Online degree programs in office administration prepare students for a versatile career, since office administrators are needed in many job sectors, including education, business, government, law and healthcare. Programs are found under various titles, such as administrative office management and office systems technology. Depending on the school, graduates earn an Associate in Business, Associate in Applied Science or Associate in Science degree.
Associate's degree programs in office administration are offered by many schools. They teach students the skills they need to oversee the management of a business office. All courses in these programs are available online. Some programs do require an externship, which is a period spent working under supervision in an office.
Associate's Degrees in Office Administration
Office administrators coordinate diverse aspects of business operations, such as scheduling meetings, processing mail and maintaining files. Multitasking is an important aspect to the job, as well as having leadership skills to implement office operations. An online associate's degree in office administration trains students in these areas and more, including decision-making, information technology and systems, organization, project management, communications and human resources. Some online degree programs are geared toward a particular profession; the most common specialty program is medical office administration, but law office administration is also available.
Program Information and Requirements
Many office administration programs can be taken completely online and completed within two years. Courses may be taught via telecourse, videoconferencing or online. Some programs require the tests be taken in-person at a local library or college. Programs are open to entry-level and experienced office workers alike. A basic familiarity with computers and keyboarding is expected of students, although classes in both are part of the curriculum.
Students need access to a computer with Internet, e-mail and a CD-RW/DVD combo drive. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be necessary, along with downloadable software such as RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. Many schools use a course management system like Blackboard or a distance-learning software, and they allow students to communicate with their instructors and access course materials.
Office Administration Courses
Students access classes online and gain hands-on training with office software and technology. Required courses may also include general education, such as math, art and social science.
Students learn the touch system and focus on increasing accuracy and speed. Online tests and exercises help identify and correct areas of difficulty.
Topics of study in this class include computer hardware and software, electronic records, multimedia and the Internet. Students learn how to purchase and use equipment and troubleshoot problems.
Security and accessibility of records is a key component in today's office environment. Methods of organization for various forms of recordkeeping media are covered, along with set-up, protection and maintenance of files.
Students explore the human relations aspects of administration. An image of professionalism is examined through the lens of etiquette, appearance, multicultural awareness and interpersonal skills. Students also learn how to support the professional growth of employees.
The course covers the direction of procedures involved in office management. Travel planning, scheduling, telephone practices and protocols, ergonomic safety and event planning are some of the topics included.
Jobs for administrative service managers were expected to increase at a rate of about 8% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Job titles include, but aren't limited to, clerical supervisor, data administrator, office manager and administrative assistant. Individuals with excellent communication and leadership skills, as well as the ability to stay current on advances in technology, have the competitive edge needed to succeed in this career. The BLS reported that the median wage for secretaries and administrative assistants in May 2015 was $36,500.
Many office administration certificates are available, particularly in specialized areas, such as medical transcription, legal receptionist and office software specialist. Certificate programs can be found online and on campus. The International Association of Administrative Professionals is one of many organizations that provide certification and testing in office skills proficiency.
Associate's degree programs that prepare individuals to become office administrators are available entirely online and focus on teaching students key skills in information technology, keyboarding and professionalism, among other things.