A: Perhaps you have users looking to add to their resume or standing within the company. Or maybe you want to know what to look for when hiring users that claim to hold Outlook certifications. Microsoft maintains a certification path for Microsoft Office applications called Microsoft Office Specialist. The MOS certification is attained through the completion of one or more of the Microsoft-created exams that test the Microsoft Office applications, including Outlook.

Microsoft exams are offered through various authorized testing centers around the world. A specific exam tests Microsoft Outlook, Exam 77-884. This exam is generally more for users of Microsoft Outlook 2010; it doesn't cover aspects of installation, corporate deployment, or optimizing Outlook for use with Microsoft Exchange Server.

Exam 77-884: Outlook 2010 tests everyday use of Outlook as well as configuration of the working environment, which includes the various settings in the Office Backstage view, found under File, Options in Outlook 2010. The exam challenges the user in managing the various Outlook items, from email messages and contacts to tasks and calendar items. Users need to know how to manipulate Outlook’s message hygiene features, including junk email settings and Outlook rules.

Third-party companies, such as National Computer Science Academy, offer their own certifications in Office applications, including Outlook. However, to use the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification title for Outlook 2010, you must have completed Exam 77-884: Outlook 2010. Third-party exams don't grant you a Microsoft certification. For more information about Microsoft certifications, peruse the Microsoft Learning website.