A career in a business office administration field can be a rewarding path, giving you job security, and a chance to make important contributions to a business. While many upper-level business positions require that you have a graduate degree, there are also plenty of entry-level positions that will hire candidates who haven’t attended college.
If you think that a career in business is right for you but you don’t want to spend a lot of time in school, you can get a certificate of achievement or an associate degree. Both options offer a lower-cost, shorter-term way that you can prepare for your career.
Find out more about the advantages of business administration.
What Is it Like Working in an Office?
Your experience and day-to-day responsibilities working in an office will partially depend on your position.
For instance, a secretary or administrative assistant’s duties may include answering the phone, scheduling appointments and staff meetings, preparing and editing memos and documents, performing bookkeeping, and more.1 As a customer service representative, your primary responsibilities will be to interact with customers and answer questions through phone, email, chat, and more.2 If you become an insurance sales agent, you might call and interview prospective clients, process policy renewals and customize programs to a client’s needs, and maintain client records.3 Many professions work in an office environment, each with its own unique set of daily responsibilities.
The type of position you hold may also affect the environment you work in. Customer service representatives sometimes work in large office rooms alongside other employees, which can make for a noisy and distracting environment.4 Some office arrangements may allow you to have your own room within the office, while others may adopt the open office layout in which staff sit at communal desks in large spaces. This open floor plan design can make for a louder environment, but it may also help to facilitate collaboration and communication.5
Entry Level Business Roles
If you think that a business career is right for you, there are many entry-level business roles that you can apply for with a certificate of achievement or an associate degree.
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive form the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.1
Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives work to help resolve customers’ complaints and respond to requests. They may also work to process orders and provide customers with information about the business’ services and products. Common responsibilities include listening to and responding to questions and concerns, taking orders and processing payments, recording details about customer conversations and interactions, and sometimes referring customers to appropriate staff within the business.2
These responsibilities will vary depending on the industry and the specific job position. While customer service representatives don’t primarily sell products or services, they may have the opportunity to provide customers with important information or recommendations that can lead to sales. Most customer interactions take place via phone, but some businesses may also provide support by text, email, live chat, and social media.2