Learn, Practice, Certify, Compete: The Greek Journey to the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship

Founded in 2005 by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the largest university institution in Greece, ACTA provides certifications that help students and professionals validate their high-level business and IT skills. These certifications prepare candidates to confidently enter the Greek workforce with relevant skills demanded by employers.

In 2010, ACTA realized that digital skills were most in-demand by employers. Organizations were looking for candidates with a strong digital foundation, knowledge of key applications, and the computational skills necessary to approach new and growing technologies. As a direct result of this digital trend, ACTA decided to join forces with Certiport, the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery, and program management services.

After joining the Certiport partner network in 2010, ACTA began offering the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification exams throughout Greece. The MOS certification program provides Greek students and professionals with an industry-leading assessment of their Microsoft Office skills and knowledge.

Microsoft Office Specialist and the Ministry of Education

After multiple years of ACTA offering certifications in Greece, the Greek Ministry of Education started to take notice. Recognizing the program's potential to enhance digital literacy and employability, ACTA worked with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor to ensure that Microsoft Office Specialist certifications were endorsed by the Greek government.

The MOS certification was first endorsed by the Greek Ministry of Education in 2010, and now , MOS certifications are now accepted in universities across Greece, as well as being used to apply for graduate programs and contractor positions in the Greek public sector.

"Securing a Microsoft Office Specialist certification goes beyond software proficiency; it's about arming students and the workforce with crucial digital competencies for success,” said Symeon Retalis, Professor, University of Piraeus, Department of Digital Systems. “This certification not only showcases a learner’s knowledge of digital tools, but also enhances employability and work productivity. Moreover, the recognition of this certification by the Ministry of Education adds a valuable layer of credibility and ensures its relevance within the broader educational and professional landscape. It's not just about skills; it's a strategic advantage for all workforce candidates and learners.”

Competing in Greece

In addition to recognition from the Greek government, students across Greece can gain recognition on the world stage at the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship presented by Certiport, a global competition that tests 13 to 22-year-old students’ skills in Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint®. Students compete in their national or regional competitions, and the winners represent their countries each year at the MOS World Championship in the United States.

ACTA was an eager and early participant in the MOS World Championship, quickly organizing its own MOS Greece Championship in 2010. The Greek Championship is split into two phases: the Qualifying Games and the Panhellenic Final. Students across Greece earn their Microsoft Office Specialist certifications at ACTA S.A. and other Certiport testing centers. All candidates are welcome to test their skills and enter their scores in the Qualifying Games.

The top one hundred scorers from across Greece are invited to participate in the Panhellenic Final. At the Final, competitors must prove their expertise on a rigorous, competition-level Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint exam. Top performers on this new exam are invited to represent Greece at the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship.

Greek students have shown their excitement about the opportunity to prove their skills on a national and global stage. As a result, the MOS Greece Championship continues to grow, with support and direction from the Greek Ministry of Education. In 2018, 280 exams were entered into the MOS Greek Championship Qualifying Games. In 2022 alone, one in three students who took a MOS exam entered their score during the Qualifying Games, for a total of over 1,300 exam entries.

Taking the World Stage

The MOS Greece Championship has grown in numbers, and the candidates continue to perform well year after year. Since the inception of the competition in Greece, sixteen students have placed in the top ten, with seven of those placing in the top three.

Educators across Greece are impressed with their students’ knowledge, skills mastery, and grace under competition pressure. Mrs. Eleni I. Douka, General Manager of Education at Doukas School said, “Cutting-edge certifications constitute an important component of our pedagogy, our history, and our future. When it comes to knowledge construction and skills development, we support our students with MOS certifications and offer them the opportunity to participate in the MOS World Championship. We are proud of their effort and the remarkable results they achieve every year!”

Learn more about ACTA and the MOS Championship in Greece here. Dive into the MOS World Championship here.