One could be forgiven for thinking that the role of the secretary had disappeared now that everyone has a computer on their desk …….. but you’d be wrong!
Far from disappearing, the demand for secretarial staff has increased as busy executives grapple with increasingly demanding workloads.
And the role of the secretary has developed too, requiring ever increasing levels of professionalism and skills.
In terms of the role, there is now almost a hierarchy where one starts one’s secretarial career as a general secretary before becoming more specialised, such as a legal secretary, medical secretary and then an Executive PA (Personal Assistant).
It is likely that today’s secretary will have a university degree (although this is not always a pre-requisite) and they will almost certainly have taken secretarial courses including typing, shorthand and information technology training, particularly in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Secretarial courses can be taken at a local college or at a professional training centre such as those operated by Pitman Training in London’s Notting Hill and High Holborn and in Central Manchester.
Pitman Training aims to educate students more quickly and to a higher standard than the traditional evening institute and they also offer a training system that allows students to attend when they are able, on a drop-in basis, which suits many people who have to work while they are earning their certificate or diploma.
Whatever the type of studies chosen by a prospective secretary, the work on offer will be varied with a high degree of responsibility.
Secretaries and PA’s are required to organise a boss or sometimes a whole department in terms of administration, diary management and communication both inside and outside the organisation.
With so much going on it is clear to see why a high level of skill with Microsoft Office as well as fast and accurate typing and a professional telephone manner are essential.
As mentioned earlier, the hierarchy or career path of the secretarial world enables secretaries to specialise as they get more experience and salary levels tend to reward those who choose a specific field such as law or health.
Another attractive aspect of secretarial work is that demand comes from all kinds of sectors, including charities, government bodies, the National Health Service and many others and is not confined to providing business support in companies.
Some secretaries even decide to take temporary work so that they can sample the broad range of organisations that have need of their services and it does no harm to gain experience and learn about different approaches to work in this way.
If you are interested in learning more about taking secretarial courses, contact Pitman Training:
Notting Hill – 020 7792 5214
Holborn – 020 7025 4700
Manchester - 0161 923 6814
Or contact them by email.
Their friendly Course Advisors will be pleased to help you decide whether secretarial courses are the right way to start your new career.