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Key Technologies Featured in Office Management Training

If there’s one person who can be considered the “hub” of an office, it’s the administrative assistant. These professionals are typically in charge of doing all the daily activities that keep an office running.iStock_000014539547XSmall[1]

According to a survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the biggest self-identified need in administrative assistant training is technology applications. That means, more than ever employers expect administrative assistants and executive secretaries to be tech savvy. The Office Management associate degree and Office Administration Assistant diploma program provides students with courses that focus on key technologies used in the field. Having a foundation in these technologies is important for improving employability skills. Check out the list below and see if you measure up to succeed as an administrative assistant or executive assistant.

Hardware

Mobile devices – From smart phones to tablets, knowing how to operate a variety of mobile devices is important as an administrative assistant. Many executives rely on these devices to keep track of appointments, record ideas, communicate with their teams and basically run day-to-day operations so using one will become just as much part of your job.

Telephones – While the days of large, old school switchboards are long over telephone technology can still be complicated. Being comfortable answering, transferring and forwarding calls is still a big part of the job. You’ll likely receive on the job training for any phone system but being able to approach it with confidence of understanding a variety of technology will help you learn the new system quickly.

Software

Microsoft Office – How familiar are you with Word®, PowerPoint®, Excel®, Outlook®, and Access®? You’ll likely use one of these programs, if not all of them daily, as an administrative assistant. Since the Microsoft Office Suite is critical to many business functions, consider getting a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification as a way to demonstrate your abilities to potential employers.

Cloud computing – Many companies are using cloud computing software so employees can access programs and applications over the internet. As an administrative assistant you’ll need to have a basic understanding of how these platforms work and the individual capabilities and features of the one your potential employer uses.

Calendar software – Scheduling appointments for executives, managing shared calendars, and other calendar functions will likely be a big part of your job as an administrative assistant. To practice before you get a job or go back to school try creating a shared online calendar for your family and managing commitments like soccer games, parent-teacher conferences and diner with friends like you would manage meetings at a job.

Email – If your email skills are limited to your ability to forward funny photos of your sister’s cat, then you may need to upgrade before looking for a job. Email is a central function of any business. Understanding how to organize folders, set up automatic filters, build distribution lists and create tasks and reminders will help you do your job better.

Extra Credit

Learn to code – If you want to go above and beyond in your quest to be more tech savvy, learning to code can really help. Managing and updating the company website can sometimes fall on the plate of an administrative assistant, especially at smaller companies and non-profits. Having a basic understanding of code could position you as a stronger candidate for jobs. There are plenty of places to learn code online such as, Codeacademy, courses on Udacity, or Code Racer.

Be a life long learner – While it’s not a technical skill, having the desire to be a life long learner is key to keeping up with technology. The technology you use today in your job will definitely change in a year, three years and ten years. Employers value employees who are adaptable and willing to take on new challenges. If you remain open to learning new technologies, or even suggesting new platforms, so a company can run more efficiently you will increase your job security significantly.

Getting administrative assistant training by going back to school to earn a certification or college degree, can help you learn the basics of these technologies and demonstrate to employers you have the knowledge and skills to do the job. Younger job seekers who have grown up with this technology may be more naturally inclined to understand how to use it. But older professionals who have experience in an office plus are technically inclined may be able to develop an edge in the marketplace.

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