Administrative Management Degrees: Diploma, Associate & Online Class Info

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What kind of job can you get with an associate's or bachelor's degree in administrative management? Find out degree program requirements, online options and info on courses and administrative management training programs.
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Studying Administrative Management: Degrees at a Glance

Administrative management professionals understand current business practices and demonstrate expertise in modern technologies. Specialists in the industry process complex information, manage records systems and use strong customer service skills to solve business problems. Multiple industries employ administrative management personnel and employers want people who possess strong communication, technical and organizational skills.

Colleges and universities offer a range of programs. Some emphasize business management principles while others offer concentrations in related areas, including event planning and management. The associate's degree program can prepare you for entry-level support jobs. The bachelor's degree program offers an in-depth education that might make getting entry-level management positions easier. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that information clerks could expect 7% job growth over the 2010-2020 decade. Receptionists could expect faster-than-average growth of 27%.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? People seeking entry-level administrative roles in multiple industries Individuals who wish to pursue a career in management
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Receptionist or information clerk ($27,000)*
- General office clerk ($29,000)*
- General secretary or administrative assistant ($33,000)*
Career paths are similar, although a bachelor's might increase earnings or improve advancement potential
- Administrative services manager ($87,000)*
Time to Completion 2 years full-time 4 years full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Approximately 60 credits - Roughly 120 credits
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's in Administrative Management

The associate's degree program delivers the basic education required to pursue entry-level administrative opportunities. Schools offer programs designed to emphasize technology and business knowledge. Students learn to apply financial and technical knowledge to common business tasks to ensure smooth business operations. You will learn how businesses function, the role of the administrative professional and the importance of technology in daily operations. Some programs are career-oriented and offer internship opportunities to assist you with applying your knowledge and skills.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Office clerks may experience 17% job growth over the 2010-2020 decade*
  • Programs offer a broad education that might transfer to positions in multiple industries
  • Many programs transfer to a bachelor's degree program

Cons

  • Salaries for general office clerks and receptionists were relatively low
  • Competition against bachelor's degree holders may present a challenge for administrative assistant opportunities
  • Advancement might require that you pursue a higher degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2020 job growth projections).

Courses and Requirements

The associate's degree program combines practical and theoretical training through classwork and hands-on activities. You will learn essential office skills, including business communication, information processing and basic accounting principles. You might take the following common courses:

  • Data processing
  • Word processing
  • Business law
  • General accounting
  • Human resource management
  • Business math
  • Presentation graphics

Online Degree Info

Several schools offer online programs in administrative management. Programs generally provide coursework similar to campus-based courses. You will take classes in spreadsheets, database software and records management. Schools usually design online programs to meet the demands of working professionals; you might find that schools deliver programs in an accelerated format.

Stand Out with This Degree

Some administrative manager opportunities require a bachelor's degree. If you don't plan to pursue a higher education, you might consider certification. The certification process validates your understanding of office procedures, principles and technologies. The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) confers the Certified Administrative Assistant (CAP) credential. The CAP designation will demonstrate your understanding of office administration, office systems and modern technologies. The IAAP also offers the Technology Applications specialty, which validates skills in Microsoft productivity applications, including Word and Excel.

Bachelor's in Administrative Management

Schools design the bachelor's degree program to address technical and administrative skills. The program offers multiple options in administrative systems, business administration or information technology (IT). Programs further emphasize the importance of technical skills and some schools deliver the program through a school of computer technology. You can expect to gain knowledge of mathematics, leadership, business and the project management life cycle. Consequently, the bachelor's degree program offers an in-depth education that delivers business administration and technical skills in one program.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Administrative services managers earned a relatively competitive salary
  • Job growth for administrative services managers was project to grow 15% over the 2010-2020 decade*
  • Employers might prefer candidates with higher education

Cons

  • Career paths for the associate's and bachelor's degrees were similar, which might mean similar salaries
  • Pursuing a master's degree might make advancement opportunities more readily available
  • The BLS reveals that fluctuations in the economy might influence job availability for administrative services managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2020 job growth projections).

Courses and Requirements

The bachelor's degree program delivers a combination of business, financial and technical coursework. Programs emphasize a breadth of knowledge that prepares students to apply business communication, leadership and financial analysis skills. Some programs offer an IT option that provides the knowledge necessary to work in the tech field in an administrative capacity.

Online Degree Options

The online bachelor's degree in administrative management delivers a complete online learning experience. Courses are structured to deliver knowledge of business communications, leadership and project management. Some schools offer the program through an IT college, with coursework focusing heavily on technical concepts. Keep in mind that some colleges require that applicants possess an associate's degree before granting admission to the program.

Stand Out with This Degree

Experience and certification play an important role in advancing in the administrative management field. In addition, gaining an understanding of multiple responsibilities that support business operations might increase your marketability. Following are steps you can take to stand out:

  • Pursue multiple internships during your studies. Developing a wide range of skills in different business environments will provide a diverse skill set.
  • Consider pursuing the Certified Facility Manager or Facilities Management Professional certifications offered by the International Facility Management Association. The BLS predicted that employers will continue to demand workers with skills in this area.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • AASBA in Small Business Management
      • AASBA -Entrepreneurship
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    4. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts in Business Administration
  • Knoxville, TN

    Pellissippi State Technical Community College

  • Online Programs Available
    6. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • A.S. Business
      • A.S. General Studies - Business
      • A.S. General Studies - Entrepreneurship
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Excelsior College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AAS in Administrative and Management Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Accounting

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
  • Associate: Business Admin.
  • AASBA in Small Business Management

Which subject are you interested in?

Herzing University

  • Associate of Science - Business Management
  • Associate of Science - Business Studies

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Colorado Technical University

  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

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American InterContinental University

  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

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Indiana Wesleyan University

  • A.S. Business
  • A.S. General Studies - Business
  • A.S. General Studies - Entrepreneurship

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Excelsior College

  • AAS in Administrative and Management Studies

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Keiser University

  • Associate of Arts - Accounting

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