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Associate of Business (A.B.) Degree in Office Administration

Majors Overview May 17, 2013

Students enrolled in an associate degree program in office administration are trained to handle travel arrangements, managing electronic files, and planning schedules and appointments, among other functions. Those who graduate from these programs can seek employment in administrative assistant positions with various institutions including nonprofit organizations, businesses and government agencies.

Associate Degree Program in Office Administration

Students are educated in administrative procedures, records management, human relations and business operations. The analytical, communication, organizational and critical-thinking skills of students are developed by coursework that focuses on issues related to managing a single office such as legal firm or medical clinic. Broad instruction on business office administration is provided by some programs. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. While business management is the primary focus of many Associate of Business degree programs, graduates may need overlapping education to be able to manage a business office. Associate of Business Administration (A.B.A.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate of science (A.S.) are other office management degree titles offered at various colleges and universities.

Program Coursework

Courses teach students general accounting and business skills, business networking, data management, and office software. Some colleges and universities offer courses that delve into principles of records management, human resources, or desktop publishing. Students will learn how to manipulate graphic presentation software, word processing, and spreadsheet. Along with basic educational requirements, students may complete courses in:

•Administrative systems
•Personal management
•Business communication
•Database management

Career Options

Associate degree program graduates will gain the technical expertise to draft reports and documents, purchase supplies, and negotiate with vendors, as well as becoming familiar with office organization. Graduates will be able to work in healthcare, retail, government, education, and other service –providing industries. Individuals may obtain the following job titles:

•Legal secretary
•Medical secretary
•Office manager
•Executive secretary
•Administrative secretary

Certification and Continuing Education

The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP – offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) examination that can be taken by individuals graduating from an office administration degree program. The exam requires interested candidates to have three years of work experience in an administrative position apart from holding an associate’s degree. There are several sections in the written exam; these include records management, organization and communication. Job qualifications and wages are likely to improve with CAP certification (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – A bachelor’s degree program in office administration could be completed by administrative assistants who want to continue their education.

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