Business offices increasingly require experts in computer technology as data storage shifts from physical to digital. While there are still positions available for those holding only a high school diploma, the best paying positions generally require a bachelor's degree. This article covers three technological careers for those who wish to work in business offices: secretaries/administrative assistants, computer systems analysts, and network and computer systems administrators.
Business office technology refers to the technical devices and tools used by various organizations for everyday tasks, such as managing clients, fulfilling orders, maintaining payroll information, analyzing sales records and conducting communications. Most technically-oriented careers require some level of undergraduate education, such as a bachelor's degree in computer science. Individuals working in entry-level business office technology positions, such as secretaries, might learn skills through on-the-job training or earn an associate's degree or certificate in administrative assisting or business technology.
|Career||Network and Computer Systems Administrator||Computer Systems Analyst||Secretary and Administrative Assistant|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field||Bachelor's degree, usually in computer or information science||High school diploma or the equivalent|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-24)*||8%||21%||3%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$77,810||$85,800||$36,500|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Jobs in business office technology encompass a broad range of abilities and talents. Many business office technology positions require technical skills, like programming. The duties of secretaries and administrative assistants include clerical tasks, like typing.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Individuals working as network and computer systems administrators help businesses store and access information in an efficient manner. They need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. Keeping up with the latest technology through continuing education courses is essential, and some employers desire someone with professional certifications.
Network and computer systems administrators received a median salary of $77,810 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projected 8% job growth for this occupation from 2014-24.
Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts help various enterprises devise solutions to common issues that arise during business operations, such as collecting payments. Most hold a bachelor's degree in computer or information science, although degrees in other areas might be acceptable with the right experience.
According to the BLS, computer systems analysts earned a median annual wage of $85,800 in May 2015. The BLS projected that jobs in this field would increase by 21% from 2014-24, which was much faster than other professions.
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Secretaries and administrative assistants utilize office technologies to perform various clerical duties, such as appointment keeping and data entry. High school graduates can assume entry-level jobs, although many aspiring secretaries take some clerical courses at vocational schools or community colleges. Medical and legal secretaries require specialized training in areas such as terminology and ethics.
The median annual salary of these office workers, as reported by the BLS, was $36,500 in May 2015. Job growth for secretaries and administrative assistants was estimated by the BLS at 3% for 2014-24.
The BLS does not predict much demand for secretaries and administrative assistants. However, armed with a bachelor's degree in computer or information science, an applicant can apply for higher positions, such as computer systems analysts or network and computer systems administrators, both of which are predicted to meet or exceed the national average of job growth over the next ten years.