For many years, the job market for Administrative Assistants has been very competitive. Now, the situation has changed as more employers, both government and private, are looking to fill these types of jobs and the people trained for this career are in short supply.
Katherine McQuaid, Director of Training at Academy of Learning College in Charlottetown, sees the need for more trained Administrative Assistants. “We are getting calls from employers on a regular basis wanting to hire students from our Administration Assistant diploma program.
“More federal and provincial jobs are being posted than I have seen in a very long time. We can’t keep up with the demand, and we need to attract more students to the Administrative field.
“Most administrative jobs advertised are full-time, and compensation has increased, but there appears to be a wage gap between government and private sector positions. Government positions require the completion of a recognized Office Studies program.
“People thinking of getting into the field should reach out to employers to find out what post-secondary programming they require to become employed. Private employers may not have the same requirement, and can offer a lot of work experience in a wide choice of sectors.
“Employers are experiencing staff shortages across all of our complement of programming, including accounting, business administration, office administration, and medical administration.
“Right now, most of the requests we receive from employers are for administrative assistants. For many years, this type of job was very competitive because of the large number of people trained with the required skillsets.
“But today, these positions are more in demand because retirements are increasing, and people are changing careers more often and are not staying with one employer for long periods of time.”
Katherine says because of the demand, they are definitely looking to expand the number of people coming into the Administration Assistant program.
“In particular, we are focusing on attracting university graduates who might have an arts or a science degree and want to work in an administrative role. A university degree provides the theoretical background required for administration jobs today, and we provide the technology training.
“Along with keeping up with the latest technology, this career choice also requires the ability to assimilate new information, research, solve problems, and think critically, which are skills gained in university and are transferable to an administrative role.
“We have a lot more students taking medical administration because people have the impression that is where the opportunities are, and they are correct, but now there is a wide open door for office administration as well.”
About the program
The 10-month Administration Assistant program at Academy of Learning can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. Classes are available in the mornings, afternoons, evenings, and online. New students can begin at any time of year.
Students are given credit for skills they already have, which can reduce the time needed to complete the programs and the tuition as well.
All programs offer an on-the-job work placement. “The student identifies the employers they are interested in working with, and we set up the placement with the employer. We work together to meet the needs of the students.”
Janine Ronney from Charlottetown started the Administration Assistant program in 2019. She was determined to succeed in the program, and now is preparing for her on-the-job placement.
“After 20 years in the hospitality industry, I decided to change my career. I have had many different positions that have given me many different skills, but taking this program has helped me expand on those skills to prepare me for my next career.
“It was scary to make the change, but this has been a great program with great support. When I was considering a career change I looked for a career that was in an office setting but still had that customer interaction. The Administrative Assistant diploma program fit that criteria.
“I used resources such as The Employment Journey website to make sure I was choosing the right career, and I noticed more and more job openings for administrative assistants, which helped solidify my decision. I am very excited to start my next career!”
For more information about Academy of Learning College, call 1-888-328-8973.