What's Hot in Administrative Assistant Training?

Julie Shenkman
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Gone are the days when administrative assistant training consisted of little more than typing and shorthand classes in high school. Contemporary administrative assistants need to be prepared to handle multiple responsibilities in fast-paced work environments. Training programs are changing with the times to develop a flexible workforce ready to adapt to new technology and new responsibilities in a modern office environment. Check out these trends in administrative assistant preparation.

A Focus on Flexibility

Modern administrative assistant training focuses on teaching a variety of skills to prepare current and future administrative assistants how to handle multiple roles. Programs have an increased focus on management. As companies cut out mid-level managers to reduce costs, administrative assistants need to be ready to pick up the slack. Key skills include managing employees, overseeing projects, and creating quality written, oral and multimedia presentations.

Technology is another area where flexibility is essential. In addition to teaching how to use the latest hardware and software, programs give students a greater understanding of how technology works and why it is used. A strong foundation helps administrative assistants adapt as new technology emerges. The role of technology trainer often falls on the administrative assistant, and he needs to be prepared to provide explanations in addition to developing skills.

Ethics is a third area of focus in new administrative assistant training programs. As assistants take on new roles, administrative assistants need the latest information on maintaining company privacy and avoiding problem areas. This is especially true with cloud computing and private mobile devices entering the workforce. Technology creates new ethical dilemmas for which training provides advanced preparation.

A Trend Toward Innovation

Another trend in administrative assistant training is the development of innovative programs. Although standard two-year associate's degree programs still exist, many future administrative assistants are choosing new paths to develop job skills. Modern training programs cater to career niches, such as medical, legal or executive. Bachelor's and master's programs are becoming more common as employers increasingly seek administrative assistants with advanced skills.

Another focus is lifetime learning. Employers encourage workers to participate in administrative assistant training to regularly update their skills. Webinars and online courses make it easy to fit training into busy schedules. Other companies provide on-the-job training in areas directly related to their type of business. Administrative assistants learn exactly what the company does and who their competitors are. This prepares them to make better decisions and be more involved with the day-to-day operations of the business.

An Emphasis on Certification

More and more employers are requiring administrative assistant certification for their employees, and training programs are responding by increasing the focus on certification preparation. The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional designation for professionals who successfully complete a certification exam. They also offer specialty niche certifications. Attending training with a certification focus prepares students to meet the requirements for administrative assistant certification with little extra preparation.

Administrative assistant training is changing to meet the needs of modern businesses. Training programs have a renewed focus on developing flexible workers to meet evolving roles. Innovative training programs keep the current workforce up-to-date, and certification-centered modules ensure workers have the skills and aptitudes employers require.


Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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