A comparative analysis of necessary technical competencies required by New Hampshire entry-level clerical office employees as perceived by secondary business teachers and members of the New Hampshire Society of Training and Development
Carter, Marcia B.
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This research sought to determine which skills were necessary for entry-level office workers in NH as perceived by secondary business teachers and training directors. 175 questionnaires of 263 were returned by secondary business teachers and 78 of 143 questionnaires were returned by training directors. Each questionnaire contained ninety-three competencies which were classified into seven general skill areas. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and Lotus were used to analyze the data. Methods of analysis included frequency distributions, percentages, cumulative frequencies, means, cross tabulations, t-tests, and paired t-tests. The ten most important skills reported were: read/follow written directions, accurate typing, keep confidentiality, take accurate phone messages, follow oral instructions, type business letters, answer the telephone, demonstrate good listening skills, organize work, and proofread. The two general skill areas of the seven which need the most improvement were planning, organizing, decision-making; and written/oral communications. The nineteen individual skills of the ninty-three which need improvement in instruction were: answer the telephone, handle outgoing mail, keep confidentiality, meet and greet people, organize work, place telephone calls, read/follow written directions, set priorities, take accurate phone messages, work under pressure, work with interruptions, work without close supervision, demonstrate good listening skills, follow oral instructions, proofread, speak clearly and accurately, spell and define words, use correct grammar, and write legibly. Nineteen of the individual skills had a significant difference when analyzed by size of company with the larger companies placing a greater emphasis on importance. There was insufficient data to draw conclusions regarding necessary skills by the type of business. Size of school, school location, and number of business teachers had little effect on the necessary skills needed by entry-level clerical office workers although teachers in Northern NH placed a greater emphasis on the accounting skills than did teachers in Sourthern NH. The major implication of this study is that more emphasis needs to be placed on planning, organizing, decision-making, written and oral communication skills.
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