PDA

View Full Version : What should I know about ....



Irish Blues
March 20th 2006, 11:27 AM
Occasionally people ask what they need to know about certain applications when they start a new job. Since I primarily deal with Word and Excel (and to a lesser extent Powerpoint), I'll start by mentioning what you must know going in and what you can learn along the way (i.e. if you know it, it's a bonus).

The list below is by no means comprehensive - it's a starting point, and I'm sure others will eventually trickle in with their own comments.

WORD
What you must know - How to write a letter; be able to add headers and footers, properly format (centering lines, left-justifying and right-justifying), perhaps insert tables.
What you won't need to know: mail merge, inserting objects/pictures, most other functions that Joe Ordinary won't use when writing a letter.

EXCEL
What you must know - How to work with spreadsheets; be able to put data in and make calculations; link to other worksheets (possibly other files) and make calculations; insert rows/columns/worksheets when needed; cutting and pasting data (especially pasting values, formulas, and formats); understand absolute/relative cell references; set print areas and insert headers and footers; format cells appropriately (date, number, financial, whatever) and highlight cells when necessary; know what a macro is.
What you should be able to learn soon after - how to name individual cells and regions of cells; how to use conditional formatting; using the Sort command to sort data; how to create pivot tables; protecting/unprotecting sheets and workbooks; be able to trace formulas with the Formula Auditing toolbar; how to run a macro.
If you know these, it's a bonus but you'll learn how - Use of Goal Seek and Solver; how to write a macro and create buttons to run macros; calculations using '''''s; use of commands such as VLOOKUP, MATCH, and OFFSET; create charts from data sets; using borders on cells or ranges of cells.

VISUAL BASIC IN EXCEL
What you should know - that a VBA macro is just a program, much like you'd write a program in C++, Java, or whatever other language.
What you should be able to learn soon after - how to record a macro; how to write basic macros.
If you know these, it's a bonus but you'll learn how - writing detailed macros that you can use over and over; how to use VBA in simulations; assigning macros to buttons for others to use; how to troubleshoot macros.
*** Most companies should offer a class on VBA to new employees, you'll learn some of these things in a 1-day or 2-day class.

ACCESS
What you should know - if anything, how to run a query.
What you should be able to learn soon after - how to put data into Access and set up queries
If you know these, it's a bonus but you'll learn how - how to write a database and attached reports.
*** There's varying opinions on how important Access is

POWERPOINT
What you should know - what a PowerPoint presentation is; how to run a PowerPoint presentation; how to create basic slides.
What you should be able to learn soon after - how to format slides for color and font; adding/deleting slides, adding comments to slides
If you know these, it's a bonus - adding sounds/video to PowerPoint presentations; slick transitions from slide to slide, anything else advanced that Joe Ordinary wouldn't use.

FSA
March 20th 2006, 01:30 PM
WORD
What you must know - How to write a letter; be able to add headers and footers, properly format (centering lines, left-justifying and right-justifying), perhaps insert tables.



Add: how to use spellcheck.

robertr24
April 22nd 2006, 11:23 AM
What about Access? I heard that's a necessity also.

Irish Blues
April 22nd 2006, 01:41 PM
What about Access? I heard that's a necessity also.
It's not a necessity - if you've used it, that's great. If you've written anything with it, that's even better - but I wouldn't say it's a must.

Trojan_Horse
April 22nd 2006, 02:21 PM
Access is more important than you say and should be on the list. I use Access more than Excel, everday without exception (I have yet to use PowerPoint). It's not necessary to know how to use VBA with Access but you should have a basic working knowledge: How to sort & filter and how to create basic queries. It doesn't take much to learn enough to be effective. Many entry level positions do a lot of data analysis with Excel.

Ken
April 22nd 2006, 02:22 PM
Depending on where you work, Access or SAS is important, but I doubt any employer expects an entry-level to know how to use them. Any type of database experience is a plus.

Trojan_Horse
April 22nd 2006, 07:51 PM
Access and SAS are completely different. Nobody expects an entry-level person to know SAS, that's for sure. But Access is different, it's part of Microsoft Office so nearly everyone has access (no pun intended) to it. On the other hand, SAS is thousands of dollars. Basic computer classes at community colleges now teach Access, along with Excel and Word. I know that when I was applying for entry level positions it was frequently mentioned in the job description. If someone wants to know what programs they should be familiar with, Access should definitely be on the list. Like I said in my previous post, a basic working knowledge is all that's needed.

Irish Blues
April 22nd 2006, 11:20 PM
It took 10 months before anyone asked me about Access, and even then it was, "can you learn how to sort this in Access?"

I'll add it on Monday, but I think in terms of importance it's low; if you can run basic queries, that's good - anything above that is likely a bonus. But, if someone else has a different take, I'm willing to listen.

Ken
April 22nd 2006, 11:32 PM
A lot of companies ask, what's your experience with Access. Or have you ever used SAS before. Have you ever worked with any type of database software?

Irish Blues
April 25th 2006, 07:19 AM
SAS should actually be on there - I'll take suggestions on what to put down for it.

Jessica Chung
March 11th 2008, 12:24 AM
One question : I've definitely heard of Microsoft Word, Access, Excel and Powerpoint but SAS is something totally new to me. Can I know what's the function of this program?

NoMoreExams
March 28th 2008, 11:03 AM
One question : I've definitely heard of Microsoft Word, Access, Excel and Powerpoint but SAS is something totally new to me. Can I know what's the function of this program?

SAS has a lot of uses. Because of its ability to handle huge data sets, it is used frequently in Data Mining. However actuaries use it a lot as well to set up processes to pull data, organize it, etc. Check this thread out as well: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=98556

Jessica Chung
March 28th 2008, 11:31 PM
Thanks~~ =)

ycxiang
July 9th 2008, 06:43 AM
how about mathematic software?
for example, Matlab, mathematica......

should we learn these stuff?:dull:

Trojan_Horse
July 9th 2008, 07:47 AM
how about mathematic software?
for example, Matlab, mathematica......

should we learn these stuff?:dull:

I've never heard of these programs used outside of acedemia. I wouldn't bother, there are more important things to learn.

NoMoreExams
July 9th 2008, 10:12 AM
I've never heard of these programs used outside of acedemia. I wouldn't bother, there are more important things to learn.

Agreed, although one might use one of those programs to simulate or other similar tasks, there are plenty of other programs that are better suited for that which are mentioned above.