How Do I Choose the Best Secretary Training?

Angela Farrer

You can choose the best secretary training according to the kinds of secretarial jobs you want to pursue and their specific skill requirements. General secretary careers require candidates to have good communication and organizational skills. Proficiency in computer office software is also a focus of secretary training in many cases. Secretary schools usually offer degree or certificate programs that cover this subject matter. Some types of secretaries need to have additional areas of specialized knowledge to work in certain professions such as medicine or law.

Secretarial colleges should cover modern filing and archiving procedures.
Secretarial colleges should cover modern filing and archiving procedures.

Good quality secretary training gives you both the practical office skills and the sense of professional communication needed for success in a secretarial career. Many sequences of secretary courses include at least a few classes in typing, as most secretary jobs require the ability to touch-type accurately at a minimum of about 60 words per minute. This secretary training often includes both formal instruction and self-paced sessions where you can practice your typing at a computer keyboard. Once you have passed your typing courses, good secretarial instruction will also include classes in preparing the same types of business documents you are likely to encounter in a secretary job setting.

Choosing the best secretary training depends on the type of secretary career that the individual is interested in pursing.
Choosing the best secretary training depends on the type of secretary career that the individual is interested in pursing.

Your secretarial training should also consist of classes in creating memos, forms, letters, and other types of written communication found in the business world. These courses often cover the correct writing techniques needed for professional-level communication. Other related secretary courses can also teach effective spoken communication over the telephone and in person. This area of secretary training should also ideally include practice time for you to become comfortable using these new skills.

Computer skills taught in a secretarial school often consist of word processing, basic database use, and spreadsheet creation. The best secretary training program will teach the effective use of popular office software used in many job settings. These software packages should ideally be the latest released versions to ensure your skills up to date. Some secretary schools also offer elective courses in the use of tablet computers and audio transcription software.

Secretaries who hope to find work in the legal profession need to take additional courses in topics, such as legal terminology and the proper procedures for filing various legal documents. Aspiring medical secretaries often need to learn medical vocabulary as well as job duties such as billing and insurance claim processing. Good secretary training in these areas will provide you with a thorough foundation in these specific skills.

Secretary training may include instruction on the best use of tablet computers.
Secretary training may include instruction on the best use of tablet computers.

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Discussion Comments

fBoyle

@stoneMason-- Yes, but keep in mind that those certification programs are in addition to general secretary training. Anyone who intends to work as a secretary should be aiming to complete a certification program as a general secretary.

I don't know, for example, if it's enough for someone who wants to be a legal secretary to just take courses on legal secretarial work. I think that people complete courses in general secretarial work first and then supplement with additional courses in a specific area. I think there are many universities offering some very good quality programs in this area.

stoneMason

@burcin-- Do you mean like a medial secretary?

I think it can happen both ways. There are hospitals that are willing to train their secretaries and teach them the medical terms that they need to be familiar with. But many hospitals nowadays require that the secretary be certified in a medical secretary program from a community college or elsewhere.

If you have interest in a specific field and if there is a certification program for it, I do recommend that you get certified. You should do plenty of research beforehand though to make sure that there are plenty of vacancies for this position in your area. You don't want to pay for the training and then realize that there are very few jobs available in that field.

burcinc

Do secretaries who work in very specific areas intentionally prepare themselves to work in those fields or they kind of just end up in it?

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