Learn Excel:

The Best Courses and Resources

Most businesses rely on Excel to organize and share data. Mastering this invaluable skill comes in handy when running your own business or looking for a job. The best online Excel courses will help you develop basic or advanced Microsoft Excel skills through distance learning.

There is a range of options from free to paid courses on the Internet that can take you from novice to expert in just a few weeks. If you want to learn Excel in 2021, take a look at the best courses and resources below.

What Is Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a widely used computer program. It is a spreadsheet manager in the Microsoft Office suite that is used to record, share, and organize numbers. Excel helps record business data like income, expenditure, and even stock. Excel users can also use it to calculate and chart financial information in various forms.

The best thing about Microsoft Excel is that when you enter the information, it can make calculations and organize items for you. However, you have to know how to command the program to do the tasks you want it to do.

This is where Excel courses online come in handy. You have to learn how to operate the software and use it to its fullest extent. Depending on your familiarity with Excel, you can find a course that starts from the basics or goes straight to more complex calibrations.

What Jobs Use Excel Skills?

Jobs that use Excel skills include administrative assistant, accountant, analyst, manager, and educator. Certified Excel skills can significantly raise job opportunities and earning potential. However, some jobs require Excel skills more than others.

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants and secretaries do different tasks like scheduling appointments, managing records, preparing reports, and keeping tabs on office supplies. To do their jobs effectively, admins have to use Excel to record and organize everything so it’s readily accessible.

Financial and Data Analyst

Most analysts use spreadsheets to keep up with the data they collect. Excel is handy in terms of recording, consolidating, and analyzing numerical data. If you want to become a data analyst, you should learn Excel.


Accountants deal with a vast amount of data and numbers daily. Besides knowledge in basic accounting skills, they must also be well-armed with Excel skills to organize all that data. Excel also helps accountants produce statements like cash flows, income statements, and balance sheets.

Retail Store Manager

A retail store manager is in charge of running the daily operations of the store. They are responsible for maintaining staff information, monitoring inventory, analyzing consumer trends, and preparing budgets. All these tasks are made easy with the help of spreadsheets.

Project Manager

Project managers rely on Excel sheets to record the day-to-day operations of a project, including information related to workers, expenditure, and vendors. Good Excel skills can be the difference between a smooth-running project and a chaotic one. This is one of the best tech jobs in the industry,


Educators and teachers rely on Excel to keep records of their students and classes. Excel also helps to map out lesson structures and organize curricula. It is the perfect software to keep a record of people and activities without mixing things up.

Steps to Learn Excel

While Microsoft Excel is a powerful program, it can also be intimidating. The secret is to break down the information in small quantities before moving to the next level.

This step-by-step guide provides some insight to help you learn Excel efficiently.


Open a Spreadsheet

Opening your first spreadsheet is your first step to learning Excel. To start an Excel sheet, you have to go to Microsoft Office and click on Excel. Then, click on Blank Workbook to open a new worksheet. An Excel workbook is a page or a file with many spreadsheets. You can add many Excel sheets by using the tab at the bottom of the workbook screen.


Discover the Ribbon

The ribbon in Excel is the central control panel of the program. It is where you create commands to complete tasks. Here, you can see several tabs, such as Home, Data, Page Layout, Review and Insert. There is also a search bar on the ribbon where you can find data easily.


Start Entering Data

The only way to benefit from Excel is to enter data so it has something to work with. Luckily, the process is easy. All you have to do is click into any blank cell and type what you want. You can also copy or cut and paste any data into the cells.


Make Basic Calculations

When you have a large amount of data, Excel is a great way to organize and analyze it. Once you learn how to do basic calculations like addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication using Excel, half of the work is done.


Unlock Functions

The ultimate power of an Excel program is its functions. They allow you to carry out complex calculations with just a few clicks. Once you learn how to use functions, you unlock a whole array of possibilities in your work.


Save and Share Work

Ultimately, Excel allows you to save and share the data in your workbook with colleagues and others. If you are working as a team and need to share figures, it’s very easy to do so without getting up from your chair.

The Best Courses to Learn Excel Online

The following is a list of the best Excel training courses and classes. They can help you learn Microsoft Excel from the comfort of your home. These online Excel courses are suitable for all skill levels and will take you from beginner to expert.

Level: Beginner
Duration: 2 hours, 17 minutes
Cost: $49.99
Outcome: Certificate of Completion

If you are looking to become a data or financial analyst, Excel Essential Training is for you. LinkedIn Learning has over 25 years of experience using and teaching the software. The course begins with a run-through of the menu system and how to enter data into the system.

You then learn to create formulas and use some basic functions of Excel. At the heart of the course is learning Excel’s charting capabilities for business analytics. You get to explore conditional formatting, create Pivot tables, and learn how to share with multiple users.

Level: Beginner
Duration: 6 months
Cost: Coursera Membership
Outcome: Certificate of Completion

The Excel Skills for Business Specialization from Macquarie University is available through Coursera. Students learn how Excel resolves real-world business problems. Topics include Pivot tables, Macros, data forecasts, and dashboards.

The course takes six months of self-paced video tutorials, with two to four hours commitment required per week. Macquarie University provides financial aid for students who can’t afford the course, and there is a free option, though you won’t get a certificate.

Level: Beginner
Duration: 20 hours
Cost: Coursera Membership
Outcome: Certificate of Completion

Rice University’s Introduction to Data Analysis Using Excel is one of the best introductory courses to Excel. The course is perfect for those with zero or limited knowledge of the program. Its moduled classes are well-paced with just one to three hours required per week.

If you want to learn more, this course also introduces you to PivotTables and VLOOKUP. You will learn how to organize data, filter, and perform data visualization. You either have to be a Coursera member or a student at Rice University to enroll.

Level: Advanced
Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: $99
Outcome: Certificate of Completion

Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel is taught by Microsoft’s Excel Product Team on edX, which is an incredible resource. The course targets people who are already familiar with Excel, and it covers advanced usage of the program. The class takes approximately six weeks, and you must dedicate two to four hours a week to learn.

In this course, you’ll learn how to import data from other sources, create a mix between data sources, and prepare data for business or financial analysis. While the course might seem costly, you can apply for financial assistance to offset the tuition fee. The course also rewards you with a certificate of completion.

Level: Beginner to Advanced
Duration: 18 hours
Cost: $149.99
Outcome: Certificate of Completion

The course spans from beginner level to advanced in a very short time. In 18 hours of content, you will be well-versed with all the aspects of the Excel program, including automating to-do lists and making interactive charts and tables.

You’ll also have lifetime access to the course in case you need to refer back. Once you complete the course, you receive a certificate of completion from Udemy to add to your resume.

Best Excel Resources

Best Excel Resources

If you want to learn the ins and outs of Excel, you should watch how it’s done via an Excel tutorial or read Excel blogs and forums. These online resources are the best if you want to learn Excel on your own. Most of them are free and open-source.

Microsoft’s Excel Training Center

There’s no better place to learn a program than from the source. Microsoft Excel Training Center has many free tutorials, guides, and videos that can be accessed on Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. If you want to learn Excel 2016 and beyond, this is the best resource. Microsoft updates the content regularly.


Chandoo.org is a fantastic blog whose main aim is to make people excellent at Excel and charting. The blog has over 450 articles and tutorials on Excel and how to create charts. If you want to learn a specific Excel skill, you will be able to find it here.

The Spreadsheet Page

The Spreadsheet Page is a well-organized site full of helpful Excel tips from Excel expert John Wakenbach. With 30 years of experience and over 60 Excel books under his belt, he is well-equipped to teach the topic. On the website’s Excel Tips Tab, you will find tips on formatting, charts, graphs, and formulas.

HubSpot Excel Resources

HubSpot has unique educational content on Excel. These include free ebooks, templates, and video lectures that cover a wide range of relevant topics. HubSpot is also an excellent online course provider.

Why Learn Microsoft Excel?

You should learn Microsoft Excel because it is a useful skill and transferable over many different jobs. Learning Excel increases your value as an employee or a businessperson. This tool enables you to create schedules, manage budgets, track revenues and expenses, manage inventory, and create charts and visualizations.

Excel helps to save time and increase efficiency once you learn how to automate the processes. It can help you become an IT manager, administrative assistant, business intelligence analyst, and more. If you want more career skills, you should learn Microsoft Excel in 2021.

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