Students who want to become computer office assistants can earn an associate's degree in office technology or computer information technology with an administrative assistant concentration. Alternatively, they can earn an associate's degree in computer applications and office technology. All of these programs can provide individuals with the skills and abilities required to work in office settings where proficiency with computer software is necessary. Alongside coursework, students might have cooperative education or internship opportunities that provide them with hands-on training. An applicant must have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in one of these two-year programs, which are usually offered by community colleges and technical schools.
Associate's Degree in Computer Office Assistant Technology
Students can learn about integrated office software, management information systems, accounting and data entry, keyboarding word processing, business law fundamentals and priority management. They also develop the software troubleshooting, communication and interpersonal skills that prove invaluable in business office settings. Required classes may include the study of subjects and software programs such as:
- Desktop publishing
- Keyboarding and document processing
- Windows-based computer applications
- Office machines
- Records and information management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), secretaries and administrative assistants in general were expected to see 3% growth in employment from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the BLS stated that secretaries working outside of medical, legal and executive specializations earned a median annual salary of $33,910. Executive administrative assistants were expected to see an employment decrease of 6% from 2014-2024, and in May 2015, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $53,370, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates can join the workforce immediately after completing their program or may pursue further training and certifications. Advancements in this profession typically result from work experience and professional certifications, which are offered through several organizations.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) and the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS) and Legal Secretaries International Inc. all offer certification to eligible candidates who pass their certification examinations. Office assistants working in the legal field may choose to obtain further training and become paralegals.
If you want to work as a secretary, there are multiple associate's degree programs that can help you build the office skills and technological expertise you need for a successful career.