College degree needed to be a secretary

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Scarlett

82 months ago

Why is a college degree needed to be a secretary/receptionist/typist? What ever happened to life experience and good old fashioned common sense? I know the answer is that there is an overabundance of college degrees out there and, therefore, employees can now ask for degrees for the most menial jobs imaginable. When I got out of secretarial school, I taught myself, and was taught by some wonderful people on the job, pretty much all that I needed to know. I never got the sheepskin for financial and familial reasons and it now seems that I cannot compete anymore with all the freshly minted people coming out of colleges with BAs and above. How many employers really think that anyone with a BA is going to be content to be a secretary, or administrative assistant. Did they really lay out hundreds of thousands of dollars to be a glorified secretary? Will someone please explain to me why a degree is necessary to properly answer a phone, take accurate messages and compose and type correspondence. No, I certainly don’t know everything, but I love to read, and learn, and give me a day or two and I will be up to speed. Learning how to learn is just as important, if not more so, than where it was learned.

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Patricia

82 months ago

I did not go to college and got a job right out of high school. I took the high school secretarial coure. I have had almost 30 years experience and have learned some things through mistakes made, from other assistants I've worked with, and just experience on the job. I have met some people who have come out of a college secretarial courses and have found by going to college they were more advanced than I was coming out of high school. I think work experience counts for lots, but if I was an employer and had a choice between 5 years work experience and someone out of college, I might go for the college person. Just because from observing people from college it seems to give them an edge not only from a degree point of view, but what took me 5-10 years to learn, they seem to have a good grasp of already. Of course as an employer I would look at more than the degree, personality, worth ethic etc., but the college degree does help.
I have also found that being an assistant is more than answering a phone, taking a message and typing corespondence - that would be more my idea of a receptionist's duties. I am a legal assistant and my duties are much more involved than that. I draft correspondence myself, when something comes in and I know the next steps, I draft the letter and put the file etc on my professional's desk for his signature. I schedule meetings and take the initiative from the beginning to coordinate between the parties. I answer phones, but often have to field calls, if my professional is not in they may want to speak to someone else, I have to take enough information down and assess the situation to know who the next appropriate person would be to pass the question to. And organizational skills are a must. When you are handling so many things at once, you need to be organized. Learning good organizational skills in college can go a long way.
Anyway, those are my thoughts.

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Patricia

82 months ago

It is early when I wrote my comments and I am noticing my spelling mistakes. Sorry about that, good proofreading and spelling are very important, but you don't have a second chance when you leave a comment here. You can't go back and edit :)

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

I think you have to consider your age when deciding if it's really worth it to get a degree. I don't think the degree will help much if you're over forty. If you are you'll probably be deemed as overqualified or experience age discrimination.

I totally disagree. Most MBA candidates are in their late 30s!

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Sherrisse in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

Scarlett said: Why is a college degree needed to be a secretary/receptionist/typist?

I WILL TELL YOU WHY. BECAUSE THE MARKET ALLOWS IT. THERE ARE SOOO MANY COLLEGE EDUCATED PEOPLE and NOT ENOUGH GOOD JOBS SO THEY CAN HAVE THEIR PICK.

But, the right employer won't care! The right employer will look at the person's real qualifications -- common sense, organization, skills.

Most employers and HR depts. these days are extremely STUPID! They don't know how to REALLY find the right candidates so they put up these "REQUIREMENTS" so they actually have less resumes to go thru.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Anne in Littleton, Colorado: "I totally disagree [that age is a consideration for considering a degree]. Most MBA candidates are in their late 30s!"

. . . . but we're talking about people who have no college degree and are over forty. Under forty and advanced degrees are another matter. It depends on the industry, but I don't think much more advanced education helps much for people over forty - especially if one must start over.

HOW WOULD THEY KNOW HOW OLD YOU ARE WHEN YOU'RE INTERVIEWING ANYWAY? AGE IS A POSITIVE THING - --MORE EXPERIENCE, MORE SKILL. We seem to live in a country that tosses the sharper more experienced workers out to pasture for the dumb ones whose G-strings show through their pants!

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

Anne in Littleton, Colorado said: HOW WOULD THEY KNOW HOW OLD YOU ARE WHEN YOU'RE INTERVIEWING ANYWAY? AGE IS A POSITIVE THING - --MORE EXPERIENCE, MORE SKILL. We seem to live in a country that tosses the sharper more experienced workers out to pasture for the dumb ones whose G-strings show through their pants!

Whoops, forgot to add: WHY do companies want to hire the young and inexperienced? Because they are CHEAPER???

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

But high turnover with young graduates is NOT cheap! Training, retraining, recruiting, very, very expensive.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

If I was hiring an administrative person, I would look for the following qualities:

1. Outstanding organization
2. Personable
3. (Not a drama queen) -- calm, poised
4. Not a game player -- mature, doesn't gossip
5. Ability to contribute to positive environment
6. Ability to coordinate projects (and follow up) from start to finish without supervision
7. Excellent phone skills
8. Articulate
9. Good speller, good business math
10. Ability to develop rapport with clients, other VIPS etc. who may call in.
11. Good p.c. skills
12. Common sense

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Sam in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

Another possibility is finding a school that will give college credit for work experience. University of Phoenix may be one such school.

Forgot that so-called "University." It's a corporation in disguise!

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

In 10 years, the baby boomer population is supposed to DOUBLE. We will be a force they have to reckon with!

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

No offense but you are a bit anal, Displaced. :)

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

Whatever. Anal is helpful for law, and, Anne, for drawing up real property documents, such as sales contracts, deeds, etc. Something to consider if you are an agent.

You seem very insecure, Displaced. I haven't had a problem with "drawing up documents." :) It's hardly rocket science. The documents are already "drawn up" by the Real Estate Commission. We simply fill in the blanks and put any addendum and or details and check it to be sure it's accurate. Again, not rocket science.

It seems you like to argue with people. You might consider that you give that impression when interviewing.

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In Tune in Baltimore, Maryland

79 months ago

You are just now figuring that out? Let it be and know you are in the wrong dialog seeking the type of support you may be in need of. Keep your head up and know this, for every job you apply there are at least 200 applicants and it is a tough time getting noticed among the hoards. Repost, REPOST and repost over and over to stay on top of the dog pile, it will happen, eventually!

Best of luck!

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

79 months ago

In Tune in Baltimore, Maryland said: You are just now figuring that out?

No, I've known it for a while. This is a complete waste of time you are right!

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College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico

73 months ago

Scarlett said: Why is a college degree needed to be a secretary/receptionist/typist? What ever happened to life experience and good old fashioned common sense? I know the answer is that there is an overabundance of college degrees out there and, therefore, employees can now ask for degrees for the most menial jobs imaginable. When I got out of secretarial school, I taught myself, and was taught by some wonderful people on the job, pretty much all that I needed to know. I never got the sheepskin for financial and familial reasons and it now seems that I cannot compete anymore with all the freshly minted people coming out of colleges with BAs and above. How many employers really think that anyone with a BA is going to be content to be a secretary, or administrative assistant. Did they really lay out hundreds of thousands of dollars to be a glorified secretary? Will someone please explain to me why a degree is necessary to properly answer a phone, take accurate messages and compose and type correspondence. No, I certainly don’t know everything, but I love to read, and learn, and give me a day or two and I will be up to speed. Learning how to learn is just as important, if not more so, than where it was learned.

I worked for 12 years, before starting/completing a degree. I agree with you to a degree (get it, degree). It boils down to putting in 4 - 5 years, studying, completing homework, and working. You have to be honest, as an employer I would select the college graduate/with limited work experience. Why? The college graduate has proven he/or she can be taught/will learn quickly/and knows a special field. This person is not an expert. However, they have the degree to back up knowledge learned within a college setting. It is basic math - college degree means this person has had 3 levels of English, at least 1 Math, and all general education complete... So, the college graduate will be paid more/advance quicker. Next Stop - MBA!

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College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico

73 months ago

Patricia said: It is early when I wrote my comments and I am noticing my spelling mistakes. Sorry about that, good proofreading and spelling are very important, but you don't have a second chance when you leave a comment here. You can't go back and edit :)

Do not worry about it. We all make spelling mistakes. However, 4-5 years in college; teaches us to proofread our work. I am saying, going to school makes me or anyone else better than. However, I work will a job and demand more money because of my degree (plus 15 years job experience). Go to school for you... Age is not an excuse! Money is not an excuse! Time is not at excuse! If, you want it - you will GET IT! I did it, and I am active military - deploy in harms way! No one on this board, is in the sands - You can do it!

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College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico

73 months ago

Anne in Littleton, Colorado said: I think you have to consider your age when deciding if it's really worth it to get a degree. I don't think the degree will help much if you're over forty. If you are you'll probably be deemed as overqualified or experience age discrimination.

I totally disagree. Most MBA candidates are in their late 30s!

I agree with you. Most MBA candidates are in their late 30s! I am in my early 30s - Age is a non-factor. Get the degree for you! Education is the best investment in the world! Think about it.... I rather be unfit, and educated. Than, slim and uneducated. Just a thought!

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College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico

73 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Anne in Littleton, Colorado: "You seem very insecure, Displaced. I haven't had a problem with 'drawing up documents.' It's hardly rocket science. The documents are already 'drawn up' by the Real Estate Commission. We simply fill in the blanks and put any addendum and or details and check it to be sure it's accurate. Again, not rocket science."

So, as well as a real estate agent and "practitioner of limited law" you are also a psychologist?

"It seems you like to argue with people. You might consider that you give that impression when interviewing."

Whatever. You are entitled to your opinions. You have made inaccurate comments about, e.g., University of Phoenix, MBAs, and baby boomers. I am merely responding to, and correcting, your comments. Perhaps you should look at yourself in the mirror before criticizing others.

And, Anne, once more, relax! It's only an internet discussion. Once again, have a great afternoon! Hope you sell something! :D

OK! See, we educated people argue too much! :). This is why, education is key! Look around you - everyone with a nice car, job, clothes, etc. well they went to school. Sorry, but it is the America way of life! College degree equals job chances equals security equal YOU WILL BE RESPECTED by others. Respected because you are EDUCATED! People that do not have degrees, meant know more... However, you have to prove it! My degree says, I am the boss! Sorry, but True!

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College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico

73 months ago

College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: OK! See, we educated people argue too much! :). This is why, education is key! Look around you - everyone with a nice car, job, clothes, etc. well they went to school. Sorry, but it is the America way of life! College degree equals job chances equals security equal YOU WILL BE RESPECTED by others. Respected because you are EDUCATED! People that do not have degrees, might know more... However, you have to prove it! My degree says, I am the boss! Sorry, but True!

It is true...

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ddpete in Olathe, Kansas

73 months ago

Degree or NO degree...you will have a hard time finding a job or even getting interviews if you are over 50.

The degree only pays off for the younger job searcher. No sense in a senior citizen signing up for part time classes towards a degree if their only goal is to get a job. After a certain age, you are undesirable with or without the degree. Trust me, I just had that eye-opening experience myself.

That is, unless your degree is in a very specialized technical or medical field, not some liberal arts degree. Even then, I believe the younger person with the same degree would get the job.

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kiana in San Jose, California

73 months ago

dee in Boston, Massachusetts said: Scarlett - I couldn't agree with you more. I couldn't have put it any better myself. I can't imagine anyone going to college, earning an Associate or Bachelor's degree, and spending all that money, with the intention of making a career as a secretary or administrative assistant. Employers are so close minded, all they think about is saving money, but they will loose in the end. When the economy gets stronger, (soon, we hope), and the job market opens up again, these college students will go on their merry way (and rightfully so).

I agree too, if I had a college degree I would not be an admin. Once at my old job, they hired this girl fresh out of college to be an admin. It was her first office job. She didnt even know how to use excel or powerpoint which she must have lied because it was important in the group she supported. But she was young and cute and her boss loved her.

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dee in Boston, Massachusetts

73 months ago

College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: I worked for 12 years, before starting/completing a degree. I agree with you to a degree (get it, degree). It boils down to putting in 4 - 5 years, studying, completing homework, and working. You have to be honest, as an employer I would select the college graduate/with limited work experience. Why? The college graduate has proven he/or she can be taught/will learn quickly/and knows a special field. This person is not an expert. However, they have the degree to back up knowledge learned within a college setting. It is basic math - college degree means this person has had 3 levels of English, at least 1 Math, and all general education complete... So, the college graduate will be paid more/advance quicker. Next Stop - MBA!

With all respect, how many levels of English do you need to be a Secretary? 3?? I studied hard, and graduated from high school, with honors, and yes, I can write, spell, read, and speak English, quite well. I DID NOT need a college degree to do my job. A great deal of "Baby Boomers" received on the job training, which is virtually unheard of today. The baby boomers have been in the workforce for many years, and are "ALREADY" experienced. I tend to believe that age discrimination is an issue, as more employers are looking for candidates with an Associate or Bachelors degree, for certain jobs which DO NOT require a degree.

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dee in Boston, Massachusetts

73 months ago

kiana in San Jose, California said: I agree too, if I had a college degree I would not be an admin. Once at my old job, they hired this girl fresh out of college to be an admin. It was her first office job. She didnt even know how to use excel or powerpoint which she must have lied because it was important in the group she supported. But she was young and cute and her boss loved her.

Yeah, I can believe that! I have seen that happen myself. She better learn quick. Cute wears off when it comes to poor job performance.

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ddpete in Olathe, Kansas

73 months ago

Amen, sister! I have 34 years of office experience, graduated high school with straight A's, took some courses in night school (community college), and I don't feel a 20-something college grad has any better skills, knowledge, or experience than I do when it comes to providing Administrative Assistance or Office Management.

I think companies use the degree as a screening tool - to discourage the "older", or even less affluent person from applying for the job. But I believe that experience, skills, professional appearance, and communication trump a four-year degree ANY DAY! We didn't all have the same opportunities in life, believe it or not! And back when I started working, you didn't NEED a degree to be a Professional Secretary or Admin. Assistant.

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H in Bozeman, Montana

72 months ago

I went college in my mid-30s to fulfill a goal of mine to obtain an education. Pure and simple. My occupation has been administrative assistant since age 19. This position worked for me until I needed to repay those student loans and found that it's extremely difficult to do on an AA salary which hasn't risen to meet the cost of living let alone the expense of education. I foolishly thought that adding a degree to my resume would increase my salary potential. Eight years later, unfortunately, I have not found this to be the case. Everyone tells me that THEY can't take that education away from me. Unfortunately, THEY can take my home away from me. I write this as a cautionary tale to those who think that obtaining a degree might solve their problems. Make sure you have a PLAN. I've always been against boxing myself into a corner with a specific degree or career--thinking myself more of a free spirit. Unfortunately, I did just that--boxed myself into a corner; I feel more like a slave than a free spirit. Yikes! But I haven't given up. I intend to get myself out of this corner one way or another. Stay tuned.

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Sharon in Atlanta, Georgia

72 months ago

I don't know but I'm finding that getting a job these days is like finding a needle in a hay stack. I am finding out that not only do you have to have a degree to answer the phone but you have to almost know the president that runs the company and even then, if they are not willing to help you get your foot in the door you are at square one. I have found that companies are so worried about you having a "piece of paper" than life and work experience. I would hire someone who has work experience before I would someone with a degree. What does it prove....that the person will be in debt for the next 40 years trying to pay off college expenses with a receptionist job!!!!!

Scarlett said: Why is a college degree needed to be a secretary/receptionist/typist? What ever happened to life experience and good old fashioned common sense? I know the answer is that there is an overabundance of college degrees out there and, therefore, employees can now ask for degrees for the most menial jobs imaginable. When I got out of secretarial school, I taught myself, and was taught by some wonderful people on the job, pretty much all that I needed to know. I never got the sheepskin for financial and familial reasons and it now seems that I cannot compete anymore with all the freshly minted people coming out of colleges with BAs and above. How many employers really think that anyone with a BA is going to be content to be a secretary, or administrative assistant. Did they really lay out hundreds of thousands of dollars to be a glorified secretary? Will someone please explain to me why a degree is necessary to properly answer a phone, take accurate messages and compose and type correspondence. No, I certainly don’t know everything, but I love to read, and learn, and give me a day or two and I will be up to speed. Learning how to learn is just as important, if not more so, than where it was learned.

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Sharon in Atlanta, Georgia

72 months ago

I agree with you. Again as I stated I would hire a person with on the job experience before I would someone who just has a degree with some experience. My mother had a 3rd grade education and could run rings around someone with a master's degree because she had "mother-wit" and "common sense". No book can prepare you for on-hands experience. It's just like this, i.e. a person that has never had a child can't tell me didley about what it's like to give birth (no experience)!!!!!

QUOTE who="dee in Boston, Massachusetts"]With all respect, how many levels of English do you need to be a Secretary? 3?? I studied hard, and graduated from high school, with honors, and yes, I can write, spell, read, and speak English, quite well. I DID NOT need a college degree to do my job. A great deal of "Baby Boomers" received on the job training, which is virtually unheard of today. The baby boomers have been in the workforce for many years, and are "ALREADY" experienced. I tend to believe that age discrimination is an issue, as more employers are looking for candidates with an Associate or Bachelors degree, for certain jobs which DO NOT require a degree.

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H in Bozeman, Montana

72 months ago

Sharon in Atlanta, Georgia said: I don't know but I'm finding that getting a job these days is like finding a needle in a hay stack. I am finding out that not only do you have to have a degree to answer the phone but you have to almost know the president that runs the company and even then, if they are not willing to help you get your foot in the door you are at square one. I have found that companies are so worried about you having a "piece of paper" than life and work experience. I would hire someone who has work experience before I would someone with a degree. What does it prove....that the person will be in debt for the next 40 years trying to pay off college expenses with a receptionist job!!!!!

Yes, and now most companies do credit checks before they employ you! Defaulting on a student loan does not look good.

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Nancy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

Companies advertising admin positions that require a degree really annoy me to no end. I do not agree that someone who graduated from college and is in my field of work has anything extra over me. My high school had an excellent, two-year training program for secretaries, and top students got the benefit of real work experience by being chosen to be "student secretaries" for the teachers.

JMHO, but anyone looking for a true assistant should not be looking for someone with any random BA or BS (which companies often do). In most cases, s/he'll hire someone who will gain a year or two of experience, then move on to bigger and better things. S/he would be better off with someone who has made a career of admin work.

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Happy Gal in Hanover, Maryland

71 months ago

Please have a sense of humor about this. I have been actively seeking out work in any type of administrative field for over a year. I have multitude of qualifying skills which set me above entry-level as I am sure you do as well. In most markets, the common response is "Overqualified". I beleive this is to eliminate the employers fears of selecting candidates who are ready for the next step in their careers. Take into consideration that you may want to try out for better jobs. Read the posting carefully and match your skill. The degree requirement is the last thing listed on your resume and is intended to "weed out" what is not desireable, as in H.S. students need not apply! Also list any extra courses or training relevant to the job you are seeking. Life experience does count. The comment regarding "who you know is also very relevant". It is very important to research the company and find out what types of individuals you will be working with. As in, if they are Doctors or Lawyers and Engineers, you are going to have to know how to conduct your interview and try to match the style of the company. If the style is business casual, be business casual. I know this is contrary to most advice posted, but if you show up in a business suit and the job is blue jean, you automatically do not appear to be a fit and have overqualified yourself from the start. It is a fact, your physical appearance will determine in the first 10 seconds your chances of further consideration. Once in the interview, do not sound like you want more than is being offered and remember "You loved your last job".

Do Not take the job search personally! It is tiring as it is a very strange world out there. The traditions of what it takes to get hired are out the window and you just have to have skill at choosing the right job for your talents.

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Susan in Los Angeles, California

71 months ago

Well, I am 54 years old. Looking for a fulltime Admin. with Accounting Skills position. I know computerized accounting skills. I am hoping that, along with my work experience, that by presenting myself in a well dressed professional manner, that will help me get a job. I am hoping that if I look polished, and have a nice personality, it may help me land a job being a person over 50. Any comments please?

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Scoutmander in Greenville, South Carolina

70 months ago

My opinion concerning the original question is this:

The job market is so extremely tight right now. Employers know that they can get more bang for their bucks now which is why I believe more and more ads say a degree is needed. Just 7 months or so ago, ads placed in my area for these jobs and jobs in the healthcare office did not require an associates or bachelors degree - now they do. Lets be real here, unless you work for a corporate attorney, a mega construction firm then why do you need a college degree. It takes a college degree to answer phones, greet visitors, type reports in Excel, work with Quickbooks or Peachtree - no it does not. It does take experience in computer software, accounting principles, customer service, etc. Is it ever a bad idea to take courses at a college or get a certificate - I think it's important if one can afford it but most can't. I know I can't afford to pay for them. I keep asking myself why a college grad would take 9/hr or 10/hr with a degree to work in the clerical/administrative field. I guess if you have thousands of dollars in debt to student loans, you have no choice and employers know that. I've noticed that the pay in these jobs has dropped substantially over the years, even if you work for a temp service. I also believe that temp work hurts resumes in the long run but unfortunately, most businesses are using temps now to replace their HR departments.

I agree with another poster with it's who you know. In my area, the local hospitals advertise jobs that have all these requirements now but yet I know of several people who have landed these jobs with no experience at all in this particular field - but they did know someone who worked there that referred them for the job. Unfair - yes but it is the reality of the job market now.

This is my opinion and that opinion is based on the experience I have, the schooling that I have (which is two years of college but no degree) and what I've seen in the last year.

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Scoutmander in Greenville, South Carolina

70 months ago

College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: OK! See, we educated people argue too much! :). This is why, education is key! Look around you - everyone with a nice car, job, clothes, etc. well they went to school. Sorry, but it is the America way of life! College degree equals job chances equals security equal YOU WILL BE RESPECTED by others. Respected because you are EDUCATED! People that do not have degrees, meant know more... However, you have to prove it! My degree says, I am the boss! Sorry, but True!

Ummm - No - that is not true. I can look around me and the ones driving the nice cars etc. are small business owners who have a niche. I look around and see college graduates, some who graduated at the top of their classes from a 4 year college and they are doing manual labor and making $8.00/hr. Most of these individuals are not working in anything that they studied for in college.

People who have degress do not always know more either. Some of the dumbest people I know, aka "airheads" are college educated people and dare I say it - sheep in their thinking and views.

And yes, you are right - educated people do like to argue more. Which is probably why I'm responding to this post Ha Ha

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Deborah James in Alameda, California

70 months ago

Scoutmander in Greenville, South Carolina said: Ummm - No - that is not true.

People who have degress do not always know more either. Some of the dumbest people I know, aka "airheads" are college educated people and dare I say it - sheep in their thinking and views.

And yes, you are right - educated people do like to argue more. Which is probably why I'm responding to this post Ha Ha

______________________________________________________________

Very funny post. You sound like a veteran of the legal field. Ask Displaced Legal Professional about that one. Some of the dumbest people I've ever met not only have 4 year degrees, but law degrees.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

68 months ago

A college degree is not necessary to be a secretary but since there are so many women with college degrees, the market allows for employers to "demand it." Then again, it can scare away some employers who fear you will leave for something better.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

68 months ago

College Graduate in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: OK! See, we educated people argue too much! :). This is why, education is key! Look around you - everyone with a nice car, job, clothes, etc. well they went to school. Sorry, but it is the America way of life! College degree equals job chances equals security equal YOU WILL BE RESPECTED by others. Respected because you are EDUCATED! People that do not have degrees, meant know more... However, you have to prove it! My degree says, I am the boss! Sorry, but True!

Well, wait a minute. One does not need a "formal" education to be "educated." Believe me, I've met many college grads including Ph.D's who are DUMB AS A BOX OF ROCKS.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

68 months ago

Susan in Los Angeles, California said: Well, I am 54 years old. Looking for a fulltime Admin. with Accounting Skills position. I know computerized accounting skills. I am hoping that, along with my work experience, that by presenting myself in a well dressed professional manner, that will help me get a job. I am hoping that if I look polished, and have a nice personality, it may help me land a job being a person over 50. Any comments please?

It's not your age but gaps in employment history that more so get employers concerned! It's also an ENERGY LEVEL. Many 50+ workers are more energetic and present themselves better than lazy 20-somethings with nose rings......

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dee in Boston, Massachusetts

68 months ago

I wouldn't put 2-4 years into a college education to end up with a career as a secretary. I am not de-valuing the worth of an admin, nevertheless, being in this position, myself, for
20+ years, has left me feeling more like an office "slave". Always taking care of everyone elses needs, and neglecting my own. I cannot see a college educated person settling for a career as an administrative assistant. Not for the long haul. Let these company hire recent grads, but rest assure, they will walk out in due time! Rightfully so!!!

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dee in Boston, Massachusetts

68 months ago

Anne in Littleton, Colorado said: HOW WOULD THEY KNOW HOW OLD YOU ARE WHEN YOU'RE INTERVIEWING ANYWAY? AGE IS A POSITIVE THING - --MORE EXPERIENCE, MORE SKILL. We seem to live in a country that tosses the sharper more experienced workers out to pasture for the dumb ones whose G-strings show through their pants!

Yep, you hit the nail on the head!

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Linda in Barrington, Illinois

68 months ago

Something to ponder: Wouldn't it be nice to have more jobs than people, a completely turn around situation then it is now?
(it could happen)
Have a terrific holiday season and we will think positive!

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ratedpg156@yahoo.com in Riverdale, Georgia

67 months ago

I have asked that question too. I have worked for CEOs, Directors, and a Vice Chairman. Now, I need a BA to earn less money than what I earned without a degree. Since being out of work, I did return to college and earned my AA and I am continuing on working on my BA, since I am still out of work. The enjoyment for me is knowing that I am helping young students prepare for the corporate world and believe me they will be prepared. I spoke at a faculty meeting whereby I suggested that they have students work on their english, speaking and problem-solving skills by creating proposals and presentations with graphic, etc. and presenting before the class to gain experience and confidence. Doing this, along with my church choir has help keep me to stay sane. I have made the Dean's and President's lists and what that tells me is that I learned from on-the-job training.

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Angel Watson in Panama City, Florida

58 months ago

I completely agree with the comment.., "Why do we have to have a degree to be an administrative assistant..,"

I started in this career aproxmately 20yrs. ago and for the first time in 20yrs. I have found myself with a "Job Elimanation", of all things. I have NEVER had trouble obtaining employeement, until now that is. Years ago ( longer than most of you could probably remember), we started off with a handshake and an opurtunity to prove ourselves. Now you need a BS to answer the phone! Where is good olde fashion common sense.

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mksyed2003@yahoo.co.in in Tiruchchirappalli, India

58 months ago

Dear sir,
had experience 11+ years, so taht no need to fear with your co-operation, kindly make for my necesity if possible for your kind action because of my family sitatuation .
thx
salahudeen

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lgordon in Catonsville, Maryland

57 months ago

I've made the decision to go back to school for an AA degree in Office Administration. I think it's worth it being as though most employers will substitute one years work experience for 30 credit hours (thats only about 9 or 10 classes!). I'm going back also because I have major gaps in my employment that I don't feel like having to explain. Once i'm finished school, I can let them know that I took time off to "re-train" myself.

I do think that it's wrong for experienced workers get put on the backburner for college educated persons, but, that the way it goes. All we can do is play the game to get the same!!

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Scoutmander in Greenville, South Carolina

57 months ago

I've decided to jump on the wagon train back to school too. It's kind of funny actually. I worked as a Physician Practice Specialist through a temp service here in Greenville for one of the large hospitals. Well, I've applied and applied to that same hospital for that position description and lower ones under that and.........they say I don't have enough experience LOL. Funny though, I go to this same hospital every 6 months to have labs drawn and I'm a talkative person so I always make sure to ask people "have you had medical experience prior to this job?" or "do you have to know coding to do you job?" I bet you all can guess the answers to those questions. Rod Blagojevich has nothing on this hospital LOL!! I think he took lessons from them for his pay to play thingy. So, I decided if I couldn't beat them, I would use the tools that the WIA program has put at my disposal.

We have all made it this far - for me this last layoff has been since 6/28/08. We will be stronger in the end for all of this!

On a side note: I blasted a company the other day (with a fake email account of course) for requiring a BA degree for being a part time switchboard operator! It was quite funny and it made me feel better to boot LOL.

Good luck to everyone!

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

57 months ago

A Bachelor's Degree for a part time switchboard sheit job? What a joke.

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Scoutmander in Greenville, South Carolina

57 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: A Bachelor's Degree for a part time switchboard sheit job? What a joke.

Ha Ha! I wasn't too nice in my comments to them either. It felt good to let them have it about it. Oh, and it also required knowing how to sort mail...that makes a difference huh? LOL.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

57 months ago

Those are beginner jobs. Years ago they didn't even require a high school diploma.

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junebug in Agoura Hills, California

52 months ago

Okay, this seriously is the most frustrating thing I have had to encounter in a long time. And it gets even worse... The other day I saw a job posted for a personal assistant to run errands and watch this ladies 10-month-old baby. She said she preferred a college grad. What is this world coming to?

Yes, I understand the logic of the employers wanting a college degree (although I would certainly argue against it being logical at all), but can someone explain to me exactly what college degree is best for being a secretary or administrative assistant? Because the last time I checked there are no degrees offered in “secretary” or even “administrative assistant” and I don’t know of one single college course that teaches you how to answer the phone or any skills required to be an AA. Yes you have four years of math but do you seriously believe you would use calculus, geometry or trigonometry in an office setting? And can assure you that if I did have a college degree the very LAST thing I would do is become a secretary or AA!

Scoutmander, I did the exact same thing the other day and I can say that I had a good laugh and I would suggest to anyone else who is in this situation to do the same thing. Not only does it make you feel good but who knows, maybe the employers will start to realize how ridiculous it is.

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