Some teenagers aspire to be the top of their class in Algebra, the fastest in varsity football, or the top candidate for student government president. However, for Josh Dumoulin, he sought to be the top Microsoft Excel Specialist in the world – and did it. The seventeen-year-old from northern Virginia competed in 2017’s Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship for Excel Spreadsheets with 760,000 other competitors from 51 different countries, earning $10,000 in prize money. The international competition is hosted by Certiport, a company that excels in management and development exam certification, in partnership with Microsoft every year to inspire Microsoft Office skills as the global job market expands.
Certification in Microsoft Office proficiency is slowly becoming an essential skill in the world’s technologically-driven job market. Companies can greatly benefit from the unlimited capabilities of spreadsheets, including financial tracking, data set management, graphical visualization, itinerary logs, and countless more. In running this competition, Certiport and Microsoft hope to encourage more career-tech curriculum in schools by the implementation of Office proficiency classes and certifications.
These skills can greatly benefit students in a wide and growing field of businesses, and middle schools in America are beginning to offer various classes and pieces of training. Dumoulin, who started using Excel spreadsheets in middle school to track the stats of his favorite baseball team, hopes to one day perform data analytics for a major league baseball team – and he may very well be one step closer to his dream.