Office Administration and Technology

The Office Administration and Technology programs at Southwestern Illinois College can prepare you for a variety of office support careers in business, education or government. Program options blend traditional office administration skills such as filing, scheduling and organizing, with current computer technology and applications including word processing, electronic spreadsheets, database management and presentation graphics. 

SWIC offers Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificate options.

For more information on the OAT program, please contact Program Coordinator Tina Dierkes at 618-235-2700, ext. 5321 or


Associate in Applied Science - Office Administration (032A)

This degree program trains students for office careers in business, education or government. Students will learn traditional office skills alongside modern technology, focused through four areas of concentration. Full program listing can be found here.

Office Administration Sub Plans

Administrative Assistant
In this plan path, you will learn office support, document processing, business communications and a variety of software packages. Courses are here.

Legal Office Specialist
In this plan path, you will learn basic business law, law office management and legal document preparation as well as basic office support and a variety of software packages. Courses are here.

Accounting Office Specialist
In this plan path, you will learn financial and managerial accounting, as well as basic office support and a variety of software packages. Courses are here.

Medical Office Specialist
In addition to basic office support and software packages, in this plan path you will learn principles of biology, basic accounting, economics and medical terminology. Courses are here.

Associate in Applied Science - Office Technology Specialist (0069)

In this degree program, you will study computers, specialized technology, electronic communications and electronic information systems. The program will provide you with a benchmark to measure your computer skills using Microsoft Office software. View cost sheet.

Certificate Programs

Office Technology Assistant I Certificate (033A)
This program emphasizes word processing and related office skills for entry level positions. View cost sheet.

Office Technology Assistant II Certificate (0033)
This program is designed to give students additional skills after completing Office I. Upon completion of this certificate, a student may continue in one of the OAT degree programs. View cost sheet.

Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate (0064)
This one semester curriculum is designed to prepare students to take the Microsoft Office Specialist test(s). The MOS certification is a globally recognized certification of skill in the use of Microsoft desktop business applications. View cost sheet.

Administrative Office Support Certificate (0065)
This one-year program of concentrated secretarial work may be completed in two semesters. Courses also could apply toward the completion of the two-year OAT program. View cost sheet.

Office Support Technology Certificate (069A)
The certificate program provides the skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level office support positions in the automated office. Basic computer concepts and operation, basic word processing concepts and operation, and general office procedures are taught. View cost sheet.

Virtual Assistant Certificate (069B)
This certificate program is designed to prepare students to operate from a remote location to provide support services such as administrative, creative and/or technical solutions to individuals, business and organizations. View cost sheet.

Accelerated Degree Option

Students with an associate or bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college may earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in OAT by completing at least 27 semester credit hours of program related course work. A plan of specific courses required for the degree must be obtained from the program coordinator and approved by the Dean of the Business Division and the Vice President for Instruction. Only those courses completed at Southwestern Illinois College, and not included as part of the requirements for a previously earned degree or certificate, can be considered for this option. Students must meet all institutional requirements for the Associate in Applied Science degree.

Career Opportunities

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Office Assistant
  • Word/Information Processor
  • Secretary
  • Legal Office Specialist
  • Accounting Office Specialist
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Information Processor
  • Software Specialist
  • Clerk Typist
  • General Office Clerk
  • General Office Assistant
  • Virtual Assistant in business, education and government
  • Secretary
  • Receptionist
  • Office Assistant

For details about career opportunities, visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook website published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Visit our Career Activities and Employment Center.

Employment Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2008 and 2018, the demand for accounting clerks is expected to grow by 10 percent, administrative assistants by 11 percent, general office clerks by 12 percent, legal secretaries by 28 percent, medical secretaries by 34 percent, medical transcriptionists by 11 percent and receptionists/information clerks by 15 percent. 

The job prospects for administrative professionals are good because they provide a service that is integral to the office operation. Promotions of senior executive, clerical supervisor or office manager may be offered to experienced administrative assistants who increase their knowledge of their company's venues and enhance their skills with additional education and training.