Office Administrator work as administrative assistants, administrative support officers, senior secretaries and executive secretaries. Office administration plays a role in a variety of sectors including: education, corporate, insurance or financial, government or small business. In general, professionals in office administration are responsible for typing and filing reports, answering phones and taking messages, monitoring departmental supplies and replacing them as necessary, preparing daily appointments for supervisors, performing clerical duties, greeting visitors, attending meetings to take down minutes and ensuring the office is running efficiently. Although their roles may differ, these professionals must all be able to work with a variety of computer software and programs, juggle multiple tasks at the same time, be very organized, communicate effectively (both verbally and in writing), as well as ensure punctuality and professionalism.
Before one can become an office administrator, he or she must obtain post-secondary education. At Centennial College, that can be done through the Office Administration — Executive undertaking, which takes just two years to complete and results in an Ontario College Diploma. The training is designed to help students earn how to handle multiple functions that are performed by administrative assistants in upper-level management.
Program topics cover the full-range of office and business skills, including extensive software skills, Internet research abilities, presentation preparation, taking minutes of meetings, composing business correspondence and arranging national and international conferences. Emphasis is placed on developing document production, note-taking and related computer skills. Students will also concentrate on client service, communication, time management and supervisory skills. This is done through courses such as: Introduction to Word Processing (designed to provide participants with the basic skills to operate and utilize word processing software in order to produce basic business documents); Transcription Techniques (students develop competence in proofreading, editing and transcribing common forms of business correspondence); Integrated Software Applications (provide learners with the skills required to use a variety of software applications in the production of business documents and presentations); and more.
In-school training is supplemented by the office administration field placement in the last semester. During this time, students find work with a variety of companies. This real life experience helps students to gain confidence and encounter the challenges and triumphs of the field.
Once students complete their studies, they have two options. One is to continue with their education in an articulated program with selected universities, institutes, and professional associations. These partnerships allow graduates to apply academic credit towards further study. The other is to enter the field. If you’re wondering what professionals in the field think of Centennial College’s office administration program, check out what David Lipton, president of SQM had to say: “From the students who participate in the executive work placement program to the employees we have hired through the school, we are proud to be associated with Centennial College’s Office Administration program.”
When applying for this office administrator program, you must present an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. You must also have completed compulsory English 12C or U or a skills assessment or equivalent. However, having minimum admission requirements do not guarantee admission to the program.