New technologies continue to change the landscape for office administration personnel. Colleagues and clients from Oregon to Georgia can communicate quickly and efficiently like never before. In this changing environment, good office administrators who can adapt to rapidly improving technology while handling business document preparation, office procedures and etiquette, and interpersonal communications are more important than ever. Earning a degree in office administration might be just what you need to distinguish yourself in the pack of potential job candidates.
Are you considering earning a degree in office administration? Our list of the top 10 online colleges for office administration may just help you find a school that meets your educational goals. We considered a wide range of data to compile our list, including how many degrees were awarded in this subject out of all the degrees awarded at a school; admissions rate; and graduation rate.
We present our list of the top 10 online colleges for office administration. Visit our methodologies page to learn more about how we use official data to evaluate schools.
An office administration degree can open up a world of opportunity for graduates to assist a wide array of companies, from large corporations to small start-up businesses. Virtually every company needs someone to run their office or assist with administrative tasks, so graduates with this degree certainly keep their options open for finding a workplace that suits their interests best. There can be a lot of variety between office administration programs at different schools, but some of the courses and what they can teach you will be fairly similar from program to program.
An associate or bachelor's degree program in office administration is meant to cover integral coursework in the fields of technology, business, the humanities and more. These programs are typically structured to combine written and spoken communication skills with technical know-how in order to best prepare students for careers as executive assistants, office managers, and the like. The most common courses required during this degree include:
For programs with a concentration that focuses specifically on medical office administration, students should also expect to encounter courses such as medical terminology, medical billing and coding, and other healthcare practices.
Typically, office administration programs comprise two years of work leading to an associate degree, or sometimes even less time, simply leading to a certificate. A few bachelor's degree programs are offered in office administration, but graduate-level degrees are quite rare.
Throughout their coursework, students should find themselves honing a wide range of skills to assist them in an office-centric workplace. Great communication skills for both internal and external correspondence are key, since office administrators often dabble in customer service as well as human resources issues within their company. Graduates should also be familiar with budgeting, records management, office systems, data entry, desktop publishing and, of course, specific computer software such as the suite of Microsoft Office programs.
While the aforementioned skills are generally listed and provided through direct instruction during a course, there are other, more passive skills that students should be working to improve during their school careers. Understanding how to manage time efficiently, provide leadership to others, pay attention to fine details, and make fast-paced decisions is all critical to excelling in this field, as much as understanding how to use Microsoft Office. However, since these skills are not directly taught by courses, they can be easy to forget in the light of assignments and coursework. Don't let this happen: pay attention to time management and detail orientation while you write your papers and take your tests, and hone your leadership and decision-making skills through groupwork and communication with your fellow students!
The front office of an organization is the domain of the office manager, who may also oversee other key areas, like the mailroom or the lobby. Office managers need some know-how about the computers, phones and even networked systems of a department, and definitely a clear and deep understanding of the office copy machine and mail processes.
Office manager careers could include interesting or even intriguing aspects, like designing the layout of a department, ordering ergonomic office equipment or being the point person for department-wide projects. Communication, organization and initiative are essential skills as are good time management and leadership abilities.
A bachelor's degree is commonly required for the job, as is at least two years of professional office experience.
Ever wanted to be the person to take and type up notes from a meeting? How about the one to share important and timely news with the chief executive officer? Executive assistant careers can be exciting, and vary broadly in setting, meaning there is room for movement. Careers could land people in a field like business, finance, health care, technology or even turnkey real estate.
With the world becoming more automated, information skills are a must, and executive assistants need to be up-to-date in programs like Outlook, Excel, Word, or their similar counterparts. They may even want to have the latest apps on their phones to be able to communicate succinctly with their bosses or team members. Executive assistants usually build their skills on-the-job, but prior experience and a post-secondary degree could lead to improved opportunities.
Customer service representatives, desktop publishers, information clerks, even police dispatchers — all of these occupations are considered administrative support worker careers and the range of their titles shows how extremely diverse the field is. No job is one and the same, but what they all have in common in this field is the need for strong communication skills, patience and the ability to problem solve.
Office and administrative support workers careers are typically 9-to-5, but in the case of some occupations, like emergency dispatchers, swing or graveyard shifts may be available. A high school diploma is usually a requirement for a position, but often employees fine-tune their skills on the job. Those with a degree may find that they have a head start when competing for positions.
Scheduling meetings, transferring important calls, keeping an eye on what's important for the boss — or the bosses — are the everyday responsibilities of a secretary. Secretary careers can be both interesting and challenging. Of utmost important is the ability to communicate well with others, including those in upper-level management as well as departmental employees.
Secretarial tasks could entail typing up memos, sending out emails for the boss and distributing important notices. While secretarial careers do not typically require a college education, individuals who have completed some college coursework or earned an associate or bachelor's degree may be able to attract some of the better opportunities.