Walsall College IT apprentice, Joseph Mcfarlane is set to put his computing skills to the test when he takes part in the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Four Nations and World Championship on Tuesday 13 June.
The MOS World Championship is a global competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office applications, operated and sponsored in the UK and Ireland by risual and Prodigy Learning.
Joseph, 21, an Advanced Level 3 IT Software apprentice, is employed by Great Wyrley High School in Walsall while completing his qualification at Walsall College’s risual Academy.
In partnership with IT specialists, risual and Microsoft, Walsall College launched a state-of-the-art IT academy at its £11m business and sports Hub in June 2016, to help address a growing shortage of digital skills in the West Midlands and bridge the gap between industry and education.
Joe, who is part of the first cohort of apprentices enrolled in Walsall College’s risual academy, qualified for the championship after achieving a high score in his Microsoft Office Specialist Word exam.
The Four Nations Championship finals will take place at Microsoft UK’s headquarters in Reading and finalists will sit an exam in their qualifying category, with the winner being crowned based on the results.
The champions of each category (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) will then represent the Four Nations at the MOS World Championship, taking place in Anaheim, California in July 2017.
MOS certifications are a great way for students to not only develop crucial digital skills, but to also show that they are accomplished and competent working within the tools and methodologies of Microsoft products.
MOS certifications can give students a commanding competitive edge in today’s academic and professional environments.
Joe said: “I’m really excited that I’ve made it to the national final. To win and get the chance to go to America and represent the UK would be amazing.
“I’ve always wanted to work in IT and doing an apprenticeship has been a great decision. I’ve learnt a lot of new skills which have helped me to get this far in the competition.”