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Top 15 Online Associate in Office Administration Programs for 2017

Careers in office administration, including jobs as secretaries and receptionists, are in demand, especially for professionals who hold an associate degree in the field.

According to the BLS, the median salary in these occupations is around $37,000 per year, and jobs are becoming available at a steady rate. An associate degree in office administration prepares graduates to work in a wide array of fields, including medical settings and corporate offices.


How to Choose an Online Associate in Office Administration Program

Before choosing an online office administration degree, there are a few things you may want to consider. First, you will want to evaluate your academic and professional goals, and what you hope to achieve through an online program. If you plan to continue to work full-time while pursuing your online degree, programs that are completely online and taught asynchronously would be the best choice.

Also, consider how many credits are required for graduation and how long it generally takes students to complete the program. If you have already earned credits from another institution, you may also want to look into whether or not you can transfer those credits. Tuition and fees should also factor into your decision.

Educational Paths

Office administration associate degree online graduates are prepared for a variety of four-year programs. Earning a bachelor’s degree can often lead to more job opportunities and the possibility of higher pay in entry-level positions. Administrative services managers with a bachelor’s degree tend to earn more than those with an associate. Below, you’ll find a few possible choices for bachelor’s programs you could transfer into after earning an associate degree in office administration.

  • Accounting

    An accounting degree includes coursework in areas like statistics and mathematics. Students may also take courses to prepare for the CPA exam.

  • Office Administration

    A bachelor’s degree in office administration builds upon the foundational skills gained during the associate program. Students may learn more about information technology and finance.

  • Business

    A general business degree is a great option for students looking to learn a wide set of skills in business and administration. Coursework emphasizes foundational business and entrepreneurial skills.

  • Finance

    Coursework in finance bachelor’s programs provide students with the skills to pursue careers in financial planning, bookkeeping, and market analysis.

Career Paths for Office Administration Graduates

An office administration degree online prepares students for many different careers. Qualified positions include administrative assistant, receptionist, and office manager. Below, you will find a few examples of career paths for graduates of office administration associate degree online programs and what those positions entail.

Job Outlook and Salary

Salaries vary for office administration associate degree online graduates. Many of the positions that graduates are qualified for are projected to grow over the coming years, and the skills learned through an office administration degree online will prepare them more many entry-level careers. Salaries will differ based on specific career, industry, and location. Below, you will find the projected employment growth data for receptionist jobs.

Employment Growth for CAREER
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
1,028,600 1,126,300

Source: BLS


More experience leads to more money. Graduates at entry-level positions will likely make less than those who have been working in the field for more than five years. The table below outlines the median salary for different positions based on years of experience in the field.

To determine the best online associate in office administration programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 10 best online associate in office administration programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.