Technical schools and community colleges offer two-year associate's degree programs in office administration technology and information processing. Students in these programs will learn general office skills, such as basic accounting, business math, and communications. They will also become proficient in the use of office computer applications like word processing and spreadsheets. Additional courses or electives may lead to certificates or associate's degrees in specialized areas like legal or medical administrative assisting.
Associate in Administrative Information Processing
Students in an administrative information processing program learn to use office software in practical ways, such as creating a business presentation or managing data on a spreadsheet. They may also be required to complete core curriculum courses in English, social studies, mathematics and science. Course offerings may include:
- Business communications, transcription and dictation
- Spreadsheets, desktop publishing, word processing
- Records management
- Business presentations
Popular Career Options
The skills taught in this degree program are general, so graduates can get jobs in almost any office setting. Employment opportunities for graduates with this degree can be found in law firms, hospitals, government agencies, hotels, insurance companies, healthcare facilities and retail firms. Career options include:
- Administrative assistant
Job Prospects and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for receptionists will increase 10% from 2014-2024, with the most opportunities in the health care field (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that the mean annual pay for receptionists was $28,430 in 2015. Secretaries and administrative assistants can expect job growth of 3% from 2014-2024, estimated the BLS. The mean annual salary was $35,200 in 2015, per the BLS; this salary figure doesn't apply to secretaries or administrative assistants working as executive assistants, medical secretaries or legal secretaries.
Continuing Education and Certification
Graduates can take their associate's degrees to the next level by earning a bachelor's degree in business administration. They should check with their academic advisers to ensure that credits earned at the associate's level will transfer to the bachelor's degree.
Aspiring office workers can gain the general education and administrative skills they need for entry-level jobs by earning an associate's degree in administrative information processing.