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Do you need a college degree to be a secretary?

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Wiki User
March 13, 2013 9:20PM

Not really. I started working as a secretary when I was sixteen through a program my high school offered. I went to high school for a half-day, and, then, I went to my secretarial job for the other half of the day. I graduated high school at eighteen and kept that job until I was in my mid-twenties. Because it was an absolute dead end that didn't even pay a living wage, I chose to go to college to get a degree.

After four years and thousands of dollars more than I care to think about, I finished college. I applied to job after job for about six months as I worked part-time doing elder care. The only job I was able to get was a secretarial job through a temp agency that paid $7/hr. Eventually, I got a better secretarial job that paid $23K a year. So, in short, I was a secretary WITHOUT a degree before I went to college, and a secretary WITH a degree after I went to college. The work was exactly the same. The pay after college was slightly more, but the job was still a complete dead end that barely paid a living wage.

If you really want to be a secretary, I'm not sure why you'd want to spend four or more years of your life in college. Your local workforce commission or community college should have word processing training and classes on how to use other popular business applications. Aside from that, the rest of it--other than maybe multi-tasking--is stuff you learn as you go.

What you learn in college has absolutely no bearing on answering phones, keeping calendars, fetching coffee, fetching donuts, typing correspondence, and filing. If you're gong to spend the $$$ and time to go to college, study something that pays better and lets you use your intelligence a little more!