Microsoft Excel is the most widely-used spreadsheet application in the world. Knowing how to organize data on an Excel worksheet is an in-demand skill across industries, from accounting to data science to project management. When comparing types of Excel training, there are many factors to consider. Because everyone learns differently, choosing the right kind of training is critical to your experience.
Keep reading to find out more about the different formats of Excel training, how they compare to each other, and how to decide which is best for you.
What is Excel?
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application created by Microsoft in 1985. Excel is a powerful and valuable resource for organizing data and numbers using functions and formulas. It also comes with graphing tools to help visualize data findings, a programming language known as Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) used to create macros, and advanced calculation capabilities. Excel works on both Mac and Windows operating systems.
The cells within an Excel spreadsheet each contain data, like formulas, numbers, or text, which can be organized and analyzed. Excel is a useful tool for performing various calculations on spreadsheets. It can calculate statistics, perform repeated and advanced calculations, analyze data, and create graphical representations of the data, such as graphs, charts, and PivotTables.
Read more about what Excel is and why you should learn it.
What Can You Do with Excel?
Excel has hundreds of features and tools that help users organize, manage, analyze, and visualize data. The following are just a few of the tools and features that make Excel the go-to for professionals around the globe:
- In Excel, users can add or average numbers in cells, locate high, median, or low values, count cells containing numbers, and find a product by multiplying cells. It’s also possible to delete extra white space and truncate numbers by removing fractions.
- Excel can learn your patterns the more you use it so that it can organize your data and ultimately save time.
- Users can share workbooks with others in real-time to ensure that all collaborators have the most up-to-date version.
- It’s possible to work on Excel files from the web and mobile and desktop devices.
- Users can now add data right into Excel from a photo. The Excel app enables users to take a picture of printed data with their iPhone or Android, then convert this image into an editable Excel table. This helpful trick helps users avoid manually entering hard copy data and is made possible through Excel’s image recognition capabilities.
- Financial transactions can be imported into Excel so that users can organize and review their financial information and receive helpful insights toward making more informed financial decisions.
- Excel’s PivotTables help users perform analysis and summaries of datasets, regrouping spreadsheet data for more effective comparisons. By seeing data from different perspectives, it’s possible to get a more comprehensive picture of revenue sources and other vital information.
Training Formats for Excel
If you’re interested in studying Excel, you can learn more about this application through various training formats. In-person study in a classroom provides students with in-the-moment feedback from an instructor and a way to connect with classmates. For those more comfortable learning online both live online, as well as on-demand classes, are available. Live online Excel study occurs in real-time with an instructor but can be completed from any location. On the other hand, on-demand study is self-paced and allows you to complete pre-recorded lessons at your own speed.
In-Person Excel Training
In-person Excel study is an excellent option for those who thrive in the traditional classroom environment. In-person study allows you to connect with an expert instructor and network with other Excel learners, a benefit that can extend far beyond the classroom walls. In-person study can also help extroverted learners retain information because it provides a platform where questions can be immediately answered, and guidance is provided as needed. However, one drawback is that in-person study requires commuting to and from class for each meeting, which adds time and additional costs.
Top educational providers like Noble Desktop currently offer several Excel courses for beginners and more advanced students. Their Excel Level 1 is a seven-hour, beginner-friendly course that provides hands-on training in core Excel topics, such as graphing, formatting, and printing. You can use Noble’s Classes Near Me search tool to browse a comprehensive listing of more than 120 in-person and live online Excel courses currently available. Courses such as NYIM Training’s Excel for Business Bootcamp, Digital Workshop Center’s Excel Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts Class, and Case Western Reserve University’s Data Analytics Bootcamp all provide in-person study options.
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.
Free Online 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 to Noble Desktop’s free online Excel content, other reputable providers also offer instruction on this spreadsheet application:
- GoSkills currently offers more than 50 free resources to learn Excel online.
- Excel Exposure provides interested learners with free online Excel training in topics like conditional formatting, cell referencing, and data validation.
- Excel Easy’s chapter-by-chapter Excel tutorial is a helpful resource for those interested in learning Excel basics.
- Great Learning offers free online Excel classes for beginners.
Another way to study Excel is through on-demand Excel classes. Unlike live online study, which meets at regularly scheduled times, you complete these asynchronous classes at your own pace around work and personal commitments. In addition, since they are entirely online, these classes don’t require commuting to and from campus. In fact, you can complete your Excel studies from the comfort of your own home or local coffee shop. Top educational providers, such as Noble Desktop, currently offer on-demand Excel training for beginners and advanced students. Additional courses on spreadsheet tools and techniques are also available, such as Exceljet’s Excel Shortcuts, LinkedIn Learning’s Excel: Advanced Formulas and Functions, and Coursera’s Excel Skills for Business Specialization.
Comparison of Excel Training Formats
It’s easier than ever before to learn Microsoft Excel, thanks to the different online and in-person training options currently available. In-person Excel courses are offered by many top educational providers like Noble Desktop. In addition to providing students with access to computers that already have Excel installed, classroom study also provides the benefit of connecting with students and an instructor. For extroverted learners, this connection can lead to better retention of the subject matter. One disadvantage of in-person study is that it requires commuting to and from campus for each meeting, which can mean taking time off of work and paying additional costs for parking or gas.
If you are looking for the same quality of Excel instruction but without the hassle of commuting, live online Excel classes are a great alternative. These courses still allow you to connect with expert instructors in real time, providing a platform where you can ask questions and receive individualized support with spreadsheets. They also have the added benefit of allowing students to complete work remotely, thus eliminating the need to commute for every class meeting.
If you are new to working with Excel and aren’t 100% ready to enroll in an in-person course or online program, another great learning option is to study Excel in the asynchronous, online environment. Many educators post free Excel learning resources that you can access and watch on your own time to gain a general understanding of the Excel interface, as well as basic formulas and calculations. This form of study is often less expensive than live online or in-person coursework. It also allows you to complete lessons at your own speed and to do so around other personal or professional responsibilities. However, if you are looking to master more advanced Excel skills, it may be easier to do so in a more structured learning environment in which you can ask questions.
Is it Possible to Teach Yourself Excel?
Depending on your ultimate goals with Excel, at least initially, it may be possible to study Excel by yourself. If you are interested in acquiring a familiarity with the Excel interface or working with basic Excel functions like SUM, COUNT, and AVERAGE, online videos and tutorials are a great starting point. These provide cost-effective (or free) content that can help you acclimate to working with spreadsheets.
However, it’s important to be cognizant of the challenges of teaching yourself Excel. Unlike live online classes or in-person study, you won’t have access to an instructor to field questions or to classmates who may be able to offer support. In addition, mastering more complex Excel skills may be challenging to do on your own, especially if you are new to working with data or spreadsheets. In addition, deciding which of the many online Excel videos contain accurate and up-to-date content can also be a challenge.
How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Excel
Various factors will impact which learning method you choose when deciding how to learn Excel. One of the main determinants should be what you will ultimately do with your Excel skills.
Those new to using Excel may look for a basic overview of this application rather than an intensive bootcamp learning experience. Free introductory-level Excel courses are a great starting point. These classes don’t require monetary investment and are currently available online. In addition, they can be completed on your own time and revisited as necessary. Noble Desktop’s free Intro to Excel Seminar, Top 10 Beginner Excel Tricks You Need to Know, covers many introductory Excel concepts, like using charts and autofill.
If you’re interested in developing a working knowledge of Excel for your current job or to fill a skill gap in your resume, a bootcamp may be a better option. Noble Desktop’s Excel Bootcamp covers beginner, intermediate, and advanced Excel skills. Throughout this 21-hour class, students receive instruction on topics such as using Excel for business, working with PivotTables, and executing advanced functions like INDEX and MATCH. Most Excel bootcamps cost a few hundred dollars. Along with this investment comes additional perks, such as live instruction and mentoring options, which are not available from free seminars or on-demand Excel classes.
A certificate program is a great learning option for students who already have a solid Excel foundation and are used to working with spreadsheets. Certificate study can help you master Excel to pursue a new career or even switch industries. It also can teach you the skills needed to advance in your current profession. Earning a certificate in Excel is also a great way to demonstrate to employers that you have a solid grasp of Excel and its many real-world applications.
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.