Data Entry Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Training for data entry workers is accomplished through on-the-job training or formal training programs, which are often offered at 2-year colleges. Relevant programs can lead to either a certificate or an associate's degree.

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Data entry workers input data using microcomputers, work on various office machines and perform administrative duties as required. Students can find some programs specifically in data entry, or they can enroll in a broader business or office technology program.

Schools with Data Entry Programs

These schools offer training in data entry at the undergraduate level:

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Offered Tuition and Fees, In-State (2015-2016)*
Riverside Community College Riverside, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,426
American River College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Associate's $1,104
Santa Monica College Santa Monica, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,136
Mt. San Antonio College Walnut, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,348
Sacramento City College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,104
De Anza College Cupertino, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,542
Fresno City College Fresno, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,194

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for data entry schools:

  • Students may want to look for programs that teach business communications and office procedures, or they might look for courses in medical terminology if going into the medical field.
  • Students should find out which software programs are covered, such as Entrypoint, Viking Software Solutions and/or Unibase, to ensure that the program provides sufficient training for their career of interest.
  • It can help to find out about the extent to which typing is emphasized in the program, since this skill is critical for data entry workers. Some programs only include basic courses, while others also offer intermediate and advanced studies.
  • Students who are considering certificate programs may want to find out if credits are transferable to associate's degrees. Similarly, prospective associate's degree students may want to find out if credits can be applied to bachelor's degrees in business at four-year universities.

Certificate Programs

There are only a few schools that offer certificates specifically in data entry, but students may also find similar programs available in business or office technology. Students generally take one or more keyboarding courses, and they may be introduced to specific software packages. Other possible topics of study include basic accounting and computer or information literacy. In total, undergraduate certificate programs take one year or less to complete.

Associate's Degree Programs

At the associate's degree level, business and office technology programs provide a more extensive background for aspiring office workers and administrative assistants. Students get a broader background through general education requirements, and they may also prepare for specific professional certification exams, such as the Microsoft Office Specialist designation, which can help improve job prospects. Some of these programs are available entirely online.

Programs in data entry typically cover computer literacy and administrative duties. Students can earn either an undergraduate certificate or an associate's degree in order to prepare for entry-level jobs in this field.

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