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This, study focuses on employers’ expectations of secretaries in an age of ICT driven business offices in Owerri. Four research questions were used as a guide to the study.. The target population used for the study was 26 employers from some selected private and public business offices in Owerri. The sample of the study was the same as the population because the population was very small in order to avoid sampling bias. In carrying out this study the survey research method, which makes use of questionnaire as the main instrument for data collection was adopted. The data collected was analyzed using mean, mean score of 3.00 and above was considered relevant,, while mean score of below 3.00 were considered not relevant and four-likert scale. Analysis showed that secretaries should strive hard to fit into the current age of ICT to, meet the expectations of employers'. After-analyzing the data obtained it was found that; employers' are highly selective on competent secretaries who have good communicative skill. Based on the findings it was concluded that since ICT innovation era poses a lot of challenges to both prospective and practicing secretaries, the prospective secretaries should strive to develop themselves to suite the expectations of employers' in an age of ICT driven business offices. It was recommended that institutions of higher learning should introduce the use of modern ICT equipment in their training course curriculum in order to produce well-groomed secretaries who would keep the academic name of the institutions to high esteem.
1.1 Background of the study
The world of business is changing rapidly as a result of new development in- information and communication technological offices. The business scene is moving very fast. There is remarkable departure: from traditional office machines like manual typewriter, Grammar-phones .and other stereotypes office machines to electronic information communication system like the computer, internet, electronic typewriter, fax dictating machines etc.
Information and communication technological offices can be regarded as the modern office where all the equipment is electronic. As it is widely acknowledged secretaries provide unseen, yet broad shoulders in which most ICT offices in Owerri Urban stands. Secretaries are the prospective walls and gates along the corridors and within the secret chambers of power. In this age of information and communication technology, the role of secretaries of all types are assuming greater significance and those secretaries with analogue typing and shorthand skills will be thrown off-balance Nwosu (1999).
Moreover, with regards to the employers' expectations of secretaries, the secretaries therefore have been surrounded with challenges of varying degrees and dimensions. She is beset with diverse challenges if she lacks the knowledge of information and communication technology (1.CT) as it is an umbrella term that Includes any communication device or application, including Radio, Television, Cellular phone, Computer and network, hardware and software satellite and so on Osuala (1998).
According to the European commission, the importance of ICT lies less in the technology itself but in its ability to create greater access to information and communication. The modern age secretary in offices will not only excel in present duties but also explore and add new ideas to their work. This will therefore be interwoven with the work of every other person in the organization. The standard of work done by them will not be affected" to a great extent that the employers will attach little or no importance to the values of their secretaries expectations perhaps their ability to fit in to an age of information and communication. technology. Information and communication technological advancement therefore involve a change in the methodology of secretarial duties from manual or semi-mechanical means to purely mechanized and digitalized processes. Automation is the mechanization of secretarial and office functions, that is to say that technology involves the use of the machines, how, and when to use them. Information and communication technology means the application of automated systems in the execution of clerical and secretarial processes. Technological systems are self-sufficient in that they are self propelled and operated with a minimum of human efforts Osuala,(1998).
However, information and communication technology is a convergence of tools of microelectronic, telecommunication and computers. This equipment helps o revolutionaries every aspect of secretarial functions. These machines/equipment are generally self-operated with a minimum of human intervention.
Azuka (1993) indicated that employers' require from secretaries such skills as competencies in operating micro filers, word processors, shredding machines and so on in managing records. The place of effective information technology in providing control over the records in standardizing procedures and equipment in the management of records can hardly be over stressed.
Hence technology originated in the factory and later found its ways into the offices.
The subject of information and communication technology could not be considered entirely as abstract and, neither does it sound, strange. It is made up of various interrelated functions such as communication as a preliminary planning, communication must consciously or unconsciously assume great significances’ within the information encompassing; Radio, Television, Cellular phone, Computer Satellite and so on. It serves as an 'effective style of control. For proper storage in this age of ICT, the idea of large and long lasting storage system has to be in place such as computer, which consists of two main classified areas of storage example primary storage device and secondary storage devices.
The Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary 6th edition defined the word secretary as a person who works in an
Office, working for another person, dealing with others and Telephone calls, typing, keeping records and arranging Meetings with people. Robert (1981) defined the word secretary as a person who assists a top-level executive by displaying expertise in performing his/her duties in the office without close supervision by the executives or designated administrator. A secretary has initiative, skill, good judgment and makes decisions within the limits of her scope of authority.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Since the infusion of ICT, the secretary is posed with a lot of challenges. Therefore inability to live up to such expectations has indeed created fear on secretaries.
Consequent upon this some secretaries have lost lucrative jobs found within the confines of information end communication technology (ICT). Some secretaries who manage to retain a job are not treated well owing to their deficiencies in ICT. Thus the job satisfaction will be lacking. However this investigation would help to fulfill the expectations of an employer.
1.4 Purpose Of The Study
Generally the purpose of the study was designed to find the employers expectations of secretaries in an age of ICT driven business offices in Owerri. Specifically the purposes of the study are as follows:
1 To examine the effect of employers' expectations of secretaries job in an age of ICT.
2 To examine the effect of employers expectations have on the productivity of secretaries.
3 To identify the training needed by secretaries
to meet employers expectations in an age of
4 To examine the importance of ICT machines/equipment as an aid to realizing employers expectations of secretaries.
1.5 Significance of The Study
It is hoped that this research will serve to propel secretarial students and graduate secretaries to strive hard to fit into as age of ICT hence identifying the loopholes a secretary needs to fill up. This research1 will also serve to communicate to teachers on what direction of teaching and exposure is most needed to ensure that graduate secretaries measure up with the modern trend of ICT driven business offices expected by employers'.
1.6 Research Questions
In the course of this research attempt would be made to provide answers to the following questions.
1 How has employers expectations affected the job of a secretary in an age of ICT?
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