As a New York resident with a serious and vested interest in becoming a court reporter, you probably already know that getting an education is absolutely vital to your success. What you might not know, however, is how to actually go about choosing the best program to meet your career goals.

There is really no magic formula to choosing a school. Absolutely any accredited school can be a good choice if you put enough work and effort into it. With that said, however, some schools are looked at more favorably by potential employers than are others.

Before you start worrying about which schools are the best, though, you need to really sit down and research the field. Far too many people enter into an education in court reporting without really having a clear idea of everything that the job actually entails.

This, more often than not, will only end in disappointment and in wasted time, effort, and money. So, take the time now to familiarize yourself with the field, its various jobs, and its responsibilities to ensure that it truly is the best match for you. You won’t be sorry that you did.

Once you are absolutely certain that you want to work in the court reporting field, your next step is to pay attention to the individual jobs. Contrary to popular beliefs, not all court reporters do the same things or work in the same capacities.

It is important, then, that you know what kind of a court reporter you wish to be and, more importantly, what it will realistically take for you to get there. When you find a job for which you can really see yourself meeting the requirements, then you will know that you have found the job in the field that is the right choice for you.

When you’ve got your career goals squared away, it becomes much easier to narrow down your educational choices and to tailor your education to meet your career goals. Remember, as mentioned above, that absolutely any school or program you attend needs to be fully accredited.

If it is not, then you will not be able to earn an actual degree and will, in effect, spend quite a bit of money on a very worthless “education.” So, don’t be fooled; know your school and its qualifications inside and out before you enroll in a single class.

One thing that can really help you to get ahead in this industry is to choose a school that is certified by the National Court Reporters Association, the single most important and respected body in the court reporting field. Luckily, in the state of New York, there is an abundance of these schools, which do not exist in every state and, most commonly, if they do exist, only have one or two locations at best.

Choices in your state include Alfred State College, which is located in Alfred; the Business Informatics Center in Valley Stream; the Long Island Business Institute, which is located in Commack; and the New York Career Institute of New York.

If none of these schools is a viable option for you, however, rest assured that you can still have success with another school. Just be sure that it has a good reputation and can show you proof of turning out successful court reporting graduates.

Remember that a school is what you make it in the end, and even the best school in the world won’t take you very far if you are not willing to commit to it and to learn all that you can.