Associate's degree programs in computer applications, administrative assistant and office technology prepare students for entry-level secretarial, administrative assistant or office management positions. Specialization options include general office assistant, executive assistant, professional billing and coding and medical office assistant. At some schools, real-world internships are available. Applicants to these two-year programs must have a high school diploma or GED.
Associate's Degrees in Computer Office Assistance
The curriculum includes courses that help students develop their knowledge of information technology (IT) and its use in the workplace. Students learn keyboarding, electronic office record management, accounting and business management. They also become proficient with office equipment and common computer software, like Microsoft Word and Excel. Course topics may include:
- Business terminology
- Spreadsheet analysis
- Word processing
- Computer presentations
- Administrative document formatting
- Computerized and payroll accounting
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that secretaries and administrative assistants were projected to see 7% decline in jobs between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). Individuals with the most knowledge of computer applications typically see the best employment opportunities, according to the Bureau. The BLS also reported that secretaries and administrative assistants, excluding those in medical, legal and executive positions, earned a median annual wage of $36,630 as of May 2018. Executive assistants and secretaries made a median salary of $59,340 in the same year.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates may choose to find immediate employment in office assistant-related fields or advance their training. Individuals who have experience within an organization and are familiar with the inner workings of the company may find advancement opportunities. Secretaries may advance to become word processors, data entry trainers or managers, while administrative assistants may become office managers, executive secretaries or clerical supervisors. They may also pursue bachelor's degrees in business administration or related fields.
In addition to training and work experience, office assistants may obtain professional certification to enhance their employment opportunities. Certification may be obtained through associations such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals, Legal Secretaries International, Inc. or National Association of Legal Secretaries.
If you want to become an office assistant or secretary, there are several associate's degree programs that help students develop the necessary administrative and technological skills.