A well-run office is one of the secret keys to success in just about any enterprise. A degree in office administration can help you learn the finer points of office management, from accurate record keeping to effective business communication.
The breadth and depth of knowledge you can gain from earning an office administration degree often depends on the length of the program. Four-year bachelor's degrees tend to provide instruction in a wider range of concepts in the field, while programs that take two years or less typically focus on the essentials you'll need to get your career started quickly.
Many institutions also offer study plans that can lead to online degrees for business administration students. If you're hoping to continue your education but might have trouble fitting a traditional program into your schedule, don't forget to look into online office administration degrees.
Best Colleges for Office Administration Degree Programs
We wanted to find out which colleges in the U.S. were the best schools for office administration, so we put together data profiles on over 1,000 institutions reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. Click the methodology button to learn more about how we laid out the scores that produced the rankings, and read on for the ten best colleges for office administration degree programs.
The national average student-faculty ratio is 16:1, according to a calculation by U.S. News and World Report, and Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico's Miami, Florida, location beat that average figure by a long margin. Student-faculty ratio at the Miami school was just 6:1 in 2015, which suggests that professors have time to offer individualized help to students if needed.
Aspiring office managers have two degree plans to choose from at PUPR: a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in organizational management and a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) with available academic concentrations in accounting, marketing, general management and information systems. Both programs include 30 credit hours of general education coursework.
Selma University, a private and historically black Bible college in Selma, Alabama, led our top ten schools for office administration in the affordability category. Students at Selma paid an average of just under $6,200 &mdash more than $3,500 less than the mean of all schools on our list.
The bachelor's degree program for office administration students at Selma University features 33 credit hours of business courses designed to build your intellectual outlook and analytical skills. Students must also take a minimum of 18 credit hours of Bible study courses and 12 credits of theology in order to be considered for graduation.
Grantham University tied for the top spot on our distance education metric, which likely comes as no surprise to its students. The national for-profit university doesn't maintain a brick-and-mortar campus at which to offer traditional courses, so 100 percent of its students reported being enrolled in online courses in 2015. Other flexibility measures, such as placement services for degree completers, were available here as well.
Bachelor's programs in business administration and business management can provide a thorough business education on your way to an office management career, including courses in e-commerce and business law. An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in computer science can also teach you the skills necessary to use essential office software like a pro.
One of the oldest for-profit educational institutions in the U.S., Jamestown Business College was founded in 1886 and specializes exclusively in degrees for businesspeople. It offers a B.B.A. program for four-year students and six individual study plans for business administration students in its Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) program.
Another A.A.S. degree available at JBC is its administrative assistant program, which concentrates with a laser focus on knowledge and skills necessary to the office administration profession. Students learn about computer applications used in the office, business writing, public relations, social psychology and more. Available degree track options include office technology, medical office work and accounting.
This Bismarck, North Dakota, school posted the highest graduation rate among schools its size that made our top ten and reported our list's largest dollar investment per capita on instructional expenses like up-to-date classroom technology. Prospective office administration students can choose between Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree plans in business administration.
The primary difference between B.A. and B.S. study plans lies in the general education requirements &mdash you'll get the same level and type of business-focused education from each program. A bachelor's and a minor in business communication are also available. The student-faculty ratio at University of Mary is 13:1.
Metropolitan State University was one of the top schools for online office administration degrees, especially among public universities and those that offer both online and on-campus programs. The NCES reports that around 43 percent of students enrolled at the St. Paul, Minnesota, school took at least some of their courses online in 2015.
The College of Management at Metropolitan State University — known as Metro to its students and staff &mdash offers two main degree programs for aspiring office administrators. The B.S. in business administration provides the standard broad base of business and management instruction, while the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in organizational administration is designed to build on technical strengths developed in an office administration associate degree program.
Named for its founder Isom Caleb Clinton, our No. 7 school ranked No. 3 among schools that made our top ten for the affordability of its average tuition and fees cost and comes with additional upside for students who prefer an intimate educational environment. Clinton College was the smallest school on our list, awarding just 24 total degrees in 2015, and its student faculty ratio was a comfortable 10:1 on the most recent NCES report.
Business administration degrees at Clinton can be earned at the associate as well as the bachelor's level. The major aim of the A.S. program is to provide students with the skills they need to compete professionally, while the B.S. program contains more academic courses that promote theoretical and interdisciplinary learning.
Only the fully online institutions on our list reported a higher percentage of students earning credits by distance education than Granite State College, where nearly 82 percent of the student population took advantage of some form of online course in 2015. The flexibility measures don't stop there — select on-campus courses are available in evenings or on weekends, and alternative tuition payment plans can be used to ease the cost burden of basic enrollment expenses.
Students looking for online office administration degrees may be glad to learn that the B.S. in business management at GSC can be taken fully online with select on-campus courses. An operations management B.S. is available as well, if you're thinking about pivoting toward logistics later in your career.
Founded in January 2000, Unilatina International College is a young and small institution with a focus on business education. It has an open enrollment policy, ensuring that any student who meets a few basic qualifications can be admitted regardless of past academic performance, and the NCES reported a 100 percent graduation rate for the class of 2015.
Unilatina students can prepare for an office administration career with either a two- or four-year degree in business administration. Both programs contain courses in the principles of marketing, accounting and economics; human resources management; business ethics and business planning; enterprise social media use and public speaking.
Actually located in the city of Kenner, about 20 minutes from central New Orleans, Herzing University - New Orleans offers bachelor's and associate degrees in business management that can be earned either on campus or online. Study tracks within the bachelor's program include human resource management, entrepreneurial studies and marketing.
Flexibility was one of the main bright spots for this private, non-profit school. Not only did more than half of the student body report taking some of their classes via distance education in 2015, but weekend/evening courses, placement services for alumni and academic and career counseling services are all available as well.
Office Administration Degree Programs and Common Career Paths
Different employers require different levels of education for their entry-level positions in office administration. A certificate or an associate degree may be enough at some organizations, while others require at least a bachelor's. Here's some info about common careers for office administration graduates.
Career Outlook for Office Administration Majors
Certain office administration careers may be growing faster than others, and knowing what to expect from the job market can take some of the stress out of your post-graduation search for steady work. Check out this quick rundown of employment projections for positions that value the skills taught in office administration programs.
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH(%)
|Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program||$53,990||50,650||10.6%|
|Education Administrators, Postsecondary||$111,210||143,430||10%|
|Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other||$37,480||196,570||9.2%|
|Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School||$98,750||263,120||7.8%|
|First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers||$59,340||1,477,560||3.4%|
|Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers||$59,340||1,477,560||3.4%|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in for Office Administration
Scholarships for office administration students are typically awarded at the institutional level — like the Dorothy Edwards Scholarship at American River College — or by funds and foundations with a state or regional focus. Here are a few financial aid options that might be able to help you pay for your degree.
To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.
- Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.
Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.
- In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
- Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
- Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
- Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
- Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
- Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
- Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
- Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed October 2017, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- School pages, accessed November 13, 2017: Learning Outcomes, Community College of Rhode Island, https://ccri.edu/oftd/learning_outcomes.html; Learning Outcomes: Office Administration, Valencia College, http://valenciacollege.edu/academic-affairs/institutional-effectiveness-planning/institutional-assessment/loa/documents/officeadministration.pdf; B.S. Degree with a Major in Office Administration and Technology, Valdosta State University, https://www.valdosta.edu/programs/b-s-degree-with-a-major-in-office-administration-and-technology/; About Polytechnic University, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, http://www.pupr.edu/miami/about/; Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, http://www.pupr.edu/miami/academics/academic-programs/bachelor-of-business-administration-program/; Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management (BSOM), Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, http://www.pupr.edu/miami/academics/academic-programs/bachelor-of-science-in-organizational-management-program/; Business Administration, Selma University, http://www.selmauniversity.edu/Business_Admin.html; Online Bachelors in Business Administration, Grantham University, https://www.grantham.edu/online-degrees/business-administration-bachelors/?tab-curriculum; Online Associate Programs, Grantham University, https://www.grantham.edu/degree-type/online-associates-degree/; Programs of Study, Jamestown Business College, http://www.jbc.edu/programs-of-study.html; Business Administration Degree, University of Mary, http://www.umary.edu/academics/programs/business-administration.php; Business Communication Degree, University of Mary, http://www.umary.edu/academics/programs/business-communication.php; Why Metro?, Metropolitan State University, http://www.metrostate.edu/why-metro; Organizational Administration (BS), Metropolitan State University, http://www.metrostate.edu/student/university-info/university-info/college-of-management/college-of-management-programs-undergraduate/organizational-administration-(bas); Business Administration (BS), Metropolitan State University, http://www.metrostate.edu/student/university-info/university-info/college-of-management/college-of-management-programs-undergraduate/business-administration-(bs); Clinton College History, Clinton College, https://clintoncollege.edu/about-clinton/history/; Academic Programs, Clinton College, https://clintoncollege.edu/academic-affairs/academic-programs/; Business Management (B.S.), Granite State College, https://www.granite.edu/degree-programs/bachelors-degrees/business-management/; Operations Management (B.S.), Granite State College, https://www.granite.edu/degree-programs/bachelors-degrees/operations-management/; History, Unilatina International College, http://www.unilatina.edu/about-us/history/; A.S. Business Administration, Unilatina International College, http://www.unilatina.edu/academics/associates/a-s-business-administration/#1490290116698-1849d732-ee5b; B.S. Business Administration, Unilatina International College, http://www.unilatina.edu/academics/bachelor-programs/b-s-business-administration-uic-college-florida-miramar/#1490637035069-871be472-d258; Online Business Management Degree Programs, Herzing University, https://www.herzing.edu/business/business-management-degree;
- 21 Liberal Arts Colleges With the Lowest Student-Faculty Ratios, U.S. News and World Report, Jordan Friedman, April 19, 2016, accessed November 13, 2017, https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2016-04-19/21-liberal-arts-colleges-with-the-lowest-student-faculty-ratios
- Administrative Service Managers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed November 13, 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm
- General and Operations Managers, Occupational Information Network, accessed November 13, 2017, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1021.00
- Professional organization pages, accessed November 13, 2017: IAAP Membership, International Association of Administrative Professionals, http://www.iaap-hq.org/?page=joiniaap; AEAP Benefits, The Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals, http://www.iaap-hq.org/?page=joiniaap; About ASAP, American Society of Administrative Professionals, https://www.asaporg.com/resources/about-asap;
- Dorothy Edwards Scholarship & Internship, American River College, accessed November 13,2017,http://www.arc.losrios.edu/ARC_Majors/Business_and_Computer_Science/ARC_Business_Technology/Scholarship_or_Internship.htm
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.