Do I Need a Degree to Be an Administrative Assistant?

Lauren Krause
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Nearly every job industry requires administrative assistants to keep the business running. Administrative assistants handle much of the background work required to run a business, from filing documents to managing data. Although there are some administrative assistant positions that do not require a degree, most companies are looking for administrative assistants who have either a bachelor's or associate degree. Some companies even want to hire administrative assistants with master's degrees.

There are a handful of administrative positions that do not require a degree, but those positions are few and far between. A degree is required for nearly all administrative assistant positions, especially those that are the first step on a career ladder.

The degree needed for such positions does not necessarily have to be a bachelor's degree. Many companies hire administrative assistants with two-year degrees. Technical colleges and online schools often offer associate degrees in administrative assisting. If you do not already have a bachelor's or associate degree and want to become an administrative assistant, getting an associate degree in administrative assisting is a good way to learn about the field and show future employers that you are committed to your career goals.

If you do not have a degree in administrative assisting, do not worry. Companies hire administrative assistants with all types of educational backgrounds. A person with a bachelor's degree in English, communications or business is well prepared to start a career as an administrative assistant. Many associate degree programs train students to become efficient and highly productive administrative assistants.

One of the reasons why companies look for administrative assistants with a variety of educational backgrounds is because the field of administrative assisting is evolving. Today's administrative assistants do not just stuff envelopes and answer phones. They write website copy, manage social media sites and represent their bosses in meetings with clients. The more skills you are able to bring to the position, the more likely you are to find a high-paying administrative assistant job with a variety of responsibilities.

Some administrative assistant positions include so many responsibilities that hiring managers specifically seek out people with master's degrees. These include high-level executive assistant positions in which a candidate works alongside a CEO and helps the CEO navigate day-to-day business decisions. Not all high-level executive assistant positions require master's degrees, but an advanced degree can help set you apart from other candidates.

If you do not have a master's degree, get a job as an administrative assistant first to make sure you like the work. Then, consider attaining a master's degree to help you climb the career ladder and become a strong candidate for high-level administrative assistant positions. Although there are many master's degrees that are useful, an MBA is often a wise choice.

A degree is required for nearly all administrative assistant positions, and people with all types of bachelor's and associate degrees are able to find administrative assistant jobs. Once you land your first administrative assistant position, consider getting a master's degree to help you move your way up the career ladder.


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