IT skills are vital to all careers now, but a PA needs a wider range than the average career. Why is this the case? This is because a PA has a wide range of tasks and often has to adapt to different situation in order to ensure that all runs well. This means that you will need the range of IT skills to meet any issues.
Firstly, a fundamental part of PA and EA work is being able to organise and prioritise. This means that you must be able to use Microsoft Outlook, and possibly Lotus Notes. It will depend on the company that you work on, as to which is most important. This means being able to use the diary and calendar function and the email management part to the highest level.
Another useful planning tool in the longer term for small projects or events is Excel. Using Excel as a calendar or to plan resources is used in Project management frequently and knowledge of this product will help any planning. However, your knowledge of Excel is likely to be more important for if you receive tables, numerical or financial data. This is common for a PA nowadays and all the more important if you work in an industry where Excel is a common product. This means for those of you in London that Excel is likely to be important given the large numbers of Accountants and Financial Services.
PowerPoint is a fundamental programme for any PA who has to assist, edit or deliver presentation for themselves or on behalf of management. This is a programme that can really help you to produce high quality presentations. A good quality presentation can be seen by all in management at times, so this can really raise your profile and get you noticed for your high quality work. This type of benefit should not be underestimated.
Word is a key of course; you are likely to need to produce letters and other forms of written communication. This means that you will need to be able to use the formatting, layout and editing tools that are in Word. There is quite a long list of attributes that Word can offer and ideally you should look to gain as much skill as possible in this programme. This again means that you can get yourself noticed for the professional output that Word can provide you, when delivering documents.