Office Software Specialist

We are glad to see you are interested in the Software Specialist program. A visit with Enrollment Services is a great way to get your questions answered. Attend a Tuesday virtual information session, a Wednesday in-person information session or schedule a one-on-one video chat appointment today.

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Program Information

The Anoka Technical College Office Software Specialist certificate program is to assist students in developing and preparing for an office job. Courses are designed to develop Microsoft software such as:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Access

The Office Software Specialist certificate program at Anoka Technical College prepares students to use advanced software skills to find employment in virtually any industry. Support professionals who can effectively use the features of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access-- and know how these software programs integrate to streamline and perform more efficient business applications-- are more productive and contribute to the organization and productivity of an office. Microsoft Office skills are one of the top three job requirements listed in recruitment ads for office support professionals (Microsoft Office Specialist Productivity Study, Certiport, 2012).

Upon graduation, students will be prepared for employment in this position through completion of advanced coursework in each of the Microsoft Office programs: Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. Coursework in QuickBooks, the leading software used for bookkeeping applications in business, is included to prepare students for bookkeeping-related positions in accounts receivable, accounts payable, insurance or other accounting-related support positions.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Exhibits effective interpersonal skills and professional attitudes by demonstrating the ability to communicate with authority figures and peers; follow work rules and expectations appropriately; maintain confidentiality; and recognize an appropriate business appearance.
  2. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking skills to analyze and solve business problems by demonstrating the ability to define problems, find relevant information, synthesize and evaluate information, and implement decisions.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in keyboarding speed and accuracy and knowledge of correct document formatting.
  4. Demonstrate technical competency by utilizing a wide range of software applications necessary for business office operations; demonstrates initiative in learning to use new technology, and applies new technology accurately in office settings.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of roles and functions of various professionals; collaborate and problem-solve as part of the office team.
  6. Demonstrate ability to set priorities, organize work, and sequence tasks appropriately, and consistently complete projects on a schedule.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to perform mathematical calculations necessary in business applications including accounting, by working with percentages; decimals and fractions; understanding accounting principles as they are applied to business office bookkeeping; and using formulas for creating spreadsheets and databases.
  8. Develop and evaluate customer service skills by ascertaining the characteristics of a customer service organization and using customer service skills in servicing customers professionally.


Career Opportunities

In this information-intensive economy, support professionals with advanced software skills are highly sought after by employers in a wide variety of industries. Most job applicants have some familiarity with Microsoft Word; however, individuals who can carry out mail merges, format documents expertly, and execute other complex functions will stand out above the rest. Business is data-driven, and office professionals who possess the know-how to integrate Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and Access to organize and manipulate information are in particularly high demand. Having the ability to create dynamic presentations for bosses and colleagues in PowerPoint is essential. QuickBooks is used in business for accounting, payroll, invoicing, reporting and more. If you’re seeking a job in a bookkeeping administrative role, a working knowledge of QuickBooks is definitely an asset.

Wage information is available from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Course Prerequisites

Some courses in this program may require a prerequisite. Please see course descriptions for more details.

Program Sequence

 Fall Semester   
 ADSC 1003  Introduction to Keyboarding and Speedbuilding
 ADSC 1054
 Office Bookkeeping
 ADSC 1162
 Microsoft PowerPoint
 ADSC 1197
 Microsoft Word
 COMP 1002
 Computer Technologies for Communication
 Spring Semester   
 ADSC 1142  Integrated Software Applications
 ADSC 1171  Microsoft Excel
 ADSC 1181  Microsoft Access
 INTS 1000
 Critical Thinking Application for College (Goal 2)

Part-Time Options

Students can choose to complete this program part-time. Part-time students will take longer to complete their program than students who follow the full-time sequence listed on the official program guide (see the program guide PDF under the LINKS section to the right). Because every course may not be offered each semester, it is important for part-time students to reach out to their faculty advisors for help in planning their long-term, part-time course sequence.

If you need help picking out your first semester courses, reach out to your faculty advisor or enrollment services (contact info can be found under the “Contact” section on the top right portion of this page). 

PDF Part-time Options

Graduation Requirements

Students must earn a cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher to be eligible for graduation from this program.


Darla Cullen

Deb Catlett

Enrollment Services