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The Huseby Journal

Court Reporting - An Under Marketed Profession

Although a mandatory part of the legal system, court reporting often slips under the radar as one of the most under-marketed professions in the world. You won’t find court reporting recruiters at the high school job fair and you don’t hear 10-year-olds saying they want to be a court reporter when they grow up. But in reality, this is a technical profession that doesn't require a 4-year college degree, you can make up to a six-figure salary, and there continues to be a high demand – meaning great job security.

In a time where millennials are more frustrated than ever, because the college degree they were taught was “mandatory” is not actually guaranteeing them a job post-graduation, but is rather guaranteeing that they will drown in student debt – leaving them no choice but to move back in with their parents… Why aren’t any high school graduates applying to court reporting school instead of a 4-year college? Because no one talks about court reporting.

Both of my parents work in court reporting as a team, one is the court reporter and the other is the videographer/scopist. My entire life, when I answered the “What do your parents do?” question, I was met with the same blank stare… because most people don’t even know what a court reporter is. Knowing this, it isn’t all that surprising that there is a massive court reporter shortage today.

What is court reporting? A court reporter, also known as a stenographer, transcribes the spoken word (or testimony) at depositions, court hearings, trials, arbitrations, or official proceedings. To record the testimony, court reporters use a steno machine, which is a word processor with a modified 22 button keyboard where words are written phonetically. Court reporters hold a vital responsibility in the legal system, as they record and prepare verbatim transcripts of proceedings to be used by attorneys, judges, and litigants.

Aside from no one talking about court reporting, millennials and the generations that have come after us have been taught that the next step after high school is a 4-year college. Period. There is no real debate about whether that is the best decision and there is not much exploration into technical professions. Speaking as a millennial myself, I can admit that after earning my Bachelor’s in marketing, and after having an extremely difficult time finding a job, I asked myself why I didn’t go into court reporting. It’s a flexible profession that won’t have you tied to a desk from 9-5 every day, it has the potential to earn you lots of money, there is a high demand, court reporting school debt will not swallow you whole, earning a certification can take as little as 6 months to 3 years, 74% of court reporting schools also offer an Associate’s Degree, and it is not a boring profession either.

The court reporter shortage is real. Due to a 15% retirement rate, there is going to be a need for 5,500 new court reporters from now until 2022. So, the next time you encounter someone on a job hunt, I encourage you to tell them a little bit about court reporting… or even better, share this blog post with them.

Join Our Team

If you are a court reporting student and thinking of joining our team here at Huseby please check out our careers page at huseby.com/careers, and/or contact us!

NCRA-Approved Court Reporting Schools: https://www.ncra.org/Education/content.cfm?ItemNumber=8511