Online associate degree programs in administrative assistance are ideal for people who like to assist and support businesses and individuals in everyday tasks, important errands, group projects, and projected goals. Administrative assistants function in many different capacities, often being employed as secretaries, executive assistants, personal assistants, and accounting assistants in departments like human resources and accounting. A typical associate degree program in administrative assistance, sometimes referred to as an associate degree in secretarial science, will cover an array of important topics in business and human resources, such as basic accounting, business management, bookkeeping, customer service, conflict resolution, and business ethics. Students will also take general liberal arts classes like corporate finance, economics, public relations, computer science, and sociology during their course studies. Administrative assistants must be skilled in working with others, handling a multitude of tasks and projects, paying attention to detail, and being a dependable, efficient workers.
Why an Associate Degree?
Even though it is feasible and quite common to work as an administrative assistant without a college degree, it is rather challenging to move up the professional ladder without some higher education knowledge about businesses, computers, accounting processes, and human resources. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrative assistants need to acquire computer skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and writing skills in order to succeed, thrive, and grow in their careers. The BLS also reports that those who desire to work for specialized companies, such as medical offices and legal practices, are often required to attend colleges and vocational-technical schools that offer instruction in these specific areas. A degree also gives you a competitive edge when competing for a job position in the field.
Getting Into an Associate Degree Program
Acceptance into the degree program of your choice will depend largely on your application materials, which help schools determine whether or not you’d be a valid candidate for their program. Some of the basic qualifications schools require upon application include:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
- Desired SAT or ACT scores
Inside an Administrative Assistance Associate Degree Program
Most associate degree programs can be completed within two years, assuming the student is attending at a full-time status and isn’t on an accelerated track. As with any program, the first semester to a year are comprised of introductory courses and core liberal arts classes. As they progress further into their degree plan, students take courses more relevant to the topic of administrative assistance. For example, they will take courses in accounting, business management, organizational psychology, writing, and human resources.
Some students complete their associate degree while simultaneously working a day job or taking care of other priorities. This is made possible with online colleges, offering a means to earn your degree remotely. While online colleges provide substantially more flexibility in terms of when and where you can access course material, they also require the student to be more self-disciplined to complete coursework at an acceptable pace. Course materials take the shape of online videos, podcasts, slideshows, and PDF notes.
What’s Next for Administrative Assistance Associate Degree Holders?
In the field of administrative assistance, associate degree holders may qualify for a handful of mid and higher-level administrative assistance jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an administrative assistant’s salary greatly depends on the company they work for and their experience level. For example, executive secretaries make around $43,520, legal secretaries receive about $41,500, and medical secretaries make around $30,530. The BLS also reports that employment for administrative assistants is expected to grow by 14% from 2010 to 2020.
Many individuals decide to work towards a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field after completing their associate degree in order to expand job prospects and the opportunity for career growth. Since administrative assistants must learn a number of essential human resources skills, it can be useful to acquire a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in human resources in addition to an associate degree in administrative assistance. Some technical schools also allow students to take a handful of classes online in order to acquire certain specialties in administrative assistance.