Many people have come into my office in search of training that will help them get a "desk job". However, someone stating they want a desk job is just as ambiguous as me saying I want a job outdoors. Although the place that the job occurs narrows the field a bit, there are still hundreds of jobs that could fit into the category of a desk job. Knowing that you want a job at a desk or an office setting is a good first step, and there are some basic skills that every office employee will need to have. Once an individual receives basic training, they will need to evaluate their strengths and passions in order to find a job that fits their unique qualities.
Amundsen Educational Center's Office Occupations program was designed to teach individuals the skills they will need to be successful in a variety of office settings. The three concentrations offered allow students to chose a track that fits their needs and abilities with the best chance for success. Since Amundsen Educational Center is a vocational school, training begins a the student's level and success is measured on improvement and competency.
All Office Occupations students are taught foundational office subjects, such as basic keyboarding, 10-key, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, email, Business English, Job Readiness, Introduction to Computers, Digital Literacy, and Accounting I. Additional classes are assigned based on the particular track they have decided to follow.
Students in this area of study often vary in age and experience. Some of our students are recent high school graduates who have decided that college is not a good fit for them, while others are changing careers or are looking to reenter the workforce.
The Accounting Clerk program prepares students for the world of accounting. Upon graduation, students will be qualified for entry level positions in a variety of accounting fields. Students will receive training in the bookkeeping program QuickBooks, which many companies use today. Since students receive training in accounting as well as other computer programs, they will be desirable employees because they are qualified for a variety of office and bookkeeping duties.
General Office Clerk
The General Office Clerk position is the most basic Office Occupations track we offer. Students will have the opportunity to take the Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate Exam upon the completion of their Microsoft Office courses. Recipients of this certificate are highly esteemed in today's workforce. This track focuses on foundational office skills that an individual would need in order to be a receptionist, secretary, data entry, or support personnel.
Computer Information Processor
The Computer Information Processor position expands upon the General Office Clerk track. Students will be competent in all Microsoft Office programs, which is extremely desirable in employees. Students will have the opportunity to take the Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate Exam upon the completion of their Microsoft Office courses. Recipients of this certificate are highly esteemed in today's workforce. Graduates of this track would be qualified for the same types of jobs as students who earn a General Office Clerk diploma, however, they would be capable of a heavier workload and increased responsibility.
Amundsen Educational Center
995 Roald Ave. Soldotna, AK 99669
Teaching Technology to Kids
In today's electronic-saturated world, children are exposed to technology at a young age. Many toddlers can navigate a smart phone before they can spell their name, and kindergartners have given up bicycles and hide-and-seek for online gaming. Although the kids of today seem to know everything there is about navigating our plugged-in world, many of them lack the basic building blocks necessary to be efficient and productive in today's society.
Here are a few things that all kids should know and be able to do in order to be successful in today's tech-savvy culture. Whether your kids are online 24/7 or have limited electronic access, I encourage you to take the time to review these skills with them. What they do and don't know might just surprise you.
1. Basic Internet Safety
No matter how restrictive your own home might be, the internet is everywhere. It is important to teach kids at a young age appropriate boundaries when they are presented with technology. The topics that should be covered will vary with your child's age, but it is never too early to start teaching them what you might deem appropriate for their age and maturity level.
2. Internet Etiquette
Especially appropriate for tweens and teens, it is crucial that kids be taught the importance of respecting others online, and have an understanding of what kinds of things are appropriate and inappropriate to post and share.
Kids should know the correct way to type on a keyboard. I am amazed at the number of kids graduating from high school who peck at the keyboard with a couple of fingers. If your child's school doesn't teach typing, encourage them to learn on their own. There are tons of websites that teach proper typing, and your kids will thank you later.
4. Finding Reliable Resources Online
Once kids reach high school, they should be able to search for topics on the internet and tell if a resource or website is trustworthy. This skill is absolutely necessary in today's information-overloaded world.
5. Microsoft Office
Spend some time browsing employment openings, and you will see that many jobs require experience with Microsoft Office applications. Commonly used applications include Excel, Word, and Outlook. PowerPoint and Publisher are also good to learn, but aren't as common.
Basic Internet Safety
Looking for formal training in these topics?
Amundsen Educational Center offers online courses in Digital Literacy, Keyboarding, and Microsoft Office.
I have a plaque in my office that reads, "Dreams Only Work if You Do." Sitting around wishing for a better job doesn't get you a better job. What can get you a better job? Vocational training at Amundsen Educational Center!
We have openings in our Office Occupations programs for the spring semester. In 18 weeks of training, you can get the education and credentials you will need to get a job that you love. We offer classes in Microsoft Office, Accounting, QuickBooks, Business English, Job Readiness, and much more. Once you receive your diploma from AEC, you will be ready for the job that you never thought you could have.
We have a wonderful matching funds program happening for the remainder of the school year, which means you can get your education at AEC for half the cost. Still need funding to help pay for training? Check out our Financial Assistance page.
The spring semester begins on January 10th, 2017. It could be your first day to a new year and a fresh start!
Did you know that you can earn up to 6 college credits just by taking Microsoft Certificate Exams?
The American Council on Education is the organization that makes it possible. According to their website, the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT®) was established in 1974 to connect workplace learning with colleges and universities by helping students gain access to academic credit for formal training taken outside traditional degree programs. With over 35,000 programs reviewed, CREDIT is the national leader in the evaluation process for education and training obtained outside the classroom including courses, exams, apprenticeships, and other types of nontraditional forms of training.
There are three main steps involved in earning college credit for your certifications.
Step 1: Research Your School
The first step in earning college credit for your certifications is to contact your school's admissions department. You will need to find out whether or not the school adheres to the American Council on Education’s recommendations for providing college credit to those who have earned Microsoft certifications. The ACE has a list of schools who recognize their recommendations here.
Step 2: Determine Whether or Not Your Certification Qualifies
Search for your certification or test here to see if it qualifies. If so, you will need to determine whether or not the certifications that you have earned are eligible under the school’s program.
The college credit recommended for each exam varies depending on difficulty and topic. Remember that this is just a recommendation, and you will need to double check with your college or university for confirmation.
Step 3: Submit a Transcript
The third step in earning college credit for your certifications is to submit a transcript to your school. In order to provide the transcript that your school requires, you will have to enroll in the American Council on Education’s transcript service.
After you have registered with the transcript service, browse the American Council on Education course catalog and add the exams that you have passed to the course list. As you do, you will have to provide the date on which you received each certification.
After the American Council on Education has verified your certifications, use the American Council on Education website to submit a transcript request. There is a $20 fee that is charged for setting up your transcript account and that fee includes one transcript. If you decide later to submit transcripts to other schools, there is a $15 fee for each transcript.
Preparing for Certification
There are many online resources available to help prepare you for a Microsoft certification exam. However, these resources may not be accurate or thorough. If you want to make sure you receive all of the training and practice that you will need to be successful, you might consider taking an official Microsoft course. AEC offers Microsoft courses both online and on campus through Microsoft's Imagine Academy program. The benefit of taking a course through AEC is that our curriculum is written by Microsoft and the course is designed for the student to pass the certificate exam upon completion.
Another benefit to taking a Microsoft course with AEC is that we offer an exam discount for students, and testing is done here on campus. Courses are available both online and on campus, so you can choose the one that is right for you. For more information about our Microsoft courses, visit our website.
Getting Your Employer to Pay for Your Certification
Many employers offer a tuition reimbursement program. Some schools (like AEC) offer classes that will actually prepare you to take Microsoft certification exams. Therefore, it is theoretically possible to take such a class and the exam, and then have your employer reimburse you for it through their tuition reimbursement program.
The WorkKeys assessment system is a comprehensive employability skills assessment tool designed by ACT (the American College Testing program) to help individuals develop better workplace skills.
The main 3 WorkKeys exams are: Reading for Information, Locating for Information, and Applied Math. Each test is 55 minutes in length and material is based on situations in the everyday working world. Unlike other assessments, they don’t simply give an indication of reading and writing competency. Instead, they measure a range of hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and in any industry. Assessments can be taken on your own time, as many times as you want, and scores are only shared with employers when you're ready.
Successful completion of these exams can help you earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), which shows potential employers the works skills that you have demonstrated on the exam. This certificate is recognized by companies across the nation. In addition, Alaskan participants can earn an Alaska Career Readiness Certificate, which the Alaska Job Center Network says assists employers with evaluating current employees for further training and promotional opportunities.
In the state of Alaska, these exams are free. Simply find out from your local Job Center when testing is available. You will be able to take a pretest in each exam, and online learning opportunities are made available for you to improve upon your initial scores through a program called Career Ready 101/Key Train. This program is online and individuals can work to improve their knowledge and skills whenever they have time. When you're ready, simply go back and take the exam(s) that you want.
For more information about the WorkKeys Assessment, explore the links below:
Alaska Job Center Network
Career Ready 101