While the administrative sector is recruiting, it is not doing so at any cost. Gone are the days when you could find a job as an administrative office without a diploma, just a smile. Nowadays, recruiters are looking for references and qualifications. Taking training courses while on the job is becoming a pre-requisite for convincing recruiters and updating your knowledge. Knowing how to use Microsoft Office software will serve you better than how to use a Remington. . .
According to Human Resources and Social Development Canada, among the people who pursued training in administration or secretarial science, more than 70% took a course longer than six months. These courses had an immediate impact on participants’ careers; 77% of people who took refresher courses in administration found a job, vs 69% of those who took secretarial science programs.
THE STRICT MINIMUM IN TERMS OF EDUCATION
For some positions with a lower level of responsibility, such as receptionists or office clerks, a high school diploma may be sufficient. However, because employers tend to group several responsibilities under a single position, they like versatility. There are two solutions for candidates who wish to broaden their fields of expertise : take short courses to deepen their knowledge in specific areas (e.g. http://www.executive.org/seminars/AdminAst.asp), or get a college diploma or a university degree by taking night courses.
An increasing number of candidates have a bachelor’s degree. Their majors vary depending on the job, but overall, at least 20% of administrative staff have a bachelor’s degree in an administration-related field of study.
Most of the training courses recognized by employers and public institutions can be taken with financial assistance in the form of bursaries or grants. More than a third of people who have taken administration training benefited from government assistance; this number climbs to 58% for those with a diploma in secretarial science.
OFFICE SYSTEMS TRAINING
Office systems software is to administrative staff what the chainsaw is to a lumberjack: a required tool, which is why employers place a great deal of importance on being perfectly proficient in its use. The Microsoft certificate in office systems given in various colleges and universities across the country is a reference for some recruiters.
SPECIALIZED TRAINING BY SECTOR
It may be a good idea to specialize in a sector in order to be able to apply your knowledge is advanced fields such as computers, business administration, management, accounting, legal or medical secretarial science, insurance and human resources. To work in the health care sector, accounting or legal field, you must have taken specific training, i.e. a certificate from the professional association for the field you want to work in. For example, if you want to become a health records technician, you will have to be certified by the Canadian Health Record Association.