Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in administrative support technology prepare students for entry-level office work and business support positions. Specialization options include business hardware and software applications, keyboarding, business spreadsheets and business documentation. In addition to courses, students complete labs that give them experience with industry software.
While a high school diploma is sometimes sufficient to get a job in this field, some employers give preference to applicants with postsecondary education. Students can apply to one of these two-year programs, which are offered by community and technical colleges, if they have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some programs are offered online.
AAS in Administrative Support
The curriculum of these programs combines courses in business-related subjects, including computer science, accounting and economics. Students gain the technical skills required to handle a variety of clerical and administrative tasks within an office, as well as interpersonal, leadership and professional skills. Most courses are delivered in a classroom environment, but some, such as keyboarding, take place in a laboratory setting. Possible course topics include:
- Business math
- Human relations and business communication
- Database management
- Word processing
- Office administration
- Medical and legal office procedures
Popular Career Options
While students are prepared for entry-level positions in office environments upon graduation from this program, individuals already working in a business office position may qualify for advancement. Possible job titles that graduates may secure include:
- Administrative assistant
- Office service specialist
- Office clerk
- Executive secretary
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment opportunities for secretary and administrative assistant are project to grow 3%, which is slower than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Wages vary by type of assistant or secretary. The BLS reported in May 2015 that secretaries and administrative assistants (excluding legal, medical and executive professionals) earned a median annual salary of $33,910, and executive secretaries and administrative assistants earned a median annual salary of $53,370. From 2014 to 2024, employment for general office clerks is expected to grow 3%, which is slower than average, and the median annual salary for these clerks was $29,580 in May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of associate degree programs may consider advancing their education in other business-related programs. Individuals can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in business, business administration, finance, accounting, marketing, business operations or business management.
With an AAS in Administrative Support Technology, graduates are competitive applicants for entry-level office jobs. Those who aspire to higher-level positions in business may consider continuing their education by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program in the field.