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Associate of Occupational Science (AOS) Degree: Office Information

Majors Overview May 5, 2013

AOS degree is typically not offered in office information. Students who are interested in this type of degree should consider an Associate of Applied Business (AAB) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Office Information Technology, which covers similar information and concepts.

Associate Degree in Office Information Technology

The focus of associate degree programs in office information technology is on the use of advanced technology such as computers in an office setting. Students will learn how to use office technology to help make an office run more effectively and efficiently. Depending on the degree programs, some will have an option for a medical office or paralegal specialization, while other programs have a general business concentration, which may be applicable to any office environment. The majority of degree programs do not have any admission requirements beyond expecting students to have a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Students will study business concepts in an office information technology program. Specific topics related to medical or legal offices will be taught to students, if the degree program offers specialization options. Depending on the degree programs, students may gain hands-on experience through the internship program where they will work at an actual office environment. Program coursework may include the following topics:

•Computer operating systems
•Office management
•Business ethics
•Desktop publishing
•Word processing

Career Options

Individuals who have graduated from an associate degree program in office information technology will be prepared for entry-level positions within offices in different industries. Students who specialized in medical or paralegal may work in these professional environments. Individuals may obtain the following career titles:

•Clerical specialist
•Medical office assistant
•Office manager
•Billing specialist
•Legal assistant

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Depending on the situation, students who have earned their associate degree will not be required to pursue continuing education or obtain certification for advancement in this career field. Typically, individuals will advance within their organization through increased responsibilities and job performance. However, there are cases where individuals should consider furthering their education, if they would like to advance into positions that involve more than clerical duties. Those who want to go from a legal secretary to a paralegal will be required to earn an associate degree in paralegal studies.

While certification is not mandatory, it could help individuals rise within their career field and improve their employment opportunities. Such certification could include Certified Legal Assistant and Certified Professional Secretary. Professional organizations relevant to a field or industry, such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals and National Association of Legal Assistants, offer these certifications.

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