College necessary to be a secretary?

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Comments (8)

Scarlett

85 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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Andrea in Newburgh, New York

78 months ago

I completely agree - it's ridiculous!

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Nicki in Chesterland, Ohio

77 months ago

Actually I have a BA and I am a Receptionist I don't think it is necessary to have one but some companies actually promote their receptionist and their higher positions may require a BA so moving you up would not be a problem.

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Betty Ruggiero in Brooklyn, New York

72 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 was 18 yrs. old when I was a secretary for an Assistant Vice President at New York Life Insurance Company. I was just out of high school. It was in the 1970's. I had a Commercial course for 4 years. It was an extensive typing and shorthand course and after graduating I landed a very good job. Now, you have to go to business school and college just to be a receptionist. Also, it helps to be bi-lingual. Alot of jobs are asking that you speak another language. It is so difficult finding a job. I am in my 50's. My position was eliminated a little over a year ago and I am at a disadvantage age-wise and education wise. I don't know what I am going to do!!!

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iej in nyc in New York, New York

71 months ago

I find this question so interesting. As a administrative assistant, for financial and non-profits, one should not underestimate the importance of relaying a phone message. Ccommunication skills can not be underestimated. Typing, scanning, faxing documents are all paramount to a businesses success. "Glorified secretary" is a term which is demeaning.

While I did not have my first college degree when I began my administrative career, I believe that the discipline, organizational skills, promptness, and open-mindedness that a college degree promotes, are valued aspects in being a quality support person in any business, especially as an administrative personnel.

After getting two college degrees, administrative salary increases. The adage applies here, "the more you put into the effort, the more you will gain."

Administrative work can open the door to many professions; i.e. real estate, banking, fashion, medical, legal construction, engineering. By getting your "foot in the door" via administrative support, you can create possibilities, and unknown opportunities.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

71 months ago

Betty Ruggiero in Brooklyn, New York said: I was 18 yrs. old when I was a secretary for an Assistant Vice President at New York Life Insurance Company. I was just out of high school. It was in the 1970's. I had a Commercial course for 4 years. It was an extensive typing and shorthand course and after graduating I landed a very good job. Now, you have to go to business school and college just to be a receptionist. Also, it helps to be bi-lingual. Alot of jobs are asking that you speak another language. It is so difficult finding a job. I am in my 50's. My position was eliminated a little over a year ago and I am at a disadvantage age-wise and education wise. I don't know what I am going to do!!!

Age discrimination is one major obstacle for so many of us (I'm 57). SO many companies eliminate ancillary staff & then rename the same job requirements so that company can hire new staff @ entry level wage (a repeated story @ a reemployment center). If your company is "nice," @ least they'll allow you some unemployment benefits; my former boss "fired" me one week after I tended a professional courtesy "two week notice" so I'd be blacklisted professionally @ 52 & then was permitted to repeatedly postpone a hearing for unlawful dismissal by the Ohio Dept of Job & Family Services (apparently, only the name of the agency). I've tried to get focused training in one of the many medical fields in which I'm experienced, & I've tried to find a local school to give me official training in computer software (office administrators must now construct websites as well as be travel agents & accountants) w/no luck or support! I was accepted at the prestigious Baldwin Wallace College to complete a Bachelor Degree begun in the 1980s, but the scholarship won't even cover the cost of classes, & I'm living on credit cards because new management took over where I was working & systematically just got rid of everyone hired by the previous manager (I work PT/live on CC x 2 yrs).

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Betty Ruggiero in Brooklyn, New York

71 months ago

I have no interest to go to college. I need a job NOW! I am going to try a little longer for an office position. If I see I am still having difficulty, I am going to go to Sanford Brown for Medical Receptionist. I'm sure I will qualify for financial Aid.

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TJC in New York, New York

53 months ago

Betty Ruggiero in Brooklyn, New York said: I have no interest to go to college. I need a job NOW! I am going to try a little longer for an office position. If I see I am still having difficulty, I am going to go to Sanford Brown for Medical Receptionist. I'm sure I will qualify for financial Aid.

Your post is over a year old so I hope you're still reading these forums. Sanford Brown and many schools advertised on TV are diploma mills. Enroll in something similar or even take something else that will enhance your skills and experience in one of the CUNY schools. CUNY is affordable and you will also have access to their career services office, where many employers posts openings.

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