How Can I Study Secretarial Science?

Although degrees and training programs in the area of secretarial science were once abundant, as technology has become more important in the office, job titles have changed. Secretarial science programs are more often called administrative assistant or office assistant programs. Read on to learn more about options for study in this field. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Secretarial Science Study Options

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), if you want to work as a secretary or in a similar position, you may not need any formal training. However, the BLS goes on to say that employers usually prefer candidates who have basic skills in keyboarding, computers and general office procedures. To learn the necessary skills, you may prepare in high school, complete a vocational or technical program, or obtain an associate's degree.

Important Facts About Secretarial Science Training

Prerequisites General education requirements, strong verbal communication and telephone skills, effective business etiquette, and interpersonal skills
On-the-Job Training Usually lasts from a few weeks to several months, depending on the industry
Online Availability Some programs have courses available online
Similar Careers General office clerk, receptionist, information clerk, and paralegal/legal assistant

High School Training

In some high schools, you may be able to complete courses that can help you learn secretarial skills, such as typing. Courses in business math and accounting may help you prepare for basic accounting tasks you may have in an office.

Certificates or Diplomas

You can also learn office skills through a certificate or diploma program in office administration, business administration, office assisting or administrative assisting. You can often find these programs at vocational and technical schools, and your course options might include those listed below:

  • Office procedures
  • Business math
  • Word processing
  • Keyboarding
  • Document preparation
  • Desktop publishing

Associate's Degrees

If you'd like to earn a degree, you may consider an administrative professional or administrative assistant associate's degree program. These 2-year degree programs allow you to gain the technical, interpersonal and professional skills you'll need to work in an office environment in a secretarial or administrative role. It may be important to note, however, that if you wish to advance to office manager, become an executive assistant or work in a large company, you may need to complete a higher degree.


Computer courses for associate's degrees in this field typically cover Windows and Microsoft software programs. You may also take some general computer, Internet and keyboarding courses. Additional offerings within the curriculum may include the following:

  • Business communications
  • Ethics
  • Customer service
  • Writing and editing
  • Data entry
  • Document preparation
  • Business math
  • Records management

Many associate's degree programs also include courses in office management, accounting and project management. You may take some general education courses in psychology and sociology as well. Internship or practical application courses that allow you to practice the skills you've learned in an actual office environment may also be available.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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