Whether you're working in law, banking, insurance, public service, education, or high-tech, if you're an administrative assistant, there are changes afoot that will transform what you do and how you do it.
For one thing, jobs will be harder to come by and more competitive. According to surveys conducted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for administrative assistants and general office support staff will experience slower than average growth in the next 10 years. The good news is that there will be more opportunities for properly credentialed legal secretaries and medical office assistants.
On the other hand, those working in general admin support or basic secretarial posts will see a downturn. The reasons are varied but can be linked to the growth of the Internet, organizational restructuring, and the automation and computerization of message and phone systems. They enable many executives and managers to take care of their own correspondence and other administrative housekeeping duties without having to rely admin support staff.
Contributing to the decline in the sheer number of administrative assistants is that companies are no longer assigning one secretary for every manager. Instead, administrative assistants will now support entire departments. Those who can multitask and leverage the capabilities of increasingly sophisticated automated office tools will be in demand, replacing the "steno-typist-receptionist."
That said, there would still be work for admin support stuff at the senior management level, which involve a myriad of CEO/CFO support duties. Things like conference planning, project organization, and tactful phone and interpersonal diplomacy.