Online certificate programs for executive assistants allow students to gain the skills needed to become executive assistants. Certification is provided by a variety of administrative assistant associations.
Online certificate and postsecondary diploma programs in either executive administrative assisting or in administrative assisting generally are relatively common. These programs require specific software like Microsoft Office Suite, and students may complete test at a proctored facility. While some programs may be available fully online, hybrid programs, which combine on-campus requirements with online lectures, are also available.
Certificate in Executive Assistant
Online executive assistant certificate programs may be geared towards students who are just starting out in their careers as well as established professional looking to advance their skills. Students learn to work with a variety of software programs. Students become skilled in office administration, bookkeeping, scheduling and event planning. Executive assistant programs may be completed in one year or less. No particular prerequisites are required, but students should enjoy working with computers and interacting with the public.
In order to take an online executive assistant certificate program, students must have or have access to the most common software used in the business community. Most businesses use the Microsoft Office Suite of software program, which includes Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher.
Since executive assistants are required to type quickly and accurately, timed tests are often used to test the students' skill and progress levels. Most online executive assistant certificate programs are hybrid programs. Hybrid programs permit students to take some or all of their courses online but require them to visit the campus or an outreach center for additional instruction or testing.
In addition to having an up-to-date computer, students should have a high-speed Internet connection. Students may also be required to have web cameras, microphones, or other equipment to facilitate virtual classroom instruction.
Executive Assistant Courses
Students enrolled in an online certificate in executive assistant program learn to perform required office tasks, such as typing, transcribing dictation, arranging meetings and filing. Some executive assistants also make travel arrangements and are responsible for payroll or other accounting or bookkeeping procedures.
This online course is designed to enhance students' speaking and writing skills with regard to the business world.
Executive Assistants Practicum
Students enrolled in this comprehensive online course learn to work as part of a team to complete a project or event.
Management for Administrative Assistants
This online management course for executive assistants trains students to orchestrate resources, staff personnel and strategies to meet corporate goals.
Executive Assistants Interviewing
Students enrolled in an online interviewing course learn to prepare job descriptions, review resumes and conduct interviews.
This online computer course allows students to become proficient in database management, word processing and spreadsheet preparation.
According to the BLS (www.bls.gov), job opportunities for executive secretaries are expected to decrease 20% from 2018-2028. Some executive assistant certificate program graduates may specialize in legal or medical administration. Legal secretaries are expected to see a decline in employment of 21%, from 2018-2028, at which time medical secretaries are expected to experience much faster-than-average job growth, at 16%. As of May 2018, the bureau reported the median annual wage for executive assistants at $59,340.
Continuing Education Information
Continuing education courses are provided for executive assistants through the Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals and through the International Association of Administration Professionals (IAAP). The IAAP administers certification exams for Certified Professional Secretary and Certified Administrative Professional designations. In addition, students who have earned an online certificate in executive assistant may wish to enroll in a business management or managerial accounting bachelor's degree program for further career possibilities.
The BLS reports that professional certification - not to be confused with an educational certificate program - is not required for a career as an administrative assistant, but may help demonstrate competency to potential employers. Legal secretaries, for example, may earn either the Accredited Legal Secretary or the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist credentials.
For students hoping to set themselves apart in their hunt for executive assistant jobs, achieving a certificate in the area may help. Online certificate and diploma programs in executive administrative assisting help students develop specific skills in organization, communication and computers that will be necessary for success in this field.