Goodwill’s free Microsoft Essentials training course will teach you the ins and outs of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint – three systems many hiring employers want their candidates to know how to use. Goodwill’s Microsoft Essentials training course, which we call “Microsoft Essentials for Business,” is a virtual, instructor-led training course designed with 60 hours of lectures, tutorials, daily hands-on exercises and final projects integrating all three productivity tools – Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. Upon successful completion, students will earn a Microsoft Essentials for Business Certificate of Completion. In this course, you will learn to:

  • Master Microsoft Word from beginner to advanced
  • Format documents effectively
  • Apply various page layout techniques
  • Prepare documents for printing
  • Build a solid understanding of the basics of Microsoft Excel
  • Use the most common Excel functions used in the office
  • Create a business presentation
  • Minimize text quantity on presentations by using graphs and images

    2023 Training Dates

    Application Period Training Dates Class Time Delivery
    Closed May 2 – 19 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual (Instructor Led)
    Closed June 6 – 23 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual (Instructor Led)
    Closed July 5 – 21 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual (Instructor Led)
    Closed August 1 – 18 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual (Instructor Led)
    Closed September 5 – 22 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual (Instructor Led)
    Closed October 3 – 20 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual (Instructor Led)
    Closed October 31 – November 17 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual (Instructor Led)

    Course Timeframe

    Goodwill’s Microsoft Essentials for Business course lasts three weeks (approximately 20 hours per week). Class meets virtually Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Weeks 1 and 2 include lectures, tutorials and daily hands-on exercises. In Week 3, students will have the option to complete final projects to earn certification.

    Certification Opportunities

    Upon successful completion of Goodwill’s Microsoft training course, students will earn a Microsoft Essentials for Business Certificate of Completion.


    Prior to enrolling in Goodwill’s Microsoft training course, you must pass a Basic Computer Skills assessment. Having basic computer skills – including the ability to navigate between applications, use a keyboard, manipulate a mouse and navigate the internet – will set you up for success with this course.

    Prepare for Training

    Access Free Online Learning at GCFGlobal and Northstar Digital Literacy to practice Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and to develop other computer skills needed for the training.

    Required Technology

    • Wi-Fi for internet access
    • A computer/laptop/tablet (a cell phone is not sufficient to access course materials)
    • Webcam and microphone to participate in course exercises and discussions

    Don’t Have Access to the Above Technology?

    • Notify a Goodwill team member upon registration to reserve space at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus to utilize our available technology
    • Or click here to get connected with Digital Charlotte, an organization that assists people in Mecklenburg County with signing up for affordable internet service and purchasing affordable technology

    Related Career Information

    To find out more information about potential careers, trends, wages and benefits for those that complete this course, visit

    Launch Your Career

    As a participant in one of Goodwill’s intensive training programs, you will be paired with a Career Navigator who will provide comprehensive and accelerated services to prepare you to advance and leverage career readiness and essential skills. They will provide ongoing career coaching activities such as resume development, elevator pitch, mock interviews and more. As you near completion of your training course, you will be connected with a member of the Employer Engagement Team for employment assistance. The Employer Engagement team partners with employers to facilitate employer led trainings, site tours, hiring events, and direct placements into high-paying industry related employment opportunities.

    How to Apply

      • If you’re interested in this program and you live within our service area, fill out our application form then follow the prompts to schedule a virtual appointment.
      • If you’re unable to reserve a virtual appointment or would rather meet with one of our team members in person to begin your application process, we also accept walk-ins at all of our career centers.

      Still Have Questions?

      If you still have questions about our training courses, complete our training inquiry form, and someone on our team will be in touch with you soon!