Microsoft Office is an in-demand job skill

Finding a job can be tough, so knowing what skills are in demand and acquiring those skills is an important factor in making sure you find a great job. In research conducted by IDC, we find that Microsoft Office skills are one of the first things employers are looking for in new candidates. In this article from Microsoft, we see their take on the study results.

If you’re thinking that that your school or classroom already focuses on these “soft” skills, you’re probably right. Skills like critical and creative thinking, problem solving and collaboration are the foundation of curricula worldwide. They’re also at the heart of some of Microsoft’s most popular classroom tools –like OneNote, Office Mix, Sway and Skype in the Classroom.

The research does give us a new way of looking at these critical skills, though. The cross-functional nature of employers’ most required skills suggests that we focus on job-readiness, not job training. In other words, focus on skills with the broadest applicability to success.

We can think about these skills in three buckets:

  • Communication, integration, and presentation (CIP) skills. IDC found that CIP-related skills (for which Microsoft Office is the technology enabler) are required for over 40 percent of all job postings. They comprise eight of the top 20 skills required for all positions, and 10 of the top 20 for high-opportunity positions.
  • Entrepreneurialism and related skills. This category includes “self-starting/self-motivated” – the #10 most frequently required skill for high-opportunity positions.
  • Microsoft, Microsoft Office, and other software skills. IDC found that 12 percent of high-opportunity occupations call for Microsoft Office–related skills. Combined with positions explicitly requiring Microsoft Office, the percentage of tomorrow’s high-opportunity positions requiring Microsoft Office or related skills grows to nearly 20 percent.
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