Students in an office administration bachelor's program must learn to answer e-mail correspondence, set up scheduling programs, order office supplies, book travel, make databases, keep filing systems intact and provide any amount of additional assistance required by owners, executives and other business personnel. Some of these programs are completion programs, requiring that students have completed their first two years of school, including general education requirements.
- Program Levels: Bachelor's degree, CAP and CPS certification
- Prerequisites: High school diploma, 2.5 GPA
- Online Availability: Some online courses available
- Program Length: 4 years
Bachelor's Degree in Office Administration
These programs give students practical skills in office management. They learn to work with common software and become familiar with office procedures. They also study business communications, both spoken and written, and learn basic accounting and bookkeeping skills. The majority of courses in a bachelor's degree program in office administration are designed to teach students specific skills. Some core course topics might include:
- Business math, law, communications
- Office procedures
- Word processing
- Spreadsheet applications
- Machine transcription
- Basic accounting
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Secretaries and administrative assistants held about 4 million jobs in the United States in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The position is one of the most ubiquitous in the country, although individuals who hold a degree are more likely to gain positions than those who do not, as noted by the BLS. The employment of administrative office assistants and secretaries was expected to grow by 12% between 2012 and 2022, which is about average growth. In 2012, the median annual wages of administrative assistants and secretaries, excluding legal, medical and executive, were $33,240 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduate degree programs in office administration are not typically available; experienced administrative assistants seeking to further their credentials might choose to pursue certification instead. Certifications awarded by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (www.iaap-hq.org) include the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) and Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) designations. Both credentials require candidates to pass a multi-part exam that covers topics in office technology and organizational management.