JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE SECRETARIES IN THIS MILLENNIUM (A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU METROPOLIS)
This study has its main objects of identifying the extent of job opportunities available to graduate secretaries in Enugu metropolis and to see whether there are problems militating against this.
The need for the study stems from people’s wrong notion that secretarial studies is synonymous with typewriting and shorthand and therefore secretaries are mere typists and stenographers and because of this level of training they cannot hold managerial and administrative positions.
Office automation has also brought its own problems while some areas are yet to be appropriated due to lack of training. And the researcher delved into the study to obtain the true position of things.
Structured questionnaire was used for collection of data and analysis was done using tables and simple percentage method.
The findings show that secretaries study other management and administrative courses aside 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 the public sector, big commercial and industrial concern, oil companies and international organizations. However in the areas of legal, medical, technical and linguistic secretaryship, 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, positive perception and fair treatment of secretaries and extermination of quacks in the profession etc.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Approval page ii
Table of content vii
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Background of the study 1
1.2 Statement of the study 6
1.3 Purpose of the study 7
1.4 Research questions 8
1.5 Significance of he study
1.6 Limitation of the study
2.1 Review of related literature 10
2.2 The graduate secretary 11
2.3 Catteries Of Secretaries 15
2.4 Courses studied by graduate secretaries 27
2.5 Job opportunities for graduate secretaries 29
2.6 Office automation and graduate secretaries 35
3.1 Research methodology 43
3.2 Research methodology / design 43
3.3 Area of study 44
3.4 Population of the study 45
3.5 Sample size 45
3.6 Source of data 47
3.7 Research instruments used 48
3.8 Method of data analysis 49
3.9 Definition of terms 49
Data presentation and analysis 51
5.0 Discussion of findings, summary and conclusion 51
5.1 Discussion of findings 51
5.2 Summary of findings 67
5.3 Conclusion 70
5.4 Recommendation 70
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 organizations. In any organized set up or office there has to be proper flow of communication and correct presentation fro 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 for 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 processional discharge of all these functions lies with the graduate secretary.
It takes about five to six years to train as a graduate in secretarial studies in most Nigerian Universities and polytechnics.
There are some basic academic qualifications that one has to acquire before one could be eligible to train as a graduate secretary.
These include a 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 polytechnic is in two tiers – the National Diploma and the Higher National Diploma disjoined by a one-year industrial training.
However, only the letter could be wisely regarded as the full graduate programme. If a secretary after completing the 2 year National Diploma abandons the Higher National Diploma programme, he could better be referred to as a national diploma graduate in the profession. As a full graduate of secretarial studies, she has been trained up to managerial potions in the office as she took courses in industrial psychology Business law, personnel management, business communication etc. there are the administrative secretaries 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, filing and indexing, taking down dictations and transcribing same, receiving and making telephone calls on behalf of the executive, 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 executive these functions, she needs some business and personal attributes. “A sound knowledge of English language is quite relevant as a secretary who cannot express him 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 of in her and in fact, they are the major ethics of the profession.
Personal attributes should include good personality, integrity, pleasing temperament, imitativeness charming manners, understanding and sympathy toward others, self control and good humour in order to absorbed the heat of the day’s work. The introduction of sophisticated machines, the operation / manipulation of such machines (such as computers, word processors, and organization of other business activities have diversified in this millennium. Secretaries are to be trained and retrained to meet up wit the challenging situation taking place in the business environment.
This is a very good state of affairs for the secretaries as these machines introduced to aid them carryout official duties more efficiently and with less human exertion of energy. What the secretaries witness now is that there is a rampant employment by organizations of persons who have just rained to operate the computer in some private computer the computer in some private computer centres without the adequate knowledge and skill acquired through graduated programme, as secretaries.
These groups of secretaries use one finger to operate the keyboard of the computer. The activities of the these quacks grow as the day goes by. The table of an average graduate secretary is that through polytechnic and universities ought to have these machines and put the students through with the required knowledge and skill before graduation, most of them do not have the machines and where secrecy available, they are faulty. It now follows that for the graduate secretary to adapt in the use of the machines, post graduation training is required. Other machines such as tax, radio communication gadgets. etc are never exposed to the secretaries at school. The result is that there quacks are busy taking up employment opportunities available to the graduate secretaries in Enugu metropolis. For instance, there is great need for the department of secretarial studies in our various institutions to be equipped with these machines, so that graduate secretaries could be trained and derived in the use of the machines before graduation.
Job opportunities abound for grates secretaries in the public services, big private companies such as banks, insurances and oil companies engineering and manufacturing companies, international organizations, tertiary institution, secondary schools and even in self employment. Employment opportunities in the medical technical, linguistic and legal organization are yet to be tapped by Nigeria secretaries due to lack of lack of training in these fields. In the western counties like untied states of America (USA) and Britain, secretaries are thriving in these field. Infact a general review of the NBTE curriculum and course specification, for secretarial studies by the researcher reveals in adjutancy for he new millennium’s job demands on the secretaries and a poor state of affairs for the secretary of he paperless office.
1.2 PURPOSE OF STUDY
1. To ascertain the extent to which the course content of the graduate programme in adequate for the job requirements on the graduate secretaries.
2. To investigate employment prospects available to secretaries, project new employment horizon and tackle unemployment problems among graduate secretaries
3. To determine the positive and negative effects of automation of modern office functions on the job prospects of graduate secretaries.
4. To ascertain the perception of people on the jog potentials of the serving graduate secretaries, and make appropriate recommendations.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
At a time like this when almost all fields of human endeavour are discovering new things and new ways of doing things and / or practicing their professions a study of this nature become very important to announce a new dawn in secretarial practice.
The national Board for Technical Education (NBTE), which specifies the course curriculum of secretarial studies in our tertiary institutions, will particularly find this study very useful. It would enlighten the Board on possible areas to be incorporated into the course curriculum of the graduate programme in secretarial studies, to meet up wit the current job demands on graduate secretaries.
Tertiary institutions offering secretarial studies would see the need to acquire modern sophisticated office machines / equipment such as computers, word processors, fax machines, etc put these machines always in good working condition and use them in training secretaries at school.
Application graduate secretaries will also benefit form this study, as it would provide sources of employment information. The study will equally wake up the servicing secretaries to the appropriates potentials on the job and brace up to the challenges of the time in order to recreate the true image of secretarial practice which has so much suffered misconceptions.
Other researchers on similar topics in future will find this study a veritable material for secondary data.