General Question

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

What kind of degree does an executive assistant have to have?

Asked by Aesthetic_Mess (7892points) August 6th, 2012

Looking at job requirements, it just says that a Bachelor’s Degree is required or preferred. What would you major in to be an executive assistant?

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11 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It depends on what the executive’s job description is.

gailcalled's avatar

In general, the ability to speak well, write clearly, be tactful and diplomatic, be well-organized. know how to read a balance sheet, and have a command of the company’s policies, products and goals.

codette's avatar

I would think a Communications or English major would be a good fit…people joke that those majors will leave you flipping burgers but actually they are quite appreciated by employers as they signify a general ability to communicate effectively and think critically in various situations. Might also be helpful to have some business management thrown in. Depending on the type of exectutive/company, it would be good to have some sort of experience in their field. Volunteering maybe. Are you looking at this as a future career path or trying to decide if you qualify for a current opening?

Lightlyseared's avatar

History of Art

JLeslie's avatar

Any degree is probably fine. @gailcalled is right, being able to speak well, organized, efficient, quick learner, knowledge of the computer software the company uses. I “dumbed down” my resume when I was looking for executive assistant jobs. Not that EA’s are dumb, but I had managerial experience, and had earned higher salaries than the EA positions I applied for. My impression is having any 4 year degree would demonstrate you can read and write and stuck with something and follow through. The interview would give them an idea of how well spoken you are and how you present yourself.

But, if you want to know the best degree I would say a business degree.

marinelife's avatar

Liberal Arts is fine.

downtide's avatar

I would think any degree would be aceptable but something like a Business degree would give you an advantage.

CWOTUS's avatar

“Degree required” is a phrase that’s included on most Help Wanted ads in order to screen applicants who are completely unqualified.

I’ve worked a variety of technical and professional positions for several well-known and respected employers since 1979, and I don’t have a degree. I’ve never claimed to have one, and I stress on my résumé that I “attended” university for three years and “did not attain a degree”, in case there’s any doubt.

If you can read for understanding, write with clarity, perform simple mathematics, listen when required, speak clearly and dress appropriately, you can perform 90% of the jobs required in American industry. If you can also think, write and spell, then you can also perform about 80% of what’s left after that. I wouldn’t want a surgeon without proper accreditation, no matter how well he writes. Otherwise, considering the output of some I’ve seen who do have university and business degrees, I’d say you don’t need any paper at all… just the demonstrated ability to perform.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

In the US, any position that requires a degree, or skill for that matter, better be able to prove that it is truly a requirement to do the job, as well as specify what that degree needs to be. Otherwise, the company could easily end up in court facing a discrimination lawsuit. Using the term preferred may be a better way as part of the screening process.

The executive secretaries I’ve known got the job based upon experience and reputation. Some may have had a degree, but I don’t recall it ever being a requirement. Then again, this is just based upon experience at one company.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve been an executive secretary, and I’m a high school dropout. When a degree is required for this kind of job, any degree at all will do, so long as you also have the actual experience you need for the job.

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