(pardon my typing i'm on my bad computer)
Go to the local junior college. Or the local temp agency - once you prove that you can do it they will keep you if you want them to. I did it every summer when I was in college.
A secretary is more or less the same as an administrative or executive assistant. The difference between administrative and executive assistants is who they work for.
A receptionist sits at the front desk greets people and answers phones. Receptionist is usually a great way for a 20 year old to get in the door. It pays crap but better I than fast food. I am not sure what factory pays these days but I think factory paid my mom more than receptionist paid me but receptionist is easier - no burn marks.
They seem to be asking for degrees right now because they can. That is how some of us in our 30s and 40s got stuck. I'm thinking of going for my paralegal certificate. That may be a good idea for you as well. It's like a better paid, fancy assistant/mini lawyer. The program I picked is $3K but it's online and they give you loans. I'm just waiting to see if they approve my loan because they are picky with loans and college grads. There are different programs. I picked mine because its through Cal State. UC has one too. I get the prestige thing that is why I want mine to be from a 4 year school but UC changes double.