Are spreadsheet skills part of your curriculum? They should be!

Couragion research has repeatedly shown that knowledge of spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel, is a critical workplace skill. In fact, a January 2019 search of jobs on Indeed showed over 220K job openings requiring Excel experience.

Furthermore, Couragion’s role models frequently mention that Excel is essential for success in their job, and this happens across myriad job types and industries as evidenced by our role model quotes:

  • “The people that we hire here that come in with advanced Excel experience are the people who are most successful.” - Digital Media Specialist, Marketing Agency

  • “So whether we're talking about ratios or talking about Excel formulas, I think such knowledge is absolutely key for this job.” – Loan Officer, Commercial Bank

  • “We're using a little bit of Minitab for the Six Sigma stuff. And for more thorough data analysis, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are huge.” – Quality Manager, Plastics Manufacturer

  • “I create the scripts to gather data and then we incorporate Excel to manipulate it.” – Wireless Network Engineer, Telecommunications Provider

  • “The program I probably use the most is Excel.” – Accountant, Financial Auditing Firm

  • “I often use an Excel spreadsheet to analyze data.” – Biomedical Engineer, Medical Device Start-up

In contrast, Couragion’s classroom observations and student interviews have shown that middle and high school students lack Excel knowledge. Most students report never using Excel or other spreadsheet software. And Couragion observed that students struggled with even the most basic spreadsheet concepts during usability testing and subsequently had to modify and enhance our ‘Data Science Challenge’.

Are your students well versed in data science and spreadsheet basics? If not, we can help! Starting in February, Couragion will launch another new Data Science Challenge that introduces students to spreadsheet skills in the context of a real-world work project. Students will be able to take on the role of a Digital Media Specialist and use spreadsheet concepts such as tables, formulas, functions, and charts to assess online advertising performance. We are excited to expand our Challenges to help educators prepare students for a high-demand, critical workplace need. If you would like a sneak peek of the Challenge, email us (

Laura FarrellyComment