The job requirements of a personal assistant vary depending on the employer, so the education and training encompasses many different areas. Online certification programs in Microsoft Office Suite can be beneficial, as well as courses in business correspondence, basic finance and accounting, project management and interpersonal communication. These online courses could be part of an administrative degree program or lead to various levels of software certification. Personal assistants can work with executives, professionals, and individuals in a wide range of capacities and are responsible for completing tasks in order to make an employer's life run more smoothly. Courses focusing on Microsoft Office Suite may require specific software programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook.
Online Personal Assistant Courses
Below are descriptions of some commonly offered online personal assistant courses.
- Windows Office Overview Course: This course offers an overview of the main Microsoft Office Suite programs. Students learn the basics of creating professional documents with Microsoft Word, spreadsheets with Excel, presentations with PowerPoint and databases with Access. The course teaches students to use Outlook to correspond via e-mail, keep calendars and manage task lists. This course lays the foundation to pursue intermediate and advanced education in these programs.
- Project Management Course: Students learn to successfully manage projects in this course. Course topics help students develop time management, prioritization, coordination, networking and resource allocation skills. Tools for defining and setting goals, fostering teamwork and leadership, managing risk and increasing productivity are also discussed.
- Professional Written Communications Course: This course focuses on the formatting and structure of professional written communications, including business letters and e-mails, memos, reports and plans. Students hone their proofreading skills through an overview of common spelling, grammar, usage and punctuation errors. The full writing process, including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising and editing is discussed.
- Interpersonal Communications Course: This course discusses effective and appropriate professional communication techniques when dealing with various audiences, including customers, coworkers, stakeholders, employers and the media. Students learn how to summarize, analyze and synthesize information. Focus is placed on developing listening skills, increasing assertiveness, providing positive and constructive feedback, dealing with conflict, and communicating in both informative and persuasive ways.
- Time Management and Stress Reduction Course: In this course students will learn effective methods for lowering stress levels and using work time efficiently and productively. The course will focus on establishing daily work habits and goal setting techniques.