Office Information Systems Professional

School of Business and Technology

Dean: Mink Stavenga, DBA

Department Chair: Marisa Soler-McElwain, LL.M.

Office: 35-119, (619) 482-6582

School/Department Location:


General Description

The study of Office Information Systems is a field within the School of Business and Technology that provides concepts and skills requisite for contemporary work environments where the emphasis is on team building and technology. The role of secretary, receptionist, office assistant, administrative assistant, and transcriptionist will become more challenging and dynamic in the next decade. Students learn traditional secretarial skills, mastery of office technology and computers, communication techniques, and how to exercise initiative and sound judgment in their work.

The Virtual Office Professional is designed for: 1) People who want to promote and maintain all aspects of a small business on the Internet. 2) Individuals who want to work as virtual office and administrative support professionals. The basic program provides students with the skills and knowledge required to create and maintain a virtual (Web- and technology-based) business. Entrepreneurs and people involved in a variety of enterprises can learn to conduct their business online. The Virtual Office Professional—Intermediate program focuses on key skills required for positions that utilize virtual administrative support personnel, including executive assistants and office support specialists and provides further training in creating, marketing, and managing a virtual office. Topics include time management, workplace customization, evaluation of equipment and technology, communication methods that utilize advanced technologies, and business ethics. These virtual office professionals need strong computer and technology skills which can be acquired by completion of these certificate/degree programs. Students may take a career ladder approach in achieving all three levels of the program by completing the basic certificate, finding a job in the field, and continuing their education. They can then complete the intermediate certificate and the associate in science degree while continuing to work in the field.

Career Options

Below is a sample of the career options available for the office information systems major. Some require a certificate of achievement and most require an associate in science degree: receptionist, secretary, legal secretary, clerk typist, word processor, office clerk, medical office assistant, legal assistant, medical transcriptionist, legal interpreter/translator, bilingual office personnel, data entry clerk, and administrative assistant. Many entry-level positions are available in business, industry, education, and government for students with good organizational and communication abilities.

  1. Virtual Office for Small Business Owners/Entrepreneurs.
    Entrepreneurs and people involved in a broad variety of businesses acquire skills needed to conduct their business online. By completing the Virtual Office Professional—Basic Certificate, entrepreneurs in almost any field can develop a larger base of clients by setting up and maintaining a virtual office/business. The following list includes several majors offered by the School of Business, Professional & Technical Education at Southwestern College that can be enhanced by the addition of a Virtual Professional—Basic (or higher) certificate. The geographic area served by these businesses can expand to the national, international, or global level. These majors include: accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, computer desktop support/technician, computer programming/database, eCommerce/eBusiness, event and convention planning, financial services, hospitality and tourism, insurance, international business, logistics and transportation, legal assisting/paralegal, medical/coding/medical insurance, real estate/real estate loan processing, translation/interpretation services, travel and tourism, web design/development, as well as virtual office professional.
  2. Virtual Office and Administrative Support Professionals.
    The following list is a sample of the career options available for individuals who focus on virtual office skills. Most of these career options require a certificate or an associate degree; some require a bachelor’s degree: virtual office assistant/receptionist, virtual office computer support specialist, virtual executive assistant, virtual secretary, virtual office manager/administrator, virtual office supervisor, virtual marketing assistant, and virtual website support technician.
Degree/Certificate Options Major Code
Associate in Science Degree: Career/Technical
OIS: Office Information Systems Professional 02046
Virtual Business Office Professional A2454
Certificates of Achievement
OIS: Office Information Systems Professional-Advanced 02048
OIS: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)---Advanced 02053
Virtual Business Professional A2458
Virtual Business Office Support Professional A2459
Certificates of Proficiency
OIS: Office Information Systems Professional - Basic 02047
OIS: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) - Basic 02052

Consult with a counselor to develop a Student Education Plan (SEP), which lists the courses necessary to achieve your academic goal.


Stephanie Duver, DM, MBA, MFA

Maria Martinez-Sanabria, M.B.A.

Marisa Soler-McElwain, LL.M.