JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE SECRETARIES IN THIS NEW MILLENNIUM
This study has its main of identifying the extent of job opportunities available to graduate secretaries within Enugu Metropolis and to see whether there are problems militating against them.
The need for the study stems form people’s wrong notion that secretarial studies is synonymous with typewriting and shorthand and therefore secretaries are mere typists and stenographers and because f this level of training they cannot hold managerial and administrative positions.
Office automation has also brought it own problems while some areas are yet to be appropriate due to lack of training. The researcher’s study is to obtain the true position of things.
Related literatures were reviewed and opinions of others in this respect were obtained. Working class, applicant graduate secreted from five organizations formed the population.
The total number of 200 was trimmed down to a sample size of 133 using the simple random sampling technique. Structured questionnaire was used for the collection of data and analysis was done using tables and simple percentage method.
The findings show that secretaries study other management and Administrative courses, apart form the professional courses. Many tertiary institutions offering secretarial studies do not have sophisticated secretary – job related machines for their training.
Job opportunities exist for secretaries in set-up, oil companies and international organizations. However, in the areas of legal, medical, technical and linguistic secretary ship, employment opportunities are yet to be exploited by secretaries due to lack of training.
Based on the findings, the researcher recommended a broadening of the course curriculum, equipment of tertiary institutions with modern office machines.
Finally, the researcher concluded that secretary ship us lucrative course and sky is the limit of the secretary who knows.
LIST OF TABLE
4.1 Qualifications obtained
4.2 Entry qualifications obtained
4.3 Number of courses studied at school
4.4 Length of time spent in search of job
4.5 Extent of knowledge and practical skills acquired at school
4.6 Availability and serviceability of modern office machines in school.
4.7 Reasons for not acquiring any practical knowledge in the used of modern office machines
4.8 Availability of modern office machines in offices
4.9 Initial problems experienced on resumption of duty
4.10 More job opportunities as a result of office automation
4.11 Non-professional/Quack invasion of secretarial field due to automation.
4.12 Existence of non-graduates as secretaries in organizations.
4.13 Advocates of the broadening of course content
4.14 Special training needed in certain areas
4.15 Awareness of the growth potentials of secretaries on the job
4.16 Reasons for being an applicant
4.17 Preferred places of employment
4.18 Level of performance of managerial and Administrative factors.
4.19 Number of graduate secretaries in employment
4.20 Perception of graduate secretary.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Approval page ii
List of table vii
Table of content ix
1.1 Background of the study 1
1.2 Statement of the problem 5
1.3 Purpose f the study 7
1.4 Delimitation of the study 8
1.5 Significance of the study 9
1.6 Research question 10
1.7 Definition of terms 11
2.1 Review of related literature 13
2.2 The graduate secretary 14
2.3 Categories of secretaries 16
2.4 Responsibilities of the graduate secretary 20
2.5 Academic qualifications required for one to train as a
secretary in nigeria universities polytechnics 24
2.6 Course studied by graduate secretaries 27
2.7 Job opportunities for graduate secretaries 28
2.8 Sources of employment information 32
2.9 Office automation and graduate secretaries 34
3.1 Research methodology 36
3.2 Research methodology/design 36
3.3 Are/location of study 37
3.4 Population of the study 37
3.5 Sample size 38
3.6 Sources of data 40
3.7 Research instrument used 40
3.8 Method of data analysis 41
4.1 Data Presentation And Analysis 42
5.1 Discussion of findings, summary, and recommendations 65
5.2 Summary of findings 72
5.3 Conclusion 74
5.4 Recommendations 75
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the new millennium, modern business environment has witnessed a lot of sophistication in operation and organization Graduate secretaries of various cadres are very essential for the efficient and smooth running of business organization.
In any organized set up or office, there has to be proper flow of communication and correct presentation for such establishment to achieve its corporate goals.
In the light of the above, ideas, suggestions, thoughts, information and messages must be orderly and properly presented in printed forms. Records are to be preserved in offices in respect of the external and internal dealings of the establishment. Also visitors should be handled with sound business etiquette to create the necessary goodwill and healthy public image required of an enterprise. The professional discharge of all these functions lies with the graduate secretaries.
It takes about five to six years to train graduate in secretarial students in most Nigeria Universities and polytechnics. There are some basic academic qualifications that one has acquire before one could be eligible to be trained as a graduate secretary. These include credit level passes in English language and in four other art subjects plus a pass in Mathematics at the senior schools certificate Examinations. The graduate programme of the Nigerian polytechnics is in two tiers – the National Diploma and the Higher National Diploma disjoined by a one-year industrial work experience. However, only the later could be wisely regarded as the full graduate students. If a secretary after completing the two-year National Diploma abandons the Higher National Diploma proramme she could better be referred to as half-baked graduate in the profession. For the full graduate of secretarial studies. She has been trained up to managerial position in the office as she tool courses in industrial psychology, Business law, personnel management business communication etc. There are the Administrative secretary and company secretaries who perform very minimal secretarial functions, but are involved in managerial organization of the various establishments where they work.
Considering the kind of training given to graduate secretaries, it is evident that most office functions revolve around the secretary – handling of mails, filling and indexing taking down dictations and transcribing same, receiving and making telephone calls on behalf of the electiveness’ itinerary, arranging appointments and maintaining the diary of activities etc on behalf of her boss.
For the graduate secretary to be in a better footing to execute these functions, she needs some business and personal attributes. “A sound knowledge of English language is quite relevant to a secretary who cannot express himself or herself well (orally and in writing) is worthless in the labour market”. Nweke (1986) she is the diplomat, ambassador and mirror of the organization. She needs great diplomacy and tact in handling enquires, telephone calls and visitors, hostess; qualities are indispensable in order to perform her reception duties. Discretion and confidentiality must not lack in her and these are the major ethics of the profession.
Personal attributes should include good personality, integrity, pleasing temperament, initiatives, charming manners, understanding and sympathy towards others, self control and good humour in order to absorb the heat of the day work.
The introduction of sophisticated machines, the operation/manipulation of such machines such as computers, word processors, fax machines such as computers, word processors, fax machines etc the handling of information and organization of other business activities have diversified in this millennium.
Moreover most of them do not have the machines and where scarcely available they are faulty. It now follows that for the graduate secretary to be efficient in the use of the machines. Post graduation training is required. Other machines such as fax, radio communication gadgets, etc are never exposed to the secretaries at school.
Job opportunities abound for graduate secretaries in the public service and big private companies such as banks, insurance and oil companies, engineering and manufacturing companies, international organizations, tertiary institutions, secondary schools and even in self employment.
In the Western Countries like United State of America (USA) and Britain Secretaries are thriving in these fields. Infact a general review of the NBTE curriculum and course specification for secretarial studies by the researcher reveals in adequacy for the new millennium’s job demands on the secretaries and a poor state of affairs for the secretary of the paperless office. Time is auspicious for the graduate secretaries who are distinguished from graduates in other fields of learning for their versatility, to rise up to the challenges of the profession, tap new employment prospects and debunk the erroneous impression held by some people that secretaries are mere servants whose growth potentials on the job is unenviable and restricted to particular area.