Office 365 Suite of Software Downloadable for Free

7By Nancy Monsay

Microsoft Office 365 is available free for students to download.

The 365 suite of software includes five licenses: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and storage in OneDrive, a cloud-based service. Students and faculty can download the software to their personal computers and Smartphones at no cost.

The Office applications let users create, edit and share information from their PCs, Macs, iOS, Androids or Windows devices in real time. The apps are available for download from Microsoft Corp’s website or app stores.

The use of this software is instrumental in college success for students to type papers, prepare presentations, and create spreadsheets, among other tasks. Additionally the cloud option enables students to store content and images making it easy to access and share information.

Students need to activate their College of Southern Nevada emails in order to receive the link to get this software.

According to a report from Microsoft dated Oct. 15, 2013, the company is providing Office 365 to students at institutions worldwide that license Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty.

A reason Microsoft is doing this is to support and prepare students for the competitive job market. “Top candidates for current and future jobs will be measured by capabilities and competencies, with 20 distinct skills bubbling up to the top in millions of high-growth, high-paying job postings,” according to a white paper commissions by Microsoft. Those skills include technologic proficiencies.

International Data Corporation, a global provider of market intelligence, identified the top 20 job skills needed. Communication skills were at the top; computer skills were second, eighth and 16th on the list.

According to Microsoft, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Office 365. There is a need for students to learn and master these bankable skills.

“Having Office 365 helps to integrate technology for greater communication and productivity among our students,” said Mugunth Vaithylingam, CSN’s chief information officer.

Such collaboration tools lead to better, easier communication on the go, according to Soni Richards, CSN student. “My job requires that I am literally all over the U.S. as a flight attendant. Having access to [Office 365] allows me to do my assignments to the cloud. When I’m stuck for a couple hours on a delay, I check my e-mail. I can get real-time connection with my professors if I have a question.”

The shared-editing feature is a benefit for Sara Weston, vice president of ASCSN Student Government. She works with others in the College to write, review and edit materials using Word. “If I have a proposal for a big fund raiser, then maybe the president wants to add to it, or she writes something that I want to edit, it’s so easy to do that in a Word document,” Weston said.

To access Office 365 users simply activate their student-email accounts. Learn more by visiting http://studentmail.csn.edu/learnmore/.

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