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Office Systems and Applications
Associate in Applied Science
Curriculum code 1257

Course Requirements                   Information Management Systems Web site

This program prepares students for careers in administrative support or office management. Depending upon a student's area of concentration, graduates will qualify for positions as administrative assistant, executive assistant, legal office assistant, medical secretary, desktop publishing specialist, Web design assistant, office administrator, office supervisor, or desktop support (help desk) specialist.

Students completing this program are expected to possess excellent keyboarding, proofreading, and document formatting skills; advanced computer application skills; strong communication skills; broad administrative support skills; excellent interpersonal skills; flexibility; and professionalism. Students completing this program may be expected to supervise lower-level clerical staff.

Students with work experience and advanced skills should contact the program coordinator for assessment and course substitution information. Students without prerequisite skills are expected to take the necessary additional courses. An important feature of this program is the internship/seminar component that provides on-the-job training and offers the student new to the field an opportunity to work in and evaluate a professional setting. The employer also can evaluate the student for possible full-time employment upon graduation. Students wishing to enroll in the internship/seminar should contact the internship coordinator prior to enrollment. Program prerequisite: Keyboarding skill of 26 net words per minute. Students who need to reach this skill level must enroll in OSA-100,  Keyboarding I.

Nature of Work—Office professionals must possess strong computer and Internet research skills, flexibility, excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to work well with management and staff as well as with outside clients and vendors. These professionals must be knowledgeable in office procedures, accounting, and language skills and may be responsible for supervision of office administrative staff and facilities. Areas of specialty may include desktop publishing, legal office, medical office, office administration, applications help desk, and Web design.

Related Job Title—Administrative assistant, executive assistant, executive secretary, office manager, desktop publishing specialist, legal office assistant, medical secretary, help desk specialist, and Web design assistant

Employment Outlook—Employment is expected to grow by about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2018. Applicants for jobs as office administrative support supervisors or managers are likely to encounter keen competition because the number of applicants should greatly exceed the number of job openings. According to ccbenefits. com, Business and Financial Operations is among the occupation groups projected for the largest growth in Illinois and Cook County through the year 2015. In addition to the job openings arising from growth, a larger number of openings will stem from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave this large occupation for other reasons.

Employment of office and administrative support supervisors and managers is largely affected by the demand for administrative support workers. The continuing increase in office automation due to new technology should increase support workers' productivity and allow a wider variety of tasks to be performed by more people in professional positions, requiring fewer office and administrative support workers. The U.S. Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics reports median annual earnings of office and administrative support supervisors and managers were $45,790 in May 2008; the middle 50 percent earned between $35,360 and $45,790. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $27,770, while the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $74,640. In May 2008, median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of office and administrative support supervisors and managers were:
Local government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$50,120
Offices of physicians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$47,060
Department stores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$30,400

In addition to typical benefits, some office and administrative support supervisors and managers, particularly in the private sector, may receive additional compensation in the form of bonuses and stock options. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011.

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