How to Choose Excel Training Courses That Are Right for You

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Beginner Excel training courses can help you master the essential skills needed to manipulate spreadsheets effectively. Most people tend to learn the program through trial and error, which is certainly scary. Studies indicate that more than 80% of spreadsheets contain errors.

When it comes to financial analysis, forecasting and taxes, one simply cannot afford such errors. To ensure that you don’t learn the non-essentials and keep on making terrible mistakes simply because you don’t know the formulas and functions offered in the program, attend a short course in Excel.

Short Course

For most part a crash course of two days will be sufficient to get the hang of it. One will, however, still need to practice the new skills and should learn enough at such a course to be able to spot errors. For people who find the idea of having to attend a workshop simply too time consuming and expensive, the online study method seems to work well.

Online Study

With online studying, you normally have the choice of streamed video classes or downloading relevant content to study at your own pace. The disadvantage of this approach is that you will not have immediate support. Even with a person at the other end of the line, it is still difficult to understand complex functions and formulas on your own.


As a last resort people often buy software packages which contain manuals and step by step digital tutorials. The problem is that most people don’t have the discipline to do self study. In addition, the cost of such packages may be high. You will also need to have the required hard drive space and your computer must meet RAM requirements to run the software package.

Benefits of Each

Although all the mentioned methods for learning Excel have disadvantages, each one also has a few advantages. Online training for instance, is cost effective and can be done anywhere in the world where you have Internet connectivity. You can learn at your own pace and return to work not fully understood.

Similar benefits are associated with learning by means of a software training package. You will have it on your computer and can focus on specific tasks only. This will minimize time wastage allowing for targeted learning.

Attending a two day Excel course, although expensive, can help you grasp concepts quicker and since you will be forced to focus, you will learn more. Help is immediately available and you can have a practice session to build confidence. Most live courses are presented in neat classroom settings and are normally followed by a bit of socializing. In addition, you will receive a certificate of attendance which will look good on your CV.

Deciding which Method is best for You

Consider all the factors before selecting a training method. If you plan on attending one of the live courses, first review what is offered and where the presentation will take place. The cost should be within budget limits and you should receive valuable instruction in relation to the price payable.

If you have limited time and simply cannot afford to take time off from work to attend a course, consider the online or self-study methods. For the online method, make sure you have enough bandwidth available for downloads. For self study it will be important to read reviews about the package first. Once you have spent the money it will be too late to turn back.

Choose According to Your Learning Style

If you are the type of person that needs a push, don’t consider self study. Rather pay a bit extra and attend a course with a structured outline. If you, however, prefer learning at your own pace then self study or online Excel training will be better.