Career Summary

Administrative Assistants provide a full range of administrative support to an individual or multiple managers. Their responsibilities may include preparing and proofreading letters, documents, and correspondences, maintaining calendar, screening telephone calls and relaying incoming messages, generating spreadsheet reports, coordinating travel and meeting arrangements. Sometimes they are expected to handle sensitive information and complete independent project assignments. In sum, their primary function is to promote smooth workflow and ensure that the management demands are met. Customarily, the Administrative Assistant position requires at least a High School Diploma but completion of a college program or technical degree is preferred. Depending on the field, knowledge of specific terminology is highly desired. Ideal candidates should be well versed in general office procedures and possess exceptional verbal and written communication skills. The capacity to multi-task, interact with all levels of management, enjoy a team environment, meet deadlines, and work under a minimal level of supervision is also essential. Employers look for candidates with advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office applications (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and the ability to operate automated office technology (i.e. Dictaphone, copier, fax machine). Career opportunities for administrative professionals have been expanding. Their broad-ranging skills can serve as a springboard into related fields of project management, events planning, marketing and public relations.

Program Description

The Administrative Assistant certificate prepares students for employment in an office setting performing clerical job duties, such as word-processing business correspondence, operating office equipment, micro-computer operation, scheduling appointments, coordinating and overseeing office functions. The coursework is comprised of traditional business concepts which encompass accounting principles, human relations as they apply to the business environment, general office procedures, written business communications, management speaking techniques, and Microsoft Office applications. Special emphasis is placed on providing comprehensive instruction in the structure, mechanics, and strategies of technical writing, as well as oral communications. Students will focus on the development and proper use of English vocabulary, both general and specialized, critical thinking and composition skills, effective speaking and interviewing techniques.

Key Skills and Characteristics

  • Thorough knowledge of the administrative procedures and tools required to support an individual or group.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Expertise in Microsoft Office applications.
  • Demonstrated diplomacy in dealings with others.
  • Attention to detail and exceptional organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to adapt to a fast-paced environment.
  • Work efficiently under pressure, juggle tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Capacity to prioritize multiple projects and adjust workload accordingly.
  • Problem solving and judgment capabilities.
  • Willingness to learn and adapt to new responsibilities.

Related Career Titles

Office Manager  *Executive Secretary  *Legal Secretary  *Information Technician  *Human Resources Assistant  *Administrative Services Manager  *Legal Assistant

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Last updated: 11/29/2009 6:18:46 PM