Behind every great executive is an administrative executive assistant. This position is an integral role, and it can also be a fulfilling and challenging role for the right kind of candidate. If you are exceptionally organized, you enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle and you are eager to impress, then you have all the makings of a fantastic executive administrative assistant. Securing this position starts, in many cases, with earning the right degree.
Use this guide to answer all of your questions about the right degree for this career, what the curriculum entails, the prerequisites, what administrative executive assistants do and so much more.
What Do Administrative Executive Assistants Do?
If you are thinking seriously about pursuing this career, then it is incredibly important that you have a realistic expectation of the role and its daily tasks. The primary function of an administrative executive assistant is to support a business executive in any way possible. In some cases, this could include conducting research or preparing reports to summarize important case studies and findings so that an executive can quickly sort through the most important information.
Other times, it may involve determining who is allowed to gain access to a busy executive by phone, email or even in person. In this way, an administrative executive assistant is a kind of gatekeeper for high-powered executives. However, much of what can be included in a typical day for an administrative executive assistant will be administrative in nature.
This could mean answering phones, filing important documents, responding to correspondence, running errands or even booking travel for business meetings and conventions. Typically, administrative executive assistants work office hours in an office immediately next to the executive, but longer hours or some travel may be necessary depending on the job.
What Degrees are Necessary to Begin This Career?
Becoming an administrative assistant or a secretary may be possible even if you don’t have a college degree. To secure a position as an administrative executive assistant, however, will often require a bachelor’s degree.
This is a way to ensure that any potential applications have a strong command of the written language, can understand broad concepts and have the ability to commit to a big goal and then follow through. For this reason, it is not always mandatory that assistants have any one particular degree. However, there is no question that holding a bachelor’s degree in a subject like business administration or executive assisting is helpful.
What are the Prerequisites to College Enrollment?
Once you’ve determined that you want to tackle a bachelor’s degree and eventually a career as an administrative executive assistant, one of the first steps will be to pick out the right college that offers the major you want to study. Then, you will need to apply to that program, get accepted and formally enroll. Most colleges are selective with their admissions, and they will not accept every single applicant.
In the case of incredibly selective schools, the competition may be so high that just 10 percent of applicants are ever admitted. Typically, the prerequisites for enrollment at an average college will include having a high school degree or the equivalent of a general education diploma, having specific SAT or ACT scores, having a minimum grade point average on a 4.0 scale and having references from mentors, teachers or employers that point out your positive attributes.
Some colleges request that applicants come for a personal interview, but that is becoming less common as online students increase in number.
What Does the Administrative Assistant Degree Curriculum Entail?
Once you have enrolled into a bachelor’s degree program in administrative assisting, be prepared for approximately four years of study. During the first year, many of your courses will likely be in general education subjects that help you become a more knowledgeable, well-rounded person.
During the final three years, your course load will focus almost exclusively on classes that can help prepare you for your future career. Although the exact curriculum can vary substantially from year to year and from school to school, expect to find your syllabus packed with classes like accounting, scheduling, data management, tax preparation for businesses, customer service, business communication, word processing and transcription techniques.
What is the Average Pay of an Administrative Executive Assistant?
Before you commit to working as an administrative executive assistant, it is a good idea to get a better understanding of the average salary for this position. General administrative assistants and secretaries without a bachelor’s degree earn average salaries of $32,410 per year.
However, having a bachelor’s degree and working as an administrative executive assistant can boost that income to a mean annual wage of $51,870. This makes it a potentially lucrative position and one of the highest-paying administrative careers out there.
What is the Job Outlook for This Career?
When selecting a career for the future, one of the important things to pay attention to is the projected rate of growth. Significant upward growth means a greater demand for trained employees while a substantial negative growth means fewer opportunities for hire after graduation. Administrative assistants as a whole can expect to see their demand rise by a 12 percent, which will result in an additional 500,000 job openings over the next decade.
Unfortunately, executive administrative assistants can expect slightly less growth. However, those administrative assistants who work for doctors or executives in healthcare can get excited about 36 percent growth, which is a staggering number that surpasses most careers in the country today.
What are the Advantages of Earning an Online Degree?
Earning your bachelor’s degree can be done through a variety of different colleges and universities throughout the country. While there are pros and cons to both traditional campus programs and online programs, an increasing number of students are turning to the advantages of accredited online colleges. Rather than worrying about the hassles of commuting to campus, waking up early to attend lectures, scheduling work around classes or paying for things like parking and transport, all you have to do is log onto your computer.
The convenience of online study means that students simply have to have regular access to a computer and the Internet in order to stream live lectures, watch recorded classroom sessions or participate in group discussions on message boards with their fellow online classmates. In fact, even the end-of-semester exams can be completed entirely over the Internet.
This incredible flexibility makes getting an education much easier than before. Students have the option of working through the coursework at their own pace and according to their own schedule, which means that you can study on weekends, in the morning before work or over the summers when you have more time. For busy professionals, parents or anyone who lives in a rural area, online classes can be a tremendous advantage.
With all of this information in hand, you can decide whether becoming an administrative executive assistant is right for you, and you’ll know whether an online degree is the best option for your future and your intended career.