. Who would have thought?
… or work
It might come as a surprise, but knowing Excel can really help you in your everyday life – not only at work. If you are planning a wedding, it might be a good way to stay on a budget, since you will able to see immediately after inserting data, how much you spent. You can also plan the seating chart there. You can use Excel if you are designing a house or an apartment – the worksheet can act as a virtual graph paper.
Excel can also be useful while looking for a name for your soon-to-be-born child. You can insert the first and middle names you and your partner like the most, and use formulas to see all the potential combinations. If you are looking for unique initial combos, that’s also an option for you.
Stimulate your Imagination
Having access to Excel when you are bored might stimulate your imagination and make something amazing come out of pure boredom. A perfect example is the case of Debra Gewand, who uses Excel to create clip-art images. She even published a book regarding it. She puts scanned photos in Excel as a reference, and transforms them into art by using filled shapes made with Excel’s drawing tools. Harald Staff, on the other hand, created a radio player that plays inside the Excel’s worksheet.
A good example of creativity is also using Excel when you forget dices to play board games, or precisely a formula that will imitate the dice rolls.
Excel will make your work more efficient – if you work in finances, you probably have to operate on large numbers. Adding or multiplying them manually would take you so much time, and there always would be a fear that something will not add up, and you’ll have to start again. If you do it in Excel, it will not only save your time, but also you will be sure that the answer you’ll get is correct.
Excel skills are very important, as they will make you more appealing to employers. You can use them not only at work, but also in everyday life. They will make your work more efficient, and help to stimulate your imagination.