Though it’s probably no real surprise, a new report ranks Microsoft Office skills as highly desirable for any prospective employer.
First, a note about the source of these ‘facts’ and who paid for the report. The report comes from IDC and is ‘sponsored’ by Microsoft. IDC makes that clear at the top of their report but Microsoft doesn’t mention that they paid for the report.
The report is called Keys to the Future: Align Workforce Readiness Skills to Ensure Student Success and here’s the rating of skills expected for both ‘high opportunity’ jobs and all jobs.
‘High opportunity’ jobs are what we used to call ‘good jobs’; jobs with good pay and opportunities for advancement.
No surprise that communication skills, problem solving and integrity rate highly.
Then comes Microsoft Office skills. Anyone who scans the jobs ads knows that MS Office skills are often mentioned.
“Microsoft Office was the most frequently required software skill and was explicitly required in 10% of high-growth/high-salary positions.” says the report. If anything, 10% seems remarkably low to us and job seekers we’ve talked to.
But the report goes on to draw a ‘long bow’ and link proficiency with MS Office skills to broader analytical skills plus written and oral communications. Including these broader ‘Office related’ skills allows the 10% figure to jump to almost 20%.
IDC also looked at the skills required in ‘high opportunity’ jobs by category.
Microsoft Office or one of its components (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel) is among the top 10 skills required for almost all the job types including supervisors in construction and mining. Management Analysts are expected to know their way around PowerPoint.
Somewhat surprisingly, computer and IS managers don’t rank MS Office skills in the top 10. The same applies to nurse practitioners.
Another curiosity is the complete omission of Microsoft Outlook. Surely written communication skills includes email?
Whatever you think of the report, there’s no doubt that a good knowledge of Microsoft Office will help anyone get a job, keep their job or get a promotion.