How Long Is a Typical Administrative Assistant Degree Program?

The most common administrative assistant program offered lasts two years and awards an associate's degree. Depending on the college, you could earn an Associate of Applied Science degree or an Associate of Applied Arts degree. Read this article for more information on typical administrative assistant degree programs. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Associate's Degree for Administrative Assistants

Individuals seeking a career as an administrative assistant may benefit from earning an associate's degree. Benefits of an associate's degree include higher entry-level pay, increased possibilities for career advancement and more challenging job opportunities. Once employed, administrative assistants can earn specialized certification, such as the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist distinction, depending on where they work.

An associate's degree is frequently referred to as a two-year degree, but the length of time it takes to complete this degree can depend on the number of courses that you take, whether or not you pursue opportunities for field experience and whether or not you attend school full time or part time.

Important Facts About Administrative Assistants Associate's Degrees

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED
Specializations Legal, medical, executive
Possible Careers Paralegal, secretary, office manager
Continuing Education Bachelor's degrees in business or the humanities are ideal options for these graduates.

Factors Determining the Length of an Associate's Degree Program

Program Courses

Administrative assistant degree programs provide the necessary business, technological and clerical skills to succeed in this increasingly complex field. Course requirements can vary from one institution to the next. Required courses, along with any additional courses you may decide to take to enhance your degree, can increase or decrease the amount of time it takes to graduate. Typical courses available in administrative assistant degree programs include:

  • Keyboard mastery
  • Office technology
  • Website design
  • Desktop publishing
  • Administrative procedures
  • Accounting practices
  • Management principles
  • Business communications

Field Experience

Internship, co-op and work-study components are often available through associate's degree programs. While pursuing these opportunities may add to the amount of time required to complete an administrative assistant associate's degree program, having hands-on experience in performing administrative tasks can be a crucial advantage in the job market.

Full-Time or Part-Time Study

An associate's degree usually takes two years to complete if you can attend school full time. If you have to attend school part time due to work or other responsibilities, the time it takes to complete a degree program can double.

If you work full time or are unable to attend traditional classes, some colleges offer administrative assistant degree programs online. These programs may take less time to complete than conventional programs. To participate in online classes, you need basic computer knowledge and comfortable familiarity with research, keyboard and email functions. You also must be able to work independently, be self-motivated and be prepared to commit the same amount of time to your online courses as students who attend conventional classes.

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:

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