A World Championship For Excel Spreadsheets Exists And You Can Win Thousands

by : Cameron Frew on : 24 Mar 2021 09:06
A World Championship For Excel Spreadsheets Exists And You Can Win ThousandsPharmaceutical Bank/Wikimedia/Pexels/(CC BY-SA 4.0)

Calling all tech whizzes with a knack for Microsoft Excel: there’s a world championship where you can win thousands of dollars. 

Claiming you’re proficient in Excel is probably one of the most common lies on CVs around the world. Many employers ask for it in their job requirements, and applicants will pop it down as a problem for another day.


Anyone who’s leaped into the world of spreadsheets knows how daunting it is at first. The naivety of it being a companion application to the much simpler Word soon comes home to roost. But if you’re particularly skilled in its artistry, you can make some big bucks.

The Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship is a global competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In order to compete, you must be enrolled in an approved, degree-seeking academic institution recognised by your country, and between the ages of 13-22, as per the official rules.

For the upcoming 2021 contest, the third place winner will get $1,500, a medal of achievement and a winner’s certificate. The second place winner will receive $3,500, plus the medal and certificate. However, the first place winner gets a whopping $7,500, a trophy, medal, certificate and other prizes supplied by Microsoft.


And, as the website says: ‘The MOS Championship doesn’t end with the awards ceremony. Winners go on to compete and succeed in higher education and the job market.’

John Dumoulin, an earlier winner, told the New York Post: ‘Some of the foreign countries, they’ve been training for hours and hours and hours on end. When you first meet the international students, everyone’s friendly, but when they find out you’re competing against them in the same category, they get this fire in their eyes. They want to win.’

Aaron Osmond, general manager of Certiport, the company which helps to run the competition, said of Dumoulin’s earlier win: ‘It’s a huge accomplishment. Most of us in an office think that we know how to use Excel. These kids really know.’


While offering solid prizes, the competition attracts big numbers when it comes to competitors. In its 18th year in 2019, the championship attracted more than 850,000 unique candidates from across 119 countries, all striving to prove their mastery of the Microsoft Office suite. In the final round, 161 students went to war.

After his victory in 2018 at the age of just 15, Kevin Dimaculangan told Fox Business: ‘I’m hoping to become a software engineer… [my mum and dad] are super proud of me. My parents and Dunbar High School coordinated and threw a surprise party at the school for me.’

If this interests you, the deadline to compete in this year’s competition has past. To find out more, click here.


Featured image by Pharmaceutical Bank.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Technology, Microsoft, Now, US


New York Post and 1 other
  1. New York Post

    There’s a world championship for Excel spreadsheets

  2. Fox Business/YouTube

    Microsoft Excel world champion at 15-years old