Obtaining an office administration associate degree online can lead to a variety of administrative careers in business, communications, and health care. Office administrators with strong leadership, analytical, and communication skills can excel in their chosen career. Additionally, students who earn an office administration associate degree online can go on to pursue a bachelor's degree in a more specialized area of study, such as IT administration or project management. Qualified administrative services managers are currently in high demand, with the number of jobs in this sector expected to grow by 8% by 2024. Additionally, yearly salaries for top-ranking employees in this field can exceed $90,000.
What are the best office administration programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:
|1||Southwest Wisconsin Technical College||Fennimore, WI|
|2||Southwestern Community College||Sylva, NC|
|3||Clovis Community College||Clovis, NM|
|4||St. Johns River State College||Palatka, FL|
|5||Fox Valley Technical College||Appleton, WI|
|6||Wallace State Community College||Hanceville, AL|
|7||College of The Albemarle||Elizabeth City, NC|
|8||Seminole State College of Florida||Sanford, FL|
|9||Wayne Community College||Goldsboro, NC|
|10||Lenoir Community College||Kinston, NC|
What are the Best Online Associate in Office Administration Programs?
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
|Fennimore, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
Located in Fennimore, Southwest Tech prepares graduates to enter the workforce or pursue transfer opportunities. School values include innovation, community partnerships, and integrity.
Southwest Tech's 60-credit associate degree in business management can be earned online in two years with full-time attendance. Courses include career planning in business, psychology of human relations, math with business applications, and business management strategies.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Online courses utilize an asynchronous format. Assignments include discussion board posts, exams, and group work. Southwest Tech offers online learners the same support services as on-campus students, including advising, career services, and tutoring. Southwest Tech holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Southwestern Community College
|Sylva, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Located in Sylva, North Carolina, SCC offers nine associate degrees and more than a dozen certificates online. These offerings include an associate of applied science in business administration.
The curriculum of this 65-67-credit degree can be completed entirely online. Core coursework features classes like electronic business, principles of management, and entrepreneurship. Students can also choose from guided electives like leadership development and principles of microeconomics. Graduates are prepared to pursue work with financial institutions, government agencies, and small or large businesses.
Participants can graduate in five semesters, including one summer term. Applicants should hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate. SCC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Clovis Community College
|Clovis, NM||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
Established in 1961, CCC values diversity, community engagement, and accessible education. Enrollment at the college exceeds 7,000 students, and learners can choose from eight fully online programs.
The online associate degree in business administration at CCC introduces basic management knowledge and skills. The 63-credit curriculum includes 15 general education credits, four related requirement credits, and 44 program requirement credits. Courses include principles of accounting, workplace and life essentials, fundamental information literature and systems, and small business management. Participants also complete a capstone course.
Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system, and classes typically follow an asynchronous format. CCC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
St. Johns River State College
|Palatka, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
SJR State offers student-centered programs that emphasize academic excellence. Students can choose from 23 associate degrees — offered both on-campus and at a distance. In fact, over 23% of students earn their degrees exclusively online.
The school's 60-credit online associate degree in business administration prepares graduates for management and business administration careers. Students typically earn their degree in two years with full-time attendance. Courses include microcomputer applications software, principles of financial accounting, principles of marketing, and introduction to business. This degree also requires a culminating capstone course.
Online courses typically use an asynchronous format. Students complete assignments on their own time within deadline dates. SJR State holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Fox Valley Technical College
|Appleton, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
Based in Appleton, Wisconsin, FVTC offers 19 degrees and certificates, including some online programs. While enrollment exceeds 11,000 students, FVTC offers small class sizes with a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Additionally, roughly 94% of graduates gain employment within six months of graduation.
FVTC offers an administrative professional associate degree that does not require in-person attendance. This 63-credit program includes coursework such as professional business writing, effective business practice, meeting and event management fundamentals, and business relationship development. This program requires an internship in an office setting.
To be admitted, first-year students must hold a minimum 2.75 GPA and submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students from accredited schools may also apply. Online courses typically use an asynchronous format. FVTC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Wallace State Community College
|Hanceville, AL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Wallace State prioritizes advanced learning environments and applied learning. The school is also one of the largest colleges in the Alabama Community College System, with more than 7,000 students. Wallace State students can access over 50 majors — both on-campus and online.
Students can earn an associate in office administration in two years with full-time attendance. The 67-credit curriculum covers topics like computer financial record keeping, office graphics and presentations, and advanced word processing. Classes may be available in on-campus, hybrid, and online formats.
Students access online coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Online courses typically utilize an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework on their own time. Wallace State holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
College of The Albemarle
|Elizabeth City, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 33%||
COA was the first community college in North Carolina. The school oversees four campuses and online programs. Students at COA benefit from small class sizes and a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
COA's associate in office administration is available entirely online and prepares graduates for roles in office finance, management, and customer service. This degree requires 64-67 credits. Courses cover topics like basic PC literacy, writing and research, introduction to sociology, and advanced word processing.
Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format. Students engage with classmates and professors through email, discussion boards, and group chats. Participants can also access online tutoring, virtual counseling services, and technical support. COA holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Seminole State College of Florida
|Sanford, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Seminole State ranks among the top colleges nationwide in terms of associate degrees awarded, and it is also among the most affordable colleges in the country. Seminole State also boasts one of the highest graduation rates in Florida. Students can access over 200 degrees and certificates.
Seminole State offers a 60-credit associate degree in business administration that can be completed online. Students can choose from multiple specializations, including human resources management, management, marketing and sales, and insurance risk management. Courses include legal issues for small businesses, business communication, and statistical methods.
This degree prepares students to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year program. Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Seminole State holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Wayne Community College
|Goldsboro, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
WCC emphasizes academic excellence and community partnerships. Enrollment exceeds 11,000 students, and learners can access over 70 programs, including over 50 online programs.
WCC offers an associate in business administration that prepares graduates to succeed in a technology-based economy. This degree does not require any in-person attendance. Courses include social and behavioral science, business ethics, advertising and sales promotion, and quantitative literacy. WCC also offers multiple work-based learning options that allow students to gain applied experience.
Distance learners access courses through the Moodle learning management system. The college also provides online students with academic counselors, career coaches, and an online tutoring center. WCC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lenoir Community College
|Kinston, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 19%||
Located in Kinston, North Carolina, LCC provides accessible programs, many of which can be completed entirely online. The college's values include collaborative partnerships, ethical practices, and student-centered learning.
Distance learners can earn an associate in business administration that provides fundamental knowledge and skills related to business processes. This 65-credit degree includes 15 general education credits and 50 major credits. Courses include advertising and sales promotion, federal income taxes, business law, and business math. Students also take two work-based learning courses.
Online learners access coursework through the Moodle learning management system. LCC participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, which provides out-of-state learners access to distance courses. LCC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Else can I Expect from an Online Associate in Office Administration Program?
Each school's online degree in office management and administration is slightly different. While topics and courses feature some variation from one program to the next, the section below outlines common introductory courses taken by most students pursuing an office administration degree.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN OFFICE ADMINISTRATION
An office administration curriculum at the associate level prepares students to run a business office effectively. From receptionist duties to computer processing, coursework introduces methods of successful multi-tasking, which is applicable to every field. To prepare graduates to work in today's tech-savvy market, many degrees in office administration also emphasize internet and technology skills. Common sample courses include:
- Office Accounting: This course introduces the basics of accounting, which are applicable to any type of business or organization. Topics include accounts payable and receivable, cash control systems, close-out methods, receipts, and payroll procedures. Most programs teach students to perform these functions by hand as well as by using accounting software.
- Computer Applications: Computer application courses provide a broad overview of the primary types of software and programs graduates use in an office administrator position. Students learn the basic functions of the Microsoft Office suite, including word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software programs. Some courses may also emphasize cloud-based computer applications and/or virtual file-sharing tools in addition to basic PC computing functions.
- Business Communication: This course emphasizes the importance of effective oral and written communication skills in the workplace, through listening, reading, writing, and speaking exercises. Students practice composition and editing techniques specific to business topics and learn about basic grammar and proofreading practices.
- Administrative Office Procedures: This course outlines the range of tasks regularly required of office administrators in a business office, including maintaining correspondence, scheduling meetings and presentations, making travel arrangements, and implementing organizational systems. Generally, this course focuses on problem-solving, critical-thinking, and decision-making skills.
- Records Management and Legal Implications: As a primary concern of any medical office, nonprofit organization, or client-based business, records management and legal implications courses teach students to manage both hardcopy and electronic records database systems. Legal requirements concerning the release, retention, and storing of records is also discussed.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN OFFICE ADMINISTRATION?
Most students earn their online degree in office management and administration in two years, although some accelerated programs are available. Other factors, such as whether a student attends full-time or part-time, when classes are offered, and the overall structure of the program, can also affect completion times.
Additionally, it is important to determine if a program offers flexible, individual learning or uss cohort model. Self-paced programs provide students with additional flexibility, letting them work toward their degree at their convenience. Alternatively, a cohort arrangement places students in groups that they move through the program with; this format may be appealing because it allows distance learners to network with their peers and collaborate on projects.
Online office administration associate degrees typically require students to complete 60 credit hours, which are made up of a combination of core, general business education, and field-specific elective courses.
What Can I Do With an Associate in Office Administration Degree?
Students who have earned an office administration associate degree online are prepared for an entry-level administrative career in a field of their choice. While advancement may require an advanced degree or specialized experience in a particular role, associate degree holders are still eligible to meet the demands of a general business office. Below are a few of the more common career pathways pursued by office administrators:
Receptionists are generally responsible for answering phones, greeting visitors, and providing basic information about their organization to visitors and members of the public. They may also perform additional administrative tasks, including scheduling, filing, and correspondence. Receptionists should have an associate degree and strong communication skills.
Median Annual Salary: $13.42/hour
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
- Secretary/Administrative Assistant
Secretaries and administrative assistants provide clerical and administrative support to coworkers and supervisors in schools, hospitals, government agencies, law firms, and health care organizations. Applicants with an associate degree and work experience are eligible for most entry-level jobs in the field.
Median Annual Salary: $37,230
Projected Growth Rate: 3%
- Administrative Services Manager
These professionals typically oversee all administrative functions within an organization, from planning to coordination. Tasks often include office upkeep, mail distribution, and recordkeeping. Most administrative services management jobs require a bachelor's degree and specialized experience in the field.
Median Annual Salary: $90,050
Projected Growth Rate: 8%
- Bill and Account Collector
Bill and account collectors require many of the same career abilities students learn in an office administrator program, including strong communication, accounting, and computer skills. Most jobs in this discipline require an associate degree and on-the-job training for one to three months.
Median Annual Salary: $35,350
Projected Growth Rate: -6%
- Information Clerk
Information clerks collect, maintain, and disseminate data and information. Most work at hotels, health care facilities, or government agencies. An associate degree and on-the-job training are typically required for entry-level positions.
Median Annual Salary: $32,920
Projected Growth Rate: 2%
Earning an online associate degree in office administration can open the door to a variety of entry- to mid-level support roles in the workforce. However, while an associate degree meets the minimum qualifications for most jobs in this industry, students who aspire to advanced positions in business, management, or a related field may choose to strengthen their skills in a particular area to enhance their career prospects. Associate degrees in office administration can be transferred to a wide range of bachelor's degree programs in business administration, technology, health care administration, and HR management, among other options. Below are a few of the educational paths available to graduates with an associate degree in office administration.
- Business Administration: One of the country's most popular college majors, a bachelor's degree in business administration sharpens the basic skills learned while pursuing an office administration associate degree online. Programs typically cover business, communication, and computer skills while emphasizing leadership and management abilities. Students are prepared for advanced roles in marketing, IT, PR, and other business-oriented fields.
- Office Administration and Technology: Bachelor's-level office administration and technology programs emphasize many of the same business, accounting, and computer skills learned while earning an associate office administration degree; however, students spend more time studying technology, software, and IT applications. Graduates are qualified for office administration jobs that require additional tech or IT experience and/or specialized training in this area.
- Medical Office Management: Bachelor's degrees in medical office management provide specialized training related to the business, clerical, and clinical skills needed to work in health care facilities. Graduates learn about patient records management, health care accounting and bookkeeping, and clinical filing systems, among other field-specific tasks.
- Human Resources Management: HR management programs prepare students to lead recruiting, hiring, and staff training efforts for a business or organization. This major typically revisits fundamental concepts learned in an associate degree in office administration program; however, the advanced leadership and organizational skills needed in an HR management role are emphasized.
- Project Management: Bachelor's degrees in project management are ideal for graduates of an associate degree in office administration program who are looking to build leadership, communication, and teambuilding skills. Coursework covers contracts and negotiations, asset procurement, risk management, and budgeting methods. Graduates with a bachelor's degree are qualified for mid-level project manager jobs in a variety of executive and professional fields.
Financing Your Online Associate in Office Administration Program
There are many types of federal and state scholarships, loans, and grants that can help you finance your online associate degree in office administration. When you decide to seek financial assistance, your first step should be completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Whether your priorities are federal scholarships, individual grants, or work-study jobs, your school will likely require completion of the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for aid. This process also helps you and your family to understand the full scope of financial aid opportunities that are available to you. Aspiring office administrators may qualify for scholarships geared toward students in business, business management, and/or office administration technology programs. Additionally, aid opportunities often exist for low-income students or students who are the first in their family to attend college.
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