Executive administrative assistants perform a full range of office tasks, including filing and data entry, event planning, scheduling, answering correspondence and much more. Most coursework required for an executive administrative assistant associate's degree is offered in a traditional lecture format in classroom settings, but degree candidates also spend time in a computer lab, where they become familiar with a range of office software programs. Degrees typically take 2 years to complete, and some are available online.
Some programs also feature an office simulation laboratory, where students can sharpen their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Many programs feature a 1- or 2-semester internship, providing valuable professional experience. The degree is most commonly offered as an Associate of Applied Science. Programs can be found both online and on campus and can usually be completed in two years or less. Professional certification can be earned by passing a multiple-part exam. To be considered for admission, students should have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Executive Administrative Assistant Degree
Individuals applying to an executive administrative assistant degree program submit high school transcripts or their equivalent. Other requirements may include letters of recommendation and an admissions essay. Standardized test scores are less frequently required but may be needed, particularly if the program is offered at a 4-year institution.
The most effective executive administrative assistant is a well-rounded individual with a broad range of knowledge and experience. Towards that end, these programs often feature some liberal arts requirements, such as history or social science courses, in addition to core administrative curricula. Several sample course titles include:
- Public speaking
- Computer applications
- Information management
- Event planning
- Project coordination
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for executive secretaries and administrative assistants were expected to decline by 20% between 2018 and 2028. Job opportunities should be greatest for individuals with extensive knowledge of computer systems, applications and software. The mean yearly salary for this position was $61,550 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
While bachelor's degree programs for executive administrative assistants are rare, there are plenty of educational options for students wishing to continue their education. Majors such as business, information systems or communications may provide a greater range of employment or advancement opportunities.
As an executive administrative assistant's responsibilities advance from clerical to managerial, many individuals find it advantageous to seek professional certification. The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) offers a Certified Administrative Professional certification. The certification process consists of a 4-part exam, covering all aspects of administrative tasks and responsibilities.
Executive administrative assistants can learn many of the required skills for success in their field in associate degree programs. In addition to holding a degree in this practical field, earning professional certification will increase an individual's chances of landing a job in an office setting.