A Survey of Selected Springfield, Missouri Business Firms to Determine Employment Standards For Entry-Level Office Positions

Date of Graduation

Fall 1974


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

Committee Chair

Max McCullough


There is disagreement among educators, curriculum planners and teachers as to the curriculum to be offered to high school business students. Therefore, it was the purpose of this study to determine standards of achievement for entry-level employment for the business student. The specific purposes of this study were to: 1. Investigate the types of office positions available in the area to high school students immediately following graduation. 2. Identify and analyze the entry-level requirements for office employees in the areas of skills, knowledges, and behavioral traits. 3. Determine the level of competence required in the areas of typewriting and dictation speed. 4. Establish evaluative criteria by which to judge the effectiveness of a secondary school business curriculum. This study was limited to a survey of 100 business firms in the Springfield, Missouri area. The data gathered from the eighty-four completed questionnaires were compiled. Results of the survey indicated that (1) employment opportunities do exist for recent high school graduates, and General Clerk is the primary entry-level position, (2) the ten most frequently required skills and knowledges required of all office employees are use of telephone, adding machine, spelling, filing by various methods, punctuation, electric typewriter, mail-handling procedures, type from rough draft, receptionist duties, and duplicating machines, (3) characteristics or personal traits considered most important when hiring are dependability, honesty, reliability, integrity, ability to follow directions, willingness to learn, cooperation, attitude, pride in one's work, and accepts responsibility, (4) the level of competence required to satisfy all firms in the areas of typewriting and dictation speed, (5) effective instruction should be available on the high school level in the areas of accounts receivable and payable, posting, sales tax, bank reconciliation, payroll procedures, balance sheet and income statement, efficient use of telephone, etc. (6) proficient skills should be attained on these business machines: dictating machines, adding machines, electronic calculators, duplicating machines, cash register, billing machines, and posting machines.

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