MOS Efficacy Report Highlights

At Certiport, we are dedicated to helping people succeed through certification, enhancing individual productivity, marketability, and value. Our parent company, Pearson, is committed to reporting on the efficacy of our products and offerings.

To make sure we’re offering candidates an effective measure of their skills and knowledge, we collaborated with the team at Pearson to dive into the efficacy of the Microsoft Office Specialist certification program. We wanted to answer the big question: Does Microsoft Office Specialist certification reliably validate candidates’ Microsoft Office skills? The answer, Yes!

The Microsoft Office Specialist program efficacy report highlighted four main areas: the MOS Learning Pathway, Exam Validity, Reliability, and Fairness.

MOS Learning Pathway

Unlike some certification programs that only offer the certification exam itself, Microsoft Office Specialist provides everything learners need to learn, practice, and certify their skills, and to advance in their careers, all in one place.

This means learners can not only to gain the skills they need to distinguish themselves to employers and educators, but also to demonstrate credibly that they possess those skills. This allows employers and educators to confidently assess a candidate’s ability, and therefore their suitability as an employee or student.

Certification Validity

The full learning pathway is most meaningful if the certification helps candidates land a job or progress in their education. In one study, nearly 83% of those with Microsoft Office Specialist certification went on to gain employment or enroll in post-secondary education, compared to around 80% of all high school graduates. Plus, 83% of examinees surveyed in 2019 at least somewhat agreed that Microsoft Office Specialist certification is a good way to distinguish themselves from others.

Many global organizations publicly endorse the program and, according to one study, Microsoft Office Specialist certification was the credential most in demand by living wage employers in 2018–19. Candidates also see the value. MOS certification badges were shared on social media more than 58,000 times in 2019.


Based on a statistical analysis of data from multiple forms of the exam, Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams approach or exceed the highest level of internal consistency. At this level, the results can support important decisions, making it a reliable validation of candidate skill.


Certification should validate knowledge, regardless of a candidate’s background. Certiport takes a number of steps to mitigate the risk of bias against particular groups of candidates, including:

  1. Equating different versions of the exam so they all require equivalent proficiency to pass
  2. Localizing the entire program for different markets
  3. Aligning the exam to the globally recognized online accessibility standard, WCAG 2.1

Students and young professionals across the globe can have confidence their knowledge of Microsoft Office is fairly assessed through the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam.

Interested in reading the full Microsoft Office Specialist Efficacy Report? You can download the report here.