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Online Administrative Assistant Certification and Certificate Info

Get info about online administrative assistant certification and certificates. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

There are many online programs for administrative assistants, but associate's degree programs are probably the most common. Many of the programs allow students to take all courses and complete tests and assignments over the internet, while others require students to take a few courses on campus. Students may need to be present for proctored testing for some programs as well. Associate's degrees can usually be completed in fewer than two years of full-time study.

Courses in an administrative assistant degree program teach students general office skills. Students learn to use office equipment and practice using common software, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. This means they must have computers equipped with these programs. Business communication, filing and scheduling are also covered.

Graduates of these programs can seek professional certifications that may make them more employable. Companies such as Microsoft offer certifications that show proficiency in the use of their products. Students must pass exams to earn certification.

Administrative Assistant Associate Degree

Graduates of an online administrative assisting associate degree become proficient in word processing, editing documents, answering phones, keeping track of schedules, working with customers and keeping records of transactions. Some programs incorporate a Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, wherein the student becomes proficient in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Word.

There are many training courses available online for aspiring administrative assistants. The majority are associate degree programs, but there are a small amount of diploma and certificate programs available. This article focuses on general administrative assistants, such as business and office associates.

Program Information and Requirements

Online administrative assistant associate degree programs are most often between approximately 65 and 115 credit-hours and usually take 1-2 years to complete. Some programs combine online coursework with on-campus work, where students need to spend a specific amount of hours per week attending classes at the respective college. Other programs are offered entirely online and can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Some schools work with libraries and other institutions to make supervised testing available to online students. If the prospective students have previous secretarial or other related experience, some programs offer an accelerated pathway.

Students participating in online administrative assistant studies must have adequate connection to the internet. Some programs require the student to purchase books, while others provide all the necessary information online.

Administrative Assistant Courses

The programs combine general education courses with the core curriculum of administrative subjects, such as keyboarding and business law. Students learn about using the Internet, creating word documents and specific office procedures, all designed to increase production and efficiency.

Presenting Business Data

This program trains the student to use Microsoft Powerpoint, a presentation software program. Students create presentations using graphics, images and sound. Slideshows are created and submitted for evaluation. Some schools have this course on campus, wherein the students presents the slideshow to the class.

Skills in Keyboarding

The goal of the program is designed to give the student speed and accuracy when typing. Students also learn how to format documents to make things like envelopes and labels for mailing. The course also requires students to proofread the typed documents.

Processing Word Documents

This program focuses on formatting documents, often in Microsoft Word. Students will learn how to enter text, spellcheck and edit text. In addition, students gain skills using the terminology and seeking help online.


Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2014 and 2024 the number of secretaries and administrative assistants nationwide is expected to increase by 3%. The same source states that the median salary for these professionals is approximately $36,500 per year as of May 2015. Candidates for the position of administrative assistant are more likely to gain employment with a working knowledge of software and good computer and communication skills. Industries employing graduates of this type of degree include education, construction, technical and professional business fields.

Continuing Education Information

Students wishing to advance their working knowledge and prospective career outlook can enroll in a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Programs are available on campus as well as online at various schools.

Online administrative assistant associate programs prepare students for the field, as they learn general office skills and how to operate various computer software. Students may need to be on campus for proctored testing.

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