My mother, who has worked in this field for over 30 years, has always said, “Secretaries make the world go round.” While the terminology has changed and secretaries are now called administrative assistants, my mother is right. Administrative assistants are so valuable in the workplace that they even merit their own holiday in April to celebrate everything they do for their employers.

Administrative assistants essentially run offices. They file paperwork, answer phone calls, make appointments, schedule conferences, coordinate travel arrangements, write letters and emails, and plan meetings. That being said, could a well-organized and experienced individual find work in this field without taking administrative assistant courses? It’s possible, but without some sort of post-secondary education, you’re most likely to end up in a receptionist position instead of working directly with executives.

Administrative assistants are expected to be technologically savvy and adapt quickly to new equipment and software. In my mother’s long career as an administrative assistant, she has made the switch from a manual typewriter to an electric, and from an electric typewriter to a computer. She has gone from using a hand-cranked Xerox machine to a color copier that collates, staples, and binds. She has incorporated fax machines and cell phones into her everyday office routine. And she does it all without batting an eye. Earning an administrative assistant degree will teach you not only how to use to the latest in office technology, but also how to anticipate advances and thrive in an age of technological change.

An administrative assistant program will also sharpen your communication skills. Administrative assistants are often the first point of contact for an office, so you must know how to deal politely and professionally with the public while screening calls, setting appointments, and answering questions. Also, every email, memo, and letter you send has to be formatted according to industry standards and contain no grammatical errors.

Besides working in office buildings, administrative assistants are also employed as school secretaries, legal secretaries, and medical office assistants. If you know ahead of time that you want to work in a law office, you can choose a specialized administrative assistant degree program to learn the legal terminology and processes you’ll need to work in this field. Administrative assistants in medical offices and hospitals also receive specialized training in career colleges.

Earning an administrative assistant associate degree or diploma from an accredited career college is a great way to get your foot in the door. For example, Everest College has campus locations all over the United States and offers several different associate degrees tailored to students who want to become administrative assistants to business executives, work in law offices, or serve in the medical field.

There are many career colleges that offer administrative assistant courses to choose from. To see these and others, visit the administrative assistant colleges directory today.