How to Pick the Right Court Reporter Training Program
Whether you’re exploring your career options for the first time or looking for a change, court reporting is a stable, fulfilling career with earning potential in the 6-figure range.
But the first step to beginning this incredible career is learning the skills needed to become proficient in the industry. These include a strong command of the English language, the ability to meet tight deadlines, effective communication skills, and so much more.
Quickly and effectively building the requisite skill set means finding the right court reporter school to fit your needs.
Here’s how to do it:
Look for Certification
The first thing to do is exercise caution. When you begin to explore your options, you may find plenty of places willing to offer you the world in exchange for tuition fees. Don’t take the hype at face value.
To avoid getting taken advantage of, ensure the schools you are interested in are certified. You can use this NCRA list to cross-reference your choices.
Think About What You Want Out of It
Picture yourself working in your ideal court reporting job. What are you doing?
Take this image of yourself and use it to reverse engineer what you should be doing in school.
Does it require a certification beyond Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR)? Do you need specialized knowledge such as medical or scientific terminology? What skills do you need to get the job you want? Will you need an associates degree or is certification enough?
Ask yourself as many questions as you can think of before you pick a course.
While continuing education is great, you don’t want to have to go back immediately after completing your training because you learn that you’re missing something required to land the job you really want.
Consider Your Limitations
If you have nothing but time and freedom at this point in your life, you may be able to easily pick whatever school offers the program most tailored to your career goals. But chances are that you have responsibilities that limit the time and/or place you can focus on your education.
You might have young children that make it impossible to move to another state for school or a day job you need to keep to pay for tuition. Whatever it is, the best school for you is the one that can work with your constraints.
Luckily, there are plenty of schools that offer night courses, partial online courses, or that operate completely online.
If you visit the NCRA link we provided above, all of the programs are clearly labeled so you can quickly find the schools with time slots that work best.
Understand the Structure of the Course
Everyone learns differently. You may be the type of person who works best alone, or you may prefer individual guidance, or you might enjoy the structure of a traditional classroom environment.
No matter your learning style, research schools to find one with a structure that matches it as closely as possible. For example, you may think that you’d do fine taking courses online. But there are a number of ways schools offer online learning.
Some schools will provide a webinar style video and a message board to ask questions while others offer a live, immersive experience with tons of opportunities to interact.
Given the option, which would you choose?
Look for student reviews of the program you’re interested in and learn as much as you can about the actual structure of the classes before you make your final decision.
If you’re currently looking for a court reporter school, we’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you have.
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