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How To Select The Best Court Reporting School

Sunday, February 24, 2019

If you want to be a court reporter, you probably already know that pursuing formal education is a vital step in starting your career. Going to court reporting school will help you gain the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed.

There are a lot of options when it comes to learning the ins and outs of court reporting. Understanding what factors you should consider and how to compare various court reporting schools can help you make the right decision for your future.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Colleges

Not all court reporting schools, or court reporting programs, are the same. Evaluate the following:

  • Program flexibility: Going to court reporting school full time can help you earn your degree and get a job as a court reporter — fast. However, many people pursuing court reporting degrees are already working in other jobs and have family responsibilities. For these busy adults, going to school full time to become a court reporter is simply not an option. Consider whether the college you are evaluating offers full-time and part-time programs, with flexibility designed to meet students’ varying needs.
  • Hands-on learning: When you want to be a court reporter, you need to gain certain knowledge, but you also must learn how to do the job. Look for a college that provides hands-on learning in the classroom as well as internship opportunities in the community. Applying what you’ve learned in an internship is a great way to hone your skills and test the waters for your future career.
  • Accreditation: It’s also important to evaluate whether a court reporting program is accredited. Look for a program that is accredited by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Graduating from an accredited program shows future employers you’ve been taught the skills they seek.
  • Career goals: Sometimes, people pursuing court reporting degrees know what type of job they want to get before they even start. Others have a general idea, but need some help understanding their career options and pursuing those options. Choose a court reporting college with a program designed to position you for success in your future career — whatever that looks like.

Another consideration is whether the college you are considering provides online training options. Online programs offer great flexibility for students. The trade-off is that you don’t have the same level of interaction with your instructors and fellow students.

If you are considering the online education route, you’ll need to decide if you want to pursue an online associate degree in court reporting; an online bachelor’s degree; or choose a shorter, specialized online court reporting diploma program. You’ll also need to understand your college’s technology requirements, so you have the tools necessary to earn your degree.

If you want a career as a court reporter, or as a real-time captioner, an associate degree in court reporting can help you reach your goal in about two years.

At MacCormac College in Chicago, our on-campus and online court reporting coursework is designed to prepare students for the rigors of working as court reporters. To learn more about our programs and take the next step toward your future career, contact us today.