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How to Prepare for an Administrative Assistant Career

Looking to get started with a career as an administrative assistant?   Unsure of how to get started and what it will take?  Here's a quick five point overview of the major steps involved in preparing for an administrative assistant career.   We've adapted these points from the article How to Become an Administrative Assistant from the site The Best Degrees.


1. Preparation for a career as an administrative assistant begins in high school. Taking courses like: keyboarding, psychology, mathematics, accounting, communications, business, and English give students with the professional goal of becoming administrative assistants a general education to base future vocational, trade, or college programs upon. Students who work summers and breaks within a business or organization may gain experience and an increased chance of acceptance for future training or degree programs.



2. Students who successfully complete high school or general education diploma programs can advance to two semester certificate training programs offered through various vocational or trade schools. Certificate training programs are accredited by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the National Association of Legal Secretaries Inc, Legal Secretaries International, Inc, and the International Virtual Assistants Association and offered at trade or vocational schools. Most certificate programs consist of courses in keyboarding, business communications, information systems, spreadsheets, applications, human relations, desktop publishing, general accounting, interpersonal skills, and introduction to power point. Students can gain entry level employment or further educational studies after completing certificate programs.



3. Students may also choose to pursue an associates degree in an administrative assistant training program to advance career goals. Courses in bookkeeping, transcription, website design, accounting, interpersonal skills, project management, computer technology, business communications technology, principles of finance, human relations in business, psychology, business mathematics, information systems management, and computer applications prepare students for employment as administrative assistants.



4. Licensing and certification programs are offered through the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the National Association of Legal Secretaries Inc, Legal Secretaries International, Inc, and the International Virtual Assistants Association. Certificate training programs often bolster a student's chances of gaining employment as administrative assistants after completing training programs.



5. Advancing to a higher administrative assistant degree training program is no longer an option as most colleges and universities have phased out of administrative assistant bachelor degree training programs. Individuals who would like to earn a higher degree, usually go on to major in business administration, accounting, information technology or other business based degree programs.

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