Virtual Assistant Education: What You Need To Succeed
Education also plays a role in virtual assistance, but you do not necessarily need a degree to work as a virtual assistant. If you are offering a specialized service, such as technical writing, your client may want to see a relevant degree and experience. However, experience tends to be what counts when it comes to the virtual assistant field.
That doesn't mean you will not need to educate yourself: In fact, there are many opportunities to expand your educational horizons and there are numerous certification programs you may want to consider taking.
Certification programs are often intense programs that will help ensure you have all the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a virtual assistant. There are currently two levels of certification: The Certified Professional Virtual Assistant and The Certified Master Virtual Assistant.
To be eligible for certification, your education and experience must first be evaluated by an independent certifying body. For example, if you opt to apply for certification through
Virtual Assistant Certification, your education and experience will be assessed and signed a point value. You must have 300 points to earn The Certified Professional Virtual Assistant certification and more than 400 points to earn The Certified Master Virtual Assistant certification.
Following are several of the organizations that offer education leading to both levels of certification:
AssistU – AssistU is one of the leading organizations in the virtual assistant industry and offers two levels of certification: The Certified Professional Virtual Assistant and The Certified Master Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistance U – Virtual Assistance U also offers training for virtual assistants. In addition to virtual assistant classes, Virtual Assistance U also provides one-on-one personal coaching for those who prefer learning on a one-on-one basis.
VA Training – VA Training focuses on coaching both new and experienced virtual assistants. You can choose from one of three options: one-on-one coaching, group coaching, or audio coaching.
Before you sign up for any virtual assistance class, certification program or coaching, take the time to talk with someone at the organization first. That way, you will get a good idea if the program is a good fit for you, if you adhere to the same educational philosophy, and if it is a commitment you are ready to make.
You also want to make sure that you ask plenty of questions before committing to a program:
What is the program's duration?
What is the experience of the instructors?
How will you communicate with your instructor and classmates?
How much does the program cost, and are there any additional costs?
What particular software is required to participate in the program?
How long has the program been in existence?
How long do you have to complete the program?
If you have technical problems, who should you call?
Will you be eligible for certification upon completion of the program? If so, is certification included in the cost of the program?
What if you find out the program is not for you? Will you be refunded your money? Is there a fee for dropping out of the program, or is there a specific time period in which you must drop out in order to not be assessed a fee?
Make your own list of questions before you contact programs, and make sure each question is answered to your satisfaction before ever signing up for a program.
Next: Chapter Two: Seeing Green: How Much Does A Virtual Assistant Make?
Previous: Chapter Two: Virtual Assistant Skills
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