“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life!” It’s just as true today as when Confucius said it. We live in a country where there are so many opportunities, no one should take a job just to make enough money to “get by.” The perfect job is one in which you often say to yourself, “I can’t believe I’m doing this and I get paid, too!”

Stenography is one of the earliest forms of technology, and as we’ve made technological advances throughout the years, that new technology has served only to increase the accuracy and ease of stenography. Today’s stenographer often uses a machine with an internal memory or flash drive storage, so the typed words (shorthand) are translated and creates a transcript.

Some training leads to even more job choices. Stenographer school is a good example; there are many career directions you can take after earning a degree or certificate from a stenographer school.

Once you’ve completed the first step – stenographer school – on what path will your training take you? You can choose from several directions, and each one leads to a rewarding career.

Broadcast Captioning

Our aging population is not going to go quietly into the senior citizen night. They know what they need as they struggle with hearing challenges, and they make sure they get it. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there are approximately 37 million deaf or hard-of-hearing people in the U.S. that want to be able to view television programs, and our country increasingly depends on captioners to provide accurate transcription of spoken dialogue. During weather or other kinds of emergencies, this captioning service is not a luxury; it’s a necessity that will protect or even save lives. Training in stenographer school can teach you how to quickly and accurately provide captioning for these services.

Communication Access Realtime Translating (CART)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifies that auxiliary aids and services be available to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. “Auxiliary aids and services” are further defined as: “…qualified interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription services, written materials, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.”

After stenographer school, CART providers can work onsite or in another workplace. Their services are used by broadcasters and movie-makers, in courtrooms, classrooms, churches, sports and entertainment jumbotrons, hospitals and medical facilities. The need for CART providers is growing steadily, and may be part of the reason the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) predicted a shortage of stenographers by 2022.

Judicial Reporting

Court reporters are considered to be the “guardians” of legal proceedings; they are the hub of what are sometimes highly visible cases, lawsuits and trials that get media attention. With a degree from stenographer school, they can work as freelance reporters handling depositions, also known as an EBT (Examination Before Trial). They can also work directly for local, state and federal courts. Even though there may be rich and famous people in the courtroom every day, as a court reporter, you’re the real “star” of the show. A court reporter is valued not only because of her or his ability to translate spoken word into a printed, historical transcript, but also because a professional court reporter is discreet and protective of highly sensitive documents. Truly, a “guardian” of history!

According to the NCRA, court reporters have a two-part job:

  1. Capture the words spoken by everyone during the deposition or court action.
  2. Prepare and deliver a transcript.

The addition of computer-aided transcription (CAT) programs gives the judge and attorneys a powerful tool that can be used real time in the courtroom; they can refer to the stenographer’s entry to research information and names during the proceedings without delay. If the information is projected on a screen or other computers in the courtroom, it serves as a tool for the hearing impaired.

Rapid Data Entry

A rapid data entry professional is often needed by companies that have huge amounts of accumulated information that needs to be entered quickly. Let’s face it, stenographer school graduates are among the fastest typists in the world! The ability to use a stenography machine in place of word processing is a unique skill; even the best typists input at about 100 wpm (words per minute), but a stenographer inputs at least 200 wpm, usually more. Sometimes the information is transcribed from dictation systems, audiocassettes or another method of transferring the information into a format the company requests.

Scoping

If you like to work on your own schedule, at your own pace and even work at home, scoping may be for you. Scopists are often hired by judicial reporters to proofread transcripts. That leaves the court reporter free to be in court or at deposition while the scopist takes a rough copy of the proceedings and proofreads the stenotype translation for typos or “mis-translations,” like “hear” instead of “here” or the ever-popular “they’re,” “their,” and “there.” As a scopist, you will edit, make sure the transcript is in the correct format and send it back to the court reporter. Sometimes the scopist works simultaneously with the court reporter, making corrections as the script scrolls on the computer screen.

Webcasting

Online or cyber-conferencing is used by large corporations and small companies to provide training seminars or conduct business meetings using real time transmissions and connecting users to the “classroom” or “meeting” by their computers. The webcaster translates each speaker’s words for immediate broadcast, and includes graphics or other documents during the webcast. If you’re wondering why high-tech speech recognition systems aren’t used more often, it’s because none of them match a stenographer’s ability to hear two or more speakers, capture 200+ words per minute and translate it with a measurable degree of accuracy.

According to the BLS , a stenographer school graduate can earn up $94,140 in some areas, and New York is one of cities that offer the most opportunity and the highest rate of pay for stenographic professionals.


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