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justthisbloke

Recommend Excel/office Online Courses?

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My son has thrown in the towel at university[1] and wants (needs) to learn some real world, marketable skills. A few interviews he's been to have been looking for someone with ace-ninja Excel skilz wot he ain't got.

Any recommendations for online courses for this sort of thing? I've found a few (good) free ones - but he (or, rather, I) would be willing to pay for something with a certificate and some sort of recognition.

All tips gratefully received (maybe not including "sling the lazy bugger out and let him wrestle with the job centre").

[1] He did in a constructive manner - completed his first year and got a certificate for his troubles. He just decided that it wasn't worth the money or the time. Which, as I said to him last summer, it wasn't.

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Maybe there's a local Tec College that teaches it? There are various books, and loads on on-line examples. Yer lad's made a bit of a choice. Have you thought of a foreign degree course, maybe Germany, where you don't get ripped another ar$ehole by the tuition fees?

Still, there's no better preparation for a life of work, than, er, work, so I hope he gets something.

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My son has thrown in the towel at university[1] and wants (needs) to learn some real world, marketable skills. A few interviews he's been to have been looking for someone with ace-ninja Excel skilz wot he ain't got.

Any recommendations for online courses for this sort of thing? I've found a few (good) free ones - but he (or, rather, I) would be willing to pay for something with a certificate and some sort of recognition.

All tips gratefully received (maybe not including "sling the lazy bugger out and let him wrestle with the job centre").

[1] He did in a constructive manner - completed his first year and got a certificate for his troubles. He just decided that it wasn't worth the money or the time. Which, as I said to him last summer, it wasn't.

Is he applying for the right type of jobs if they want Excel skill?

Unfortunately we have created a job market in the UK where university degree doesn't actually matter, except that it means 'this person is sort of reliable and sort of capable of tuning up to work' - which implies that a person without a degree 'isn't reliable, and isn't capable of tuning up for work'. This is, of course, nonsense. However, it turns out be reliably true for employers as the majority of young people realise that getting the degree is the required certificate for getting a job (any job). There are outliers, such as your son, but your typical employer doesn't need to worry about that - the route of least risk is to employ a graduate.

This is a problem for your son. I'm not sure that getting skilled at Excel is the way out. I agree with Pin in that at least spending his time in some sort of education for now would be worthwhile.

I would say that the best way at the moment is to form a business around something he is skilled at - with your support for now while cash flow is poor in the early years. It will either a) work and he'll get a good income or B) not work, but at least he'll have learnt transferable skills.

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Without wanting to be mean I wonder if you've sewn the seeds of this with your previous scepticism. No-one in my family had previously gone into higher education - but my parents were going to be quietly supportive of whatever route I wanted to take (they never once expressed scepticism about higher education, for example or any of my other career choices since). Personally, I'm deeply sceptical of the value of university education - but I'd probably keep my opinions to myself if it were my lad.

The workplace has changed a lot for youngsters since we were teens, and bear in mind that some (many) careers are virtually impossible to get into without a degree nowadays.

What does he actually want to do?

If he wants to be an Excel/Powerpoint monkey then go for it. I regularly see stuff like being able to do Pivot tables as a desirable skill. Seems a shame to turn the lad into office fodder without even having a go at pursuing some dreams/ambitions first though.

Personally, I might suggest some volunteering (part-time alongside a McJob) to gain real skills in his preferred area and/or working on some kind of online business. An apprenticeship might be another route. In your late teens/early 20s, you have bags of energy so he could actually be doing all three at the same time - but he might need you/others to mentor him a bit/provide some structure.

Give him lots of support as he's not just saying goodbye to a particular route - but also friends etc. There might well be some relief of dropping an unsuitable path - but also sorrow for possibilities lost and apprehension about what to do next.

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Well I gave up on A levels at school after a term and a bit, as that maroon blazer was such a fashion mistake. :blink: Did them a few years later part time. I think the cost of evening classes have gone up a bit since then. I had a strange feeling of motivation that I didn't get from school. :wacko:

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Without wanting to be mean I wonder if you've sewn the seeds of this with your previous scepticism. No-one in my family had previously gone into higher education - but my parents were going to be quietly supportive of whatever route I wanted to take (they never once expressed scepticism about higher education, for example or any of my other career choices since). Personally, I'm deeply sceptical of the value of university education - but I'd probably keep my opinions to myself if it were my lad.

The workplace has changed a lot for youngsters since we were teens, and bear in mind that some (many) careers are virtually impossible to get into without a degree nowadays.

What does he actually want to do?

If he wants to be an Excel/Powerpoint monkey then go for it. I regularly see stuff like being able to do Pivot tables as a desirable skill. Seems a shame to turn the lad into office fodder without even having a go at pursuing some dreams/ambitions first though.

Personally, I might suggest some volunteering (part-time alongside a McJob) to gain real skills in his preferred area and/or working on some kind of online business. An apprenticeship might be another route. In your late teens/early 20s, you have bags of energy so he could actually be doing all three at the same time - but he might need you/others to mentor him a bit/provide some structure.

Give him lots of support as he's not just saying goodbye to a particular route - but also friends etc. There might well be some relief of dropping an unsuitable path - but also sorrow for possibilities lost and apprehension about what to do next.

I was sceptical of his initial choice as it was a duff uni and a weak course. I *am* generally sceptical of university in the UK - but do see the value in "vocational" degrees (vet, med, eng, etc) and prestige degrees (oxbridge).

I'm also a bit unwilling to push down the route of "office fodder" and wish he had some idea of what he wanted to do - either immediately (hell, in his position I'd be off Having Adventures), or longer term. Unfortunately, he doesn't and as the dire world of offices is the one I know, and as it's what he's getting interviews for, then that's all we've got to go with. But if he told me tomorrow that his secret desire has always been to be a gardener, a soldier, or whatever - I'd be chuffed to bits.

We're also looking at apprenticeships - it seems the "office junior" role is pretty much using this subsidised employment model anyway. That said, all his interviews to date have been for real jobs.

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Most people don't quite know what they want to do. Still there's always that five year old kid, who wants to be an accountant. :blink:

I like the idea of a combined career as a gardening soldier however. :blink:

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Some people are just naturally good at things like Excel - and others not. Depends on the type of brain you have. It may be that he just isnt good with it - or maybe it comes naturally. I dont fin dit the sort of thing that can easily be 'taught' - to any reasonable standatd anyway. I think you need to be in a real life situation and asked to produce x that can show me y to really get into it.

However - a good start is the dummies guides. The books are good to follow and have online parts as well.

An office life isnt great - I am looking for a way out. However it can pay well that provides for lots of fun when outside work.

I have no specific skills - never had a permanent job - and am pretty decent at Excel and a few other MS apps. THe reason these are useful is simple - nearly every busimess in the planet will use them - so be good at them - and your net for potential jobs widens. The office aspect is the negative part.

Anyway - I earn about £350-400 per day. Not exactly shabby for someone who has never had a 'real' job in their puff. And thats nearly all down to excel skills.

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Some people are just naturally good at things like Excel - and others not. Depends on the type of brain you have. It may be that he just isnt good with it - or maybe it comes naturally. I dont fin dit the sort of thing that can easily be 'taught' - to any reasonable standatd anyway. I think you need to be in a real life situation and asked to produce x that can show me y to really get into it.

However - a good start is the dummies guides. The books are good to follow and have online parts as well.

An office life isnt great - I am looking for a way out. However it can pay well that provides for lots of fun when outside work.

I have no specific skills - never had a permanent job - and am pretty decent at Excel and a few other MS apps. THe reason these are useful is simple - nearly every busimess in the planet will use them - so be good at them - and your net for potential jobs widens. The office aspect is the negative part.

Anyway - I earn about £350-400 per day. Not exactly shabby for someone who has never had a 'real' job in their puff. And thats nearly all down to excel skills.

Listen to the man. You can make money out of making pie charts for management presentations.! :blink: Sometimes a bit of "office automation" can be really productive.

Obviously I wouldn't reccomend you send your son to Mr CCC's school of etiquette for young gentlemen. :wacko:

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I was sceptical of his initial choice as it was a duff uni and a weak course. I *am* generally sceptical of university in the UK - but do see the value in "vocational" degrees (vet, med, eng, etc) and prestige degrees (oxbridge).

I'm also a bit unwilling to push down the route of "office fodder" and wish he had some idea of what he wanted to do - either immediately (hell, in his position I'd be off Having Adventures), or longer term. Unfortunately, he doesn't and as the dire world of offices is the one I know, and as it's what he's getting interviews for, then that's all we've got to go with. But if he told me tomorrow that his secret desire has always been to be a gardener, a soldier, or whatever - I'd be chuffed to bits.

We're also looking at apprenticeships - it seems the "office junior" role is pretty much using this subsidised employment model anyway. That said, all his interviews to date have been for real jobs.

That's fair enough on the university front. A crap degree from a crap uni is possibly only postponing the inevitable and it's definitely even more of a racket than it was in my day.

Sounds tough for both of you.

Perhaps he could consider trying out a few things - and building his hobbies/other interests. One idea I've heard of in terms of finding your passion(s) is for him to think back to what he was happiest doing as a child. Maybe there is scope for revisiting or developing that. Sometimes we lose the sense of what really drives us during our teens and early adulthood as we try to put away childish things.

Ultimately though there's nothing wrong is doing a job that only fuels your life passions and interests rather than harnesses them - but if you can crack the making a living out of something you love, you'll never work again. He's going to be working for a long time, so it's worth doing a bit of delving if he's up for it.

The good thing is that at least he's getting interviews too.

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I'm sure you can learn Excel from a book, problem is knowing what is "important to know" and what is not. The only way, I think, is to actually face business problems. This is what I wrote down in a minute but hopefully that's something to focus on.

I only learned excel after facing problems and I knew there must be a way. I find the most dificult piece is learning "what the solution to the problem is called" - but google is great for contextualising that. Youtube is probably your best friend.

There are courses and cerifications too, I think.

Absolute basics:

vlooks

pivots

conditional formatting (both the easy click and drag as well as coding it)

Lists

Charts

Pivot charts

Medium:

Macros - recording

Advanced:

Macros - writing

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His best bet may be to get a lower level office job where they'll send him on all of the courses and train him up a bit (Civil Service can be good for this - if you can get in). I started at the lowest level in a government finance office and was sent to Excel Basic, Intermediate and advanced courses all within the first few months (and also Word and PowerPoint). In reality my line manager knew far more about Excel than any of the trainers, and the real expertise (all the stuff that's still paying my bills) all came from him.

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The thing about 'learning Excel' is that you can't just open a blank sheet and start playing with it unless you have a specific goal in mind. I started my civil service job having not even opened a spreadsheet for 10 years since having played around with Microsoft Works on a 286 as a curious 12 year old. Once I'd been shown what to do I was up to speed in an afternoon. I never created a sheet from scratch but I ended up being fine with doing stuff like mail merges, with multiple fields needing to be filled on 400+ six page long letters. I've forgotten nearly all of it since. I decided this month that I should really start tracking how much I make from matched betting (and similar bookie/casino exploiting activities) and was able to knock up a basic profit tracking sheet in 5 minutes just using Libre Office's help.

In my actual job we use a couple of spreadsheets to record what we've been doing all day, and both of them are based around stuff that was written by guys my grade who had an aptitude for it, and put them together just to make their own lives easier. One got a promotion out of it (to a grade that IMO involves even more crap than I have to deal with, without a commensurate increase in salary), but the others just keep it up their sleeves as a useful skill (and in the case of my mate, use it to flag up months in advance when he's going to need to swap his jobs round to be free to go to Palace games! ).

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Any recommendations for online courses for this sort of thing? I've found a few (good) free ones - but he (or, rather, I) would be willing to pay for something with a certificate and some sort of recognition.

What does *he* want to do?

There's no point in you looking for courses for him. If he can't already use google to a good enough standard to find courses he wants to do then his excel skills aren't the issue.

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What does *he* want to do?

There's no point in you looking for courses for him. If he can't already use google to a good enough standard to find courses he wants to do then his excel skills aren't the issue.

Exactly, he may prefer to be a unicylcling lager bottle juggler, or an accountant?

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I'm aware that it's not answering the question but I worked in the business services arm of Capita and they actually seemed to prefer university drop outs like your son as we had loads of them.

They had the intelligence of a graduate without the sense of entitlement plus were quite a few k cheaper at first; if they proved themselves they got the pay rise.

If you have any big offices nearby doing similar then an application is worthwhile, bearing in mind that these operations ebb and flow with big contracts so they may have no jobs today but a bucketful next month.

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I'm aware that it's not answering the question but I worked in the business services arm of Capita and they actually seemed to prefer university drop outs like your son as we had loads of them.

They had the intelligence of a graduate without the sense of entitlement plus were quite a few k cheaper at first; if they proved themselves they got the pay rise.

If you have any big offices nearby doing similar then an application is worthwhile, bearing in mind that these operations ebb and flow with big contracts so they may have no jobs today but a bucketful next month.

Appreciate people for what they can do, not certificates.

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Appreciate people for what they can do, not certificates.

According to my self help books, you have to appreciate people for their innate worth as human beings. People who can't do are just as important as people who can do. I have trouble believing it though.

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According to my self help books, you have to appreciate people for their innate worth as human beings. People who can't do are just as important as people who can do. I have trouble believing it though.

Ye of little faith! Have you not seen the "useless" inherit the Earth? :unsure:

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