Microsoft Excel Training and Certification Program - Apple Computers

Why is Windows required for Excel Certification?

If you’re getting Excel certified, by now you’ve been told that you unequivocally need Windows. If you are not already aware, this is for a few reasons:

  • Recruiters are asking us for students who have a solid background in versions of Excel that exist only for Windows
  • Windows is an industry standard in the business world
  • Participating in Microsoft IT Academy Online Training requires that you use Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer
  • Gmetrix, our practice test software, is a Windows-only product
  • All supporting software (specific versions of Flash Player, .NET Framework) is Windows-only.

In general, Whitman advises its students to bring Windows computers to school for their coursework. Our full recommendations can be found at including the reasons for our recommendation.

What you need to do

First: you need to get product keys for Windows 7 (or newer version) and Office 2010. You can do that at All Whitman students should have an account which uses their SU Email address as their username. If you have not used your account before, you will need to register it and create a password for yourself. Once you have successfully registered you can log in and obtain your product keys.

Please note that your OnTheHub account is not directly tied to SU - you can and should use a password that is different from your SU NetID or SUMail password.

Second, you need to choose how you want to run Windows. There are two ways to do this:

  • A Virtual machine Environment. This is convenient but can and will decrease overall performance, and can be confusing if you are not familiar with virtual computing.
  • BootCamp, a product/process that’s part of all Apple Computers as of 2006, which makes it possible to run Windows and MacOS alongside each other. You can only use one of them at a time, but this will allow the computer to perform much better than it would as a Virtual Machine.

*NOTE: Whitman recommends using BootCamp*

Third, you need to verify that your computer has enough free space to be set up properly. Your storage media (Hard Drive or SSD) will need at least 50GB of free space. If you don’t have that much free space, you can clear it by moving some of your non-crucial data to an external hard drive.

To find out how much free space you have, go to your desktop, select Macintosh HD and hit Command+I, which should open an Info page. You should see the information you’re looking for shown like so:


If the number you see to the right of the word “Available” is 70.00 GB or larger, your computer can be bootcamped for Excel training and certification.

Fourth, you need to bring your computer to the Student Computing Office in Whitman, which is located in the 2nd Floor computer lab. We will take care of the actual BootCamp configuration and process. We will make sure that everything you need to participate is installed, and that everything will be ready to use. Once we’re done, we’ll notify you, show you how to use it, and answer any questions you have.

Note: The BootCamp process takes a few hours. Also, please do not attempt to do this yourself. Problems can result that will require extra time to repair. It is in your best interests to let Whitman Student Technology Services do this part for you.