How to Learn Excel Online

Whether you're a beginner or a professional, there are a plethora of online options to learn Excel, the industry-standard spreadsheet application used for data organization and analysis. From free tutorials to live classes, explore various learning avenues and decide which suits you best.

Key Insights

  • Excel, a spreadsheet application part of the Microsoft 365 suite, is widely used for data entry, scheduling, project management, accounting, and more in various industries.
  • Learning Excel can be challenging, especially for beginners with no background in data or spreadsheets, but with online resources, one can get familiar with its interface and basic functions in a few hours.
  • Live online Excel training offers convenience, expert instruction, and real-time feedback without the need to commute or find parking.
  • Top educational providers, including Noble Desktop, offer a variety of live online Excel courses suitable for beginners and advanced learners, with Noble Desktop also offering courses like Excel Level 1 and Excel Level 3.
  • On-demand Excel training options and free introductory courses are also available for those seeking flexibility or a quick overview of the application.
  • Noble Desktop’s Excel Bootcamp provides comprehensive training in core Excel concepts, with options for in-person or live online learning, and course fees range from $229 to $1,099.

If you’ve always wanted to learn Excel, there are plenty of options at your fingertips. From free tutorials to live classes, your options for learning Excel online are outlined here so you can decide how to learn in a way that works best for you.

What is Excel?

Excel is a spreadsheet application that is part of the Microsoft 365 suite. This software can be used to create and manage spreadsheets, which contain data in rows and columns. Once the data is organized in Excel, various calculations can be performed on it to identify patterns, trends, or other relevant numerical information.

With the help of this software’s graphs and charts, users can visualize data findings in a way that is accessible to different audiences. In addition, Excel can create forecasts that can predict trends in just one click. Users can create their own spreadsheets or use the provided templates to do so. Work done in Excel can then be shared with others in real-time so that collaborative projects are completed more efficiently. Because of how powerful and versatile Excel is, it remains the industry-standard spreadsheet application in the business world.

Common Uses for Excel

Microsoft Excel has an array of uses across different industries and professions. Some of this application’s most common uses are:

  • Data entry
  • Scheduling
  • Data storage
  • Project management
  • Data analysis
  • Performance reporting
  • Data cleansing
  • Operational management
  • Data verification
  • Forecasting
  • Data visualization
  • Account management
  • Budgeting
  • Accounting
  • Data reporting
  • Administrative organization

How Difficult is it to Learn Excel?

Currently, approximately one in eight people around the world use Microsoft Excel. For those with office jobs, about one-third of their work time is spent using this spreadsheet application. However, despite how ubiquitous Excel use is, most office workers have not received formal training on using this app.

The process of learning Excel can be challenging, especially for those who don’t have a background in working with spreadsheets or data. However, many educational resources are available online to help with this journey for those seeking to learn Excel basics. For Excel novices, it likely won’t be possible to learn every feature of this app in just one day. However, it is possible to become familiar with its interface and basic functions in just a handful of hours, especially with online tutorials, videos, lessons, or classes. It’s important to keep in mind that Excel is a robust application. This means it can take 18-20 hours, if not longer, to learn more advanced functions.

How quickly you learn Excel can depend on a variety of factors:

  • Have you ever worked with spreadsheets? Some learners received basic Excel training in high school or college, whereas others are learning to work with data on a spreadsheet for the first time.
  • Are you new to handling large datasets? For those whose job involves regularly handling large volumes of data, it may be easier to learn Excel.
  • Do you have a technical background?
  • Are you familiar with other Microsoft 365 applications and products? Often, those who regularly use apps such as PowerPoint or Word will be able to learn Excel faster than those who are completely new to the Microsoft Office suite.
  • How much of Excel are you looking to learn? While some learners simply want to acquire a basic understanding of the Excel interface and its core functions, others seek to learn more advanced features, which can take much longer.

Live Online Excel Training

Learning Microsoft Excel in the live online environment has many perks. You can study Excel from the comfort of your own home or office space, and you won’t have to battle rush-hour traffic or look for parking for each class. In addition, because live online courses meet in real-time, you’ll still have access to an expert instructor who can provide feedback on your work and answer questions as they arise. Classes in the live online environment often provide the same content as in-person study, which makes them a great option for those looking to balance their studies around other professional or personal commitments. However, one drawback of online study is that if you are an extrovert, you may miss connecting with classmates in the traditional classroom environment.

Top educational providers currently offer many different live online Excel courses. Beginners may be interested in classes like NYIM Training’s Excel for Business Fundamentals or ONLC Training Center’s Excel Introduction. For those interested in mastering more advanced Excel functions and features, courses like Ledet Training’s Microsoft Excel Advanced or General Assembly’s Advanced Excel Training would be a good match. In addition, Noble Desktop provides live online Excel courses for those at all stages of learning, such as the beginner-friendly Excel Level 1 and the more advanced Excel Level 3 or Excel Bootcamp.

On-Demand Classes

If you’re interested in Excel training on-demand, a variety of learning options are currently available. LinkedIn Learning’s Excel Essentials Training is a two-hour, beginner-friendly class available by platform subscription. Exceljet also offers a two-hour class, Dynamic Array Formulas, in which students receive advanced instruction on both Boolean algebra and dynamic arrays. Shaw Academy’s 19-week Excel Training Classes Online grow from novice to expert as they learn core spreadsheet skills like working with macros and PivotTables.

Free Intro Courses & Tutorials

If you aren’t ready to dive into an entire Excel course but are instead looking for an overview of how to work with this spreadsheet app, you can get started learning Excel for free online. Noble Desktop, a top education provider, currently offers this free introductory Excel course. It provides an hour of instruction on practical Excel skills, such as splitting and joining text, navigating shortcuts, inserting screenshots, and removing duplicates.

Read more about free Excel videos and online tutorials.

In addition, other free Excel resources are also available from Noble Desktop for those who want to learn more about spreadsheets. Noble offers articles on Python vs. Excel for Data Analytics, a video on working with multiple PivotTables in Excel, and a tutorial on IF statements. In addition, free Excel videos are also available from Microsoft, Udemy, edX, and ProgrammingKnowledge.

Comparing Online Learning with In-Person Learning

Both in-person and online Excel studies provide learners with valuable instruction on working with spreadsheets. Ultimately, deciding whether to study online or in-person will depend on several factors, such as the amount of time you can commit to learning Excel, whether you can commute to regularly scheduled meetings, the cost involved with learning Excel, and your learning goals.

For extroverted learners, the in-person learning environment allows you to connect with others who are studying Excel and receive real-time feedback and guidance from an expert instructor. In addition, the classroom provides all the necessary technological equipment to help with study, such as computers that have the latest version of Excel. However, commuting to and from class for each meeting can require additional time and financial commitment.

Live online Excel study allows students to connect in real-time with an instructor, which means they can receive the same instruction and feedback as would be possible in the in-person setting. Because live online study is remote, students can complete lessons from the comfort of their own home or office space. In addition, on-demand Excel study is also available. Asynchronous Excel study typically involves self-paced online coursework or tutorials. This type of learning is a good option for those new to Excel who wish to gain a basic overview of the subject. It is also typically a less-expensive study option than in-person classes. Those who choose to learn Excel in the on-demand format must be self-motivated learners, able to complete lessons independently and seek answers to questions without the help of a live instructor.

Tips to Succeed when Learning Excel Online

If you want to get the most out of your online Excel study, the following tips can help:

  • Establish clear goals for your study to measure your success as you learn Excel.
  • If you are learning Excel through asynchronous study, choose a pace of study that’s most suited to help you retain information. This may mean spending more time on complicated concepts or lessons before moving on to the next topic.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are in the live online learning environment, your instructor is an excellent resource who is there to provide you with feedback in the moment.
  • Make sure your computer has the correct version of Excel installed on it and that you have a good internet connection for class meetings.
  • Stay engaged in class meetings. It can be tempting when learning remotely to multitask while on the computer. However, if you want to learn Excel, devoting your full focus to the material will help you learn concepts faster.

Learn Excel with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Are you looking to learn how to use Microsoft Excel, the industry-standard spreadsheet application? If so, Noble Desktop currently offers a variety of Excel courses in NYC and live online. Classes are available for those new to Excel and for learners who regularly work with this spreadsheet application and wish to improve their skills. In addition, in-person and live online Excel courses are available through Noble Desktop or one of its affiliate schools. A variety of course options are offered, ranging in duration from three hours to two days and costing between $229 and $1,099.

Noble Desktop’s Excel Bootcamp provides an excellent option for those who want to master core Excel concepts, such as working with PivotTables and What-If Analysis. Students who enroll in this rigorous, 21-hour course can elect to study in person in Manhattan or learn in the live online environment. This small class comes with the option of a free retake and covers a variety of Excel concepts applicable to the business world.

Key Insights

  • Most people who learn Microsoft Excel can become familiar with its interface and basic functions in just a few hours. On average, it takes between 18-20 hours to fully learn how to work with this spreadsheet application.
  • The speed at which you learn Excel can depend on a variety of factors, such as whether you are studying on your own or wish to enroll in an in-person or live online course.
  • Online Excel study is a great option for those who have to balance their learning around other personal and professional commitments. It eliminates the need to commute to and from campus and allows you to complete lessons from anywhere.
  • If you decide to study Excel online, you will want to establish clear goals for study and pace out your learning process to help you retain information. Remaining engaged in live-online classes and asking for help are also ways to expedite the learning process.

How to Learn Excel

Master Excel with hands-on training. Excel is the leading spreadsheet application used by over 750 million people worldwide.

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