Administrative assistants are invaluable members of the office team. They are charged with overseeing and coordinating the day to day operations of a business. Their tasks include everything from clerical duties to management responsibilities. The specific duties of an administrative assistant depend on their place of employment, but are alway centered around keeping the office running smoothly and on-schedule.
In the past it was possible to gain an entry-level administrative assistant position without any prior experience. However, current offices prefer to hire administrative assistants that have some type of formal training due to the expanded role of the secretary in the office. The skills required of an administrative assistant have diversified thanks to the advent of communication technology. Modern administrative assistants often complete tasks once reserved for upper management, such as preparing reports and generating spreadsheets. These tasks require a solid education in all aspects of the secretarial profession.
Launching a successful career as an administrative assistant isn’t difficult. Individuals most likely to succeed in the field must possess a few particular qualities. Excellent organizational skills are probably the most important asset an administrative assistant can have. The ability to multitask and juggle several different instructions at one time is also essential. Other qualities include great communication skills, a polished appearance, and good interpersonal instincts.
There are several avenues available to individuals interested in completing training in administrative assisting. The most common route is attending a community college or vocational school with a program resulting in an administrative assisting certificate. These programs can take as little as one semester to complete. Seminars and online programs of varying duration are also available. These programs will cover a variety of subjects related to the profession. Typical courses include oral communication, word processing, typing, dictation, transcription, grammar, and other clerical skills. It is important that administrative assistants have a good grasp on phone decorum and business communication, such as letter-writing and interviewing techniques.
Communication technology plays a large part in the modern office. Many administrative assisting programs include classes aimed at increasing computer capability. Keyboarding, e-mail, Internet research, PowerPoint presentation creation, database management, data storage, and data retrieval are common subjects. Certain programs may include classes centered around software used in offices, such as Microsoft Excel, Outlook, and Word.
Individuals interested in pursuing medical administrative assisting or legal assisting will have to attend programs aimed specifically at those fields. Required classes include medical and legal terminology, ethics, and proceedings. Executive administrative assistants usually have a 4-year degree in addition to administrative training.
Administrative assistants can choose to become certified by the International Association of Administrative Professionals. There are several different levels of certification available for administrative assistants of all experience levels. The most prominent certifications are the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) credentials. These certifications can be earned by meeting educational requirements and passing an examination. Although certification is not mandatory, earning a credential demonstrates commitment to the profession, a high standard of work, and excellent experience.
Top Administrative Assistant Schools
Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
At Keiser University, you will find a warm, friendly community with faculty and staff truly committed to your success. Our small class sizes, individualized attention, and one-class-at-a-time schedules create a positive learning environment where you can excel. Whether your goal is to prepare for a new career or to advance with your current employer, Keiser University is designed around your needs.
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Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.