Debunking Myths about Administrative Assistants: What They Really Do

Most people are familiar with the role of an administrative assistant. But there are many misconceptions about the skills, training and level of responsibility that come along with the job. Administrative assistants don’t just answer the phone and take notes; they handle a wide variety of tasks that are absolutely essential to daily office operations. Here are some of the most common myths about administrative assistants, debunked and an explanation of what administrative assistants\’ duties really entail.
Myth: Administrative assistants don’t need any training.
Most entry-level administrative assistant jobs only require a high school diploma. However, that’s not to say that training isn’t beneficial to your pursuit of a career as an administrative assistant. Formal administrative assistant training, such as certification programs offered by professional organizations or an associate’s degree in Office Management from Bryant & Stratton College, help you build your employability skills so you can increase your chances of getting hired and do the job right once you’ve secured a spot at a company.
Myth: Administrative assistants only handle clerical work.
Clerical work remains an important component in the daily role of an administrative assistant. But over the years, the job has expanded to include a variety of responsibilities. According to a report from the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), administrative assistants’ workload has increased as companies cut their support staff. In addition to routine clerical work, administrative assistants may also be expected to organize meetings, prepare research reports, do some light project management, and manage other tasks around the office. The word \’administrative\’ means anything related to the running of a business or organization. In short, administrative assistants need to be prepared to “wear many hats” in the office.
Myth: Technology know-how beyond basic computer skills isn’t necessary.
To be successful in today’s office environment, administrative assistants need to be able to do it all – and that includes technology. As previously mentioned, “wearing many hats” means being able to handle everything from managing documents and spreadsheets to using contact management software to syncing an employee’s iPhone to the company’s email system. It is important to be comfortable handling a variety of technology needs around the office when applying for a position as an administrative assistant.
Are you looking for administrative assistant training online? Bryant & Stratton College offers an Office Management degree, as well as a variety of online degree programs and certification programs. Online courses prepare students with the knowledge and practical skills they need to start a successful career path. Want to learn more about the programs offered by Bryant & Stratton College? Call 1.888.447.3528 to speak with an admissions representative.

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