Learn Office 365

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Office 365

Office 365 (also known as Microsoft 365) is a cloud-based subscription service that includes Microsoft Office’s suite of workplace productivity programs along with online storage and hosting services. These programs offer a variety of functions, such as word processing, spreadsheet creation, promotional material design, and team management.

Office 365 is an essential tool used by a million businesses worldwide, offering a suite of productivity programs and collaboration tools. Whether you're seeking a career in finance, business, technology, or education, a comprehensive understanding of Office 365 can enhance your capabilities and marketability.

Key Insights

  • Office 365, also known as Microsoft 365, is a cloud-based subscription service that includes Microsoft Office's suite of programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, along with online services such as Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange.
  • Proficiency in Office 365 can boost your career in various fields, including finance, business, technology, education, data entry, administrative roles, accounting, customer service, and management.
  • Both in-person and online live classes are available for learning Office 365, as well as on-demand or self-paced training for those with busy schedules.
  • Noble Desktop offers several free Office 365 learning resources, including Excel tutorial videos, a seminar on PowerPoint presentation design, and an Office 365 Learn Hub.
  • Professionals who become certified in Office 365 often see increases in their salaries.
  • Compared to its main competitors Google Workspace and Apple's iWork suite, Office 365 offers more robust features that are essential for businesses needing advanced tools for collaboration, spreadsheet, document, and presentation creation.

Office 365 is an online subscription to Microsoft’s suite of productivity programs combined with hosting and collaboration tools. The service is used by over a million businesses worldwide across a variety of industries. If you’ve always wanted to learn Office 365 but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn Office 365, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use Office 365.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 (also known as Microsoft 365) is a cloud-based subscription service that includes Microsoft Office’s suite of programs along with other online services such as free cloud storage and web hosting. Since Office 365 functions with the cloud, users always have access to their documents so long as they have an internet connection. The service is compatible with PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.

Microsoft Office is a popular suite of productivity programs that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. These programs are used worldwide by businesses across industries for their ease of use, accessibility, and collaboration features. The programs offer a variety of functions, such as word processing, spreadsheet creation, promotional material design, and team management. Office 365 combines these valuable programs into a single service that offers the advantages of online document sharing. Microsoft Office cloud services include Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange.

Read more about what Office 365 is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Office 365?

Office 365 gives users full access to Microsoft Office’s suite of programs. These include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. These programs allow users to create professional documents and reports, spreadsheets and databases, presentations, emails, and promotional materials. Office 365 also provides Microsoft Office cloud services, including Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange. Businesses worldwide use these programs for workplace productivity, team collaboration, and management. 

Office 365’s collaboration tools allow teammates to edit documents simultaneously in real-time online. Teammates can use the Teams app to text chat with one another and ask questions without leaving their computers. Documents can also be assigned to teammates as tasks and linked in their virtual calendar or Microsoft Planner, making them easily accessible and trackable in their workflow. Documents are shared easily with a link without downloading or emailing files. Office 365 is an essential business asset for facilitating collaboration within and across departments. 

As an online service, Office 365 offers several advantages. Users can access Office 365 from any device without needing the program installed. This enables users to work anywhere they like and prevents them from being chained to any singular device. Files and documents can also be stored online without taking up computer storage. Updates are applied automatically to the software without users needing to download them manually. The online features of Office 365 go a long way toward improving accessibility and usability.

Careers that Use Office 365

Office 365 (and, by extension, Microsoft Office Suite) is used across industries, including finance, business, technology, and education. Certain programs within Office 365 may be used more often by certain professions. For example, a Business or Financial Analyst will get more use out of Excel, while a Communications Specialist will spend more time with Microsoft Word. Regardless, the entirety of Office 365 Suite contains programs specifically designed to boost work productivity. Knowledge of how to take advantage of these programs is valuable for virtually any profession. Other job areas that commonly use Office 365 include Data Entry and Filing, Administrative, Accounting, Customer Service, and Management, among others. 

Office 365 takes Microsoft Office’s Suite of programs to the next level with additional productivity and collaboration tools. These tools are key for any business looking to boost collaboration within or between departments. They are also ideal for companies with remote workers, as they are becoming increasingly common in today’s digital age. With many companies using Office 365 to facilitate email, conferencing, and exchange servers, many IT positions ask for experience in Microsoft 365 deployment and troubleshooting.

Why Learn Office 365?

Office 365 is used by over a million companies worldwide and across various industries. Businesses use Office 365 for team management, document creation, spreadsheet organization, database building, and creating promotional materials. Even if your job doesn’t require proficiency in Office 365, you’ll likely encounter at least one Office 365 program in your office and should acquire a basic understanding of it.

Job seekers significantly benefit from learning to use Office 365. Training in Office 365’s suite of programs can help applicants stand out in a competitive market. Though the programs are easy to learn, they also contain powerful features that only advanced users can take full advantage of, increasing both the productivity of their workflow and the office as a whole, especially when collaborating in a team. Businesses know this and prize expert knowledge in their employees. Your dedication to learning new skills will make your resume stand out.

Even if you already possess a secure job position, Office 365’s suite of programs contains known productivity tools. Learning these programs improves daily productivity and workflow. Professionals who become certified in Office 365 tend to see raises and increased salaries.

Read more about why you should learn Office 365.

How to Learn Office 365

There are two primary ways of learning Office 365. The first is live classes, which include both online and in-person training. In-person Office 365 classes feature an instructor who can guide students and answer their questions in real time. However, in-person classes are limited to locations nearest a student. Live online Office 365 courses can be taken from anywhere with an internet connection and do their best to replicate the feel of in-person classrooms. They may also offer more options in the curriculum than an individual can find in the in-person classes nearest them. In-person courses also feature a commute, which can be time-consuming and costly.

The second method of learning Office 365 is on-demand training, also known as asynchronous or self-paced learning. This training method is best for students with busy schedules who can’t commit to full-time or part-time classes. On-demanded learning is also suited to students who learn best when they can go at their own pace. This method gives students the freedom to structure their coursework how they wish. However, students also lack an instructor to guide them, and self-motivation is required to progress through the material. Students may find themselves stuck on a problem and struggle to move forward or lose the motivation to continue. 

Noble Desktop offers a few on-demand options for learning Office 365 that are free for your use. The Noble Desktop YouTube channel features a number of Excel tutorial videos. Noble Desktop also has a free seminar for Beginners on Excel Tricks and a seminar on PowerPoint Presentation Design. For learning the remainder of Office 365, you may wish to visit the Office 365 Learn Hub, a resource of Office 365 tips, tutorials, and other learning resources. The Microsoft Office Learn Hub may also prove useful since Office 365 includes Microsoft Office programs within its service. For live Office 365 training, search for in-person and online Office 365 classes near you.

Read the full guide on how to learn Office 365.

Free Introductory Office 365 Course Online 

Not ready to dive into an entire course? Prefer an overview of Office 365? You can start learning Office 365 for free online. Noble Desktop offers free seminars in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. In the Top 10 Beginner Excel Tricks You Need to Know, you’ll learn beginner techniques that introduce you to Excel and teach you productivity hacks within the program. In the PowerPoint Presentation Design seminar, you’ll learn how to make a professional and eye-catching presentation within the program. These seminars are the perfect method for introducing you to Excel and PowerPoint and giving you examples of the power of Office 365. 

Noble Desktop offers additional Office 365 classes that teach Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook. After these seminars, should you wish, you can continue your education with additional Excel and PowerPoint classes. Bootcamps in both subjects are also available that combine multiple courses into one comprehensive learning package. These courses and bootcamps are open to beginners and guide students to mastery of the programs. 

Read about more free Office 365 videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Office 365 is relatively easy for most people to learn and requires basic computer comprehension. You’ll find the menus and functions within Office 365 are mostly intuitive for those familiar with computers. However, advanced features and shortcuts are usually hidden in menus and require training or learning tutorials. 

There are a number of free online resources to get started with Office 365. These include introductory courses and task tutorials on YouTube, Microsoft.com, and course websites such as Udemy and Coursera. Thus, beginners wishing to learn Office 365 can start learning at a minimal cost.

Those wishing to become experts in Office 365 to advance their careers will require professional training. Professional courses that teach the individual programs within Office 365 cost around $200-$300 and feature multiple levels, such as beginner, advanced, and expert. Due to the ease of learning these programs, these courses usually last only a day or two.

Read about how difficult it is to learn Office 365.

How Does Learning Office 365 Compare to Other Applications?

Office 365’s main competitors are Google Workspace and Apple’s iWork suite. Office 365 and Google Workspace subscriptions vary in pricing, storage space, security, and other features across plans. Regarding affordability, both Google Workspace and Office 365 basic plans start at $6. However, Google Workspace’s basic plan includes full access to all applications and features. Microsoft’s basic plan does not include all features. In fact, included features and applications unlock with each subsequent plan and price increase.

Google Workspace includes several applications similar to Office 365. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides compare to Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. While many businesses may find Google applications fit their needs, Microsoft programs contain more robust features. Businesses that require more advanced tools may find Google Workspace isn’t enough to fit their needs.

iWork is a free office suite for macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. In terms of affordability, it’s a clear choice over Google Workspace and Office 365. However, like Google Workspace, iWork lacks the robust features of Office 365. Due to this lack of features, some users find iWork’s streamlined interface easier to use over Office 365. However, for businesses wanting to create flashier documents and presentations, iWork lacks the tools for the job.

In conclusion, iWork and Google Workspace are more affordable than Office 365. For some businesses needing only basic productivity and collaboration tools, these alternatives would be ideal over Office 365. However, Office 365’s features make it a necessity for businesses needing robust collaboration, spreadsheet, document, and presentation tools. 

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Office 365

The best way to learn Office 365 varies greatly on your individual needs and why you wish to learn the suite of programs. Are you a beginner who doesn’t want to spend money? Are you looking for a high-level overview of Office 365? In this case, free introductory courses would be best for you. However, these courses are often outdated and don’t feature the comprehensive learning necessary to advance a career. They also don’t feature an instructor and rely on self-motivation to progress. 

If you wish to develop a working knowledge of Office 365 to grow in your career, professional Microsoft Office training or a bootcamp contains the comprehensive learning you’re looking for. These courses feature a professional instructor and deep dive into Office 365 content. You’ll be guided from beginner to mastery skills and learn expert techniques and tips. Some of these courses also provide mentorship and guidance on the job hunt. Professional training courses and bootcamps are available online and in person and vary in cost depending on the provider and curriculum. Bootcamps often offer career mentorship or portfolio workshops. 

If you’re looking to pivot to a new career or industry, it may be ideal to demonstrate complete mastery of Office 365. In this case, you’ll want to look for a certificate program. These programs are like professional training and bootcamps that teach the subject matter but also include exam preparation for gaining certification. Certification in Office 365 shows employers your dedication to training and advancing your career. Certifications have a separate cost from training courses.

Learn Office 365 with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers in-person and live online training in Office 365. Courses include training in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook. You can choose between individual classes of various skill levels or bootcamps, which offer in-depth, comprehensive learning. When it comes to becoming an expert in a new skill, bootcamps are a fast and affordable alternative to college. Noble Desktop’s classes are small, taught by expert instructors, and include free retake options.

The Excel Bootcamp guides students from beginner to expert techniques. You’ll learn functions, formulas, Pivot Tables, macros, and additional expert tips and tricks. By the end of the course, you’ll be a true Excel master. The PowerPoint Bootcamp is a similar course that provides complete mastery of the program. You’ll start with the basics of customizing images, shapes, text, and animation before moving on to advanced techniques such as template creation, importing charts from Excel, and inserting multimedia. By the end of the course, you’ll be a wizard at creating professional and visually stunning presentations and slideshows.

If you like the idea of the comprehensive learning offered by bootcamps and are looking for further training in Office 365, NYIM is an affiliate school of Noble Desktop. It provides a Complete Microsoft Office Bootcamp that covers the four major programs – Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook.

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