Coursera Specialization Experiment: Results

Mission complete and a success!

One small successful step for this man

Make no mistake, the exams are far from easy, I have spent many hours over the last few days downloading Excel workbooks, following the assessment instructions and answering questions. And I didn’t always get them right the first time, or even the second time!

But after practically gluing myself to my desk and avoiding distractions, I have come out of this weekend with a Specialization in Excel Skills for Business.

So what did I think?

Well, it’s a lot of work, frankly! I did not expect that I would need to download so many workbooks and use so many different Excel features just for the quizzes. There were very, very few multiple choice questions, and many of the workbooks had sophisticated checking formulas in them, some of which could tell if you’d used a formula correctly.

It’s not easy to impress me with Excel knowledge. Over the years I’ve witnessed people at varying levels of expertise, and have built up good skills myself from learning from those people, but this course went way beyond what most people know, those that I’ve met anyway.

There are so many techniques in Excel I’d never used before, like sorting data with formulas rather than the sort function, or the consolidation tool, exceedingly handy things that I’d never seen used before!

For someone who wants to use Excel seriously in business, this course is an easy recommendation from me. The content is great and the pacing from the videos I followed was spot on. If I am ever in the position to hire an Excel expert in the future, I will make sure to offer them this course as a part of their induction, and readily admit anyone who has it already (although I wouldn’t expect them to complete the whole thing over a weekend!).

Now for the outcome of the experiment; was the subscription cancelled once I completed the final exam?


Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult to cancel despite all of the “Are you sure?” screens that popped up, including one that applies a 25% discount from the next payment if you keep the subscription (need to remember it does that for the future!).

UPDATE: Yes! Maybe it was a little optimistic of me to hope they would auto-cancel enrollment once you’ve completed a course? Anyway, they emailed today (after a day and a bit) to congratulate me and confirm the course is cancelled.

That certificate is going into my certifications section of LinkedIn, along with the PRINCE2 Foundation and the BPMN 2.0 certificates.

And in the meantime, I discovered that I paid for a course in October on Finance for Non-Finance Professionals and have 4 days left to earn a certificate for it! I don’t remember enrolling and it’s too late to get a refund… can I complete the course in 4 days? I have already done the first week apparently!

My guess is no, but watch this space!

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