The Inspiration for Rate My Excel

The Inspiration for Rate My Excel


I’ve been kicking the idea for fun Excel assessments around for a while as a competitive person who lives and breathes spreadsheets. The article The Degree is Doomed from January’s Harvard Business Review was the spark I needed to start executing on the idea.


In the article, the author asserts that degrees will be replaced by other, more practical signals to prospective¬†employers of an applicant’s competence. Coders, designers and artists all have online communities to showcase their work and build a reputation – why not finance and analytics professionals? LinkedIn is a good tool but having 15 endorsements for Microsoft Excel won’t convince recruiters that you’re a spreadsheet ace.

From the article —

The value of paper degrees will inevitably decline when employers or other evaluators avail themselves of more efficient and holistic ways for applicants to demonstrate aptitude and skill.  Evaluative information like work samples, personal representations, peer and manager reviews, shared content, and scores and badges are creating new signals of aptitude and different types of credentials.


While I agree that degrees can be overrated – we’ve all had that coworker who brags about their alma mater while confusing SUM() with COUNT() – I would not call degrees doomed. The fact is that a lot of hiring managers got their MBA’s from the local college’s evening program back in the day and expect the candidates they hire to hold similar credentials.


I do think we’ll slowly see a demand for more pragmatic signals – assessments, quizzes, spreadsheet samples,and more over time as a way for employees to show Excel mastery in a way that GPA cannot.