How do I Choose the Best Administrative Assistant College?

wiseGEEK Writer

People become administrative assistants after studying in many different fields, or some take jobs right out of high school that lead to an excellent administrative career. Others choose to study at a college with a strong certificate program in this field or specifically at an administrative assistant college. There are many educational options, and people can take a number of things under consideration when choosing an administrative assistant college. For instance, they can compare vocational programs with those that might be offered at community colleges or four-year universities, and they can determine best pricing, best programs, and additional features of each program.

Many vocational schools offer administrative assistant programs.
Many vocational schools offer administrative assistant programs.

Vocational schools may have many different programs designed to train the administrative assistant. So do a number of community or sometimes four-year colleges, which could offer certificates and/or associate of arts degrees in this area. In general, there are a couple advantages to studying with a state or community schools, and these include that they are often cheaper and most of the units earned in these colleges may be transferable to four year colleges and help earn a bachelor’s degree. This isn’t always the case with vocational school units, which are typically also much more expensive to attend.

It’s important not to underestimate the issue of pricing, especially if people must take out loans to complete their education. One thing that seldom gets fully evaluated is the ability to repay loans after education is complete. Average pay for an administrative assistant is not terribly high, though there can be exceptions. Students should judge on the rule, rather than the exception, and make up sample budgets of what it could be like to live on an assistant’s salary while meeting high loan payments. This may shift more people toward the path of community or state education because ultimately, finances would be significantly harmed if loans needed are very large.

This does not mean that an administrative assistant college or certificate program at a community college is always the best choice. Sometimes the vocational school has a much better program with opportunities to learn newer technologies or techniques. Additionally, a vocational administrative assistant college might have attractive elements like lifetime job placement services, or flexible class scheduling that make it possible to work and attend school. It can help to create pro and con lists for each college considered so that a thorough review of each program can be made.

One of the last questions people might ask is if they need to attend an administrative assistant college. The answer isn’t always clear. If people have good people skills, strong writing and comprehensive knowledge of many forms of office software, they might be better served working in the field and gaining more experience. Perhaps folks are not a college program but only a class or two away from possessing all knowledge they might need to secure this kind of work. Assessing self-skills and determining what additional education might be needed can inform decision abut whether college attendance is necessary, though it should be noted few people are harmed by becoming more educated.

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