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 Post subject: How long does it take to learn Excel??...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:35 pm 


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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 5576
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
I really need to learn this, as it would definately improve my resume. But I'm just wondering how long it takes to fully learn Excel-and the best way to learn it. The temp. agency that I have an interview with tomorrow said that they have a training course, but I also noticed some online courses here:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/train ... 41033.aspx
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:00 pm 


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Joined: 31 Jan 2005
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Location: Tokyo
There is a world of information on applications like Excel. The MSDN would be a great place to poke around after you've learned the basics. Your question though, is really unanswerable. That's like asking "how long does it take to learn English". Well, you can spit out a few sentences after a few days. A few months, and you're onto paragraphs. A few years, and you're gaining fluency.

Excel is a huge program. If you're somewhat clever with Math, the basic functions it comes with it's GUI features should be a matter of memorization. The back end though (VBA) is a full blown programming language (an easy one, but still a full language). That will take a while to grapple.

EDIT: Google Links Some of these look very useful.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:03 pm 


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I learned Excel on the job a couple of years ago, and most stuff I had to know I learned within a couple of weeks. There's a LOT of stuff to Excel, though, so to fully learn it? Who knows?

With respect to your temp agency's training course, if it's what I'm thinking it is, it won't be worth the money if you have to actually pay anything for it. I bet it'll go through the very basics, like opening files, saving, etc., and really basic calculations and graphs, which you can learn by yourself in an hour - even the help files in Excel will be adequate to learn the basics, and if you need more guidance, google will help a lot by taking you to forums and how-to guides. Ot, if you want a structured course, why not try the MS course you found? The point is, don't pay any money for basic Excel skills - there's enough stuff out there for free, and it's within easy grasp.

I find that using the tools Excel gives you in real situations makes what you have to do stick in your mind better than learning from a how-to book. Easy practical things you can do to learn: You might want to start with easy stuff, like organizing your checkbook with it (Each column with transaction, debit, credit, account balance). Try using equations so that it keeps the account balance column updated as you enter debit/credit amounts. You should also try to make graphs (comparing two peoples' spending within a month, for example), look around the formulas options to see what other types of calculations you can perform, and just practice how to do them.

Now, if your agency wants you to be proficient in things like macros and statistical analysis (I'll doubt it - it's been a while since I applied to a temp firm, but their excel tests covered just the basics at that time), you'll have to go to a book to know when and how to use them - digging around the web will get you what you need to do, but won't help if you don't know where to use them.

Hope it helps - Excel is quite amazing in what it can do, but you'll get the hang of it in no time!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:21 pm 


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ahnslaught wrote:
I learned Excel on the job a couple of years ago, and most stuff I had to know I learned within a couple of weeks. There's a LOT of stuff to Excel, though, so to fully learn it? Who knows?

With respect to your temp agency's training course, if it's what I'm thinking it is, it won't be worth the money if you have to actually pay anything for it. I bet it'll go through the very basics, like opening files, saving, etc., and really basic calculations and graphs, which you can learn by yourself in an hour - even the help files in Excel will be adequate to learn the basics, and if you need more guidance, google will help a lot by taking you to forums and how-to guides. Ot, if you want a structured course, why not try the MS course you found? The point is, don't pay any money for basic Excel skills - there's enough stuff out there for free, and it's within easy grasp.

I find that using the tools Excel gives you in real situations makes what you have to do stick in your mind better than learning from a how-to book. Easy practical things you can do to learn: You might want to start with easy stuff, like organizing your checkbook with it (Each column with transaction, debit, credit, account balance). Try using equations so that it keeps the account balance column updated as you enter debit/credit amounts. You should also try to make graphs (comparing two peoples' spending within a month, for example), look around the formulas options to see what other types of calculations you can perform, and just practice how to do them.

Now, if your agency wants you to be proficient in things like macros and statistical analysis (I'll doubt it - it's been a while since I applied to a temp firm, but their excel tests covered just the basics at that time), you'll have to go to a book to know when and how to use them - digging around the web will get you what you need to do, but won't help if you don't know where to use them.

Hope it helps - Excel is quite amazing in what it can do, but you'll get the hang of it in no time!


OK, thanks for the information and encouragement guys! :D I'm pretty sure that the tutorial is free, but I don't think they need me to to know macros and stat. analysis. Anyhow, my dad did bring this book home from work:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076075 ... e&n=283155

I did do the online course about making charts, and that was pretty easy. I don't have advanced math skills at all, but hopefully it won't take me long to get the hang of it.

I thought I had pretty advanced Word skills, when I tested with the last temp. agency that I tried, but there were things in Word that they tested me on that I'd never even heard of before.
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Farewell to hollow words
Farewell to fake affection
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:09 pm 


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Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 71
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
GaijinPunch wrote:
The back end though (VBA) is a full blown programming language (an easy one, but still a full language). That will take a while to grapple.

For fun examples on what you can do with Excel check out some games.


Image Image Image
Lot's of classic arcade games remade in Excel.

ImageImage
More Excel games here


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