Online Courses for Aspiring Executive Assistants
The following overviews describe some commonly offered online courses for aspiring executive assistants.
- Introduction to Customer Service Course: This course focuses on the basic skills necessary for effective customer service. Emphasis is given to proper responses to customer requests, conflict resolution and basic negotiation skills. Students may participate in role-play sessions and labs that offer real-life experiences in an office environment.
- Introductory Keyboarding Course: Students with limited touch-typing skills have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with computer-aided typing while developing proper keyboarding skills and increasing speed and accuracy. Classes may also introduce fundamental word processing techniques for preparing letters, reports and presentations. This course is recommended at the start of a program.
- Word Processing Applications Course: Instructors introduce students to the current software applications and methods used to enter, design, revise and print office documents, such as letters, contracts, reports and presentations. Classes begin with advanced word processing skills, including the use of templates, macros and mail-merge functions. Students often produce a portfolio of their work as a final project.
- Spreadsheet Applications Course: This introductory course on spreadsheet and chart preparation focuses on Microsoft Office Excel software. Classes cover beginning through advanced Excel functions, including graph analysis, hotkeys and formulas. Students learn typical financial terminology while creating, formatting and editing business spreadsheets and graphs.
- Effective Business Communications Course: Students learn to communicate well in business situations. They train in the art of effective oral and written messages, including e-mail, memos, letters and reports. Students may be asked to prepare individual and group oral presentations. Prerequisites to this course may include introductory word processing and keyboarding classes.
- Professional Office Skills Course: This course presents techniques useful for developing a professional image and the people, time management and communication skills essential for successful office administration and support. Topics may include proper business attire, business ethics, conflict management and organizational dynamics. The course may be offered in the latter portion of an office administration certificate program.
- Office Management Course: In this course, students learn basic management skills for an office setting. Coursework may include staff recruitment and retention best practices, employee motivation techniques, and an overview of laws that apply to office management and personnel.
- Project Management Course: This course breaks down the basics of project management at every step of the process, including planning and calendaring, cost estimation and event planning. Students are also trained to look for ways to minimize risk and maximize work efficiency.
- Finance Course: In this course, students are trained to read and interpret financial statements, and to use the information to assess an organization's financial strengths and weaknesses. Other topics of study include accounting, budget preparation and financial ratios.
Executive assistant classes are offered online through certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs in office administration. Students learn about customer service, handling correspondence, preparing documents and managing filing systems, and some programs require students to complete a final project.
Most online executive assistant courses require that students have basic computer skills and resources such as current word processing and spreadsheet programs. Additional software may be required by some courses.
Within certificate, diploma and undergraduate degree programs in office administration, aspiring executive assistants can get the basic business and technological training they need for career success.