Virginia residents who think they might like to pursue careers in court reporting should know that these jobs, no matter how entry level they may be, will require some kind of formal education after receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Without this kind of educational training, finding a job in the field is virtually impossible, and a job in this field is definitely not something you will want to miss out on. Not only are positions very secure these days, but court reporters also enjoy relatively simple, non-taxing work, and a salary that is well above the state average for Virginia.
This is not to say, of course, that every education has to result in a full blown degree. There are many great training programs out there, often offered by online schools or by technical or trade schools, that do not result in an actual degree, but that still teach many of the skills necessary to succeed in this industry.
If you do not think a higher college education is a good fit for you, then you might fare very well at one of these institutions. Since they are not accredited, you will have to find other means of doing your research on its credibility, such as talking to former or current students, reading reviews online, and checking up on the school’s history.
Most commonly, however, professionals in this line of work will have at least an associate’s degree. Associate’s degrees are typically earned in around two years, sometimes less, from a community college or from an online school. Because these degrees are not typically earned at traditional higher learning institutions, they tend to be cheaper to achieve.
What’s more is such programs are, more often than not, designed with working adults and busy parents in mind, so classes are commonly held in the evenings or on weekends if you so choose. Or, in the case of online schooling, whenever you want to have class! This makes associate’s degrees a great option for those with other demands and who need to get their educations as quickly as possible.
Others in the field will go on to achieve their bachelor’s degree in court reporting or a related area. This degree is most commonly earned from a traditional college or university and takes, on average, about four years to complete. Such a degree will automatically start you at a higher salary in the field, and usually at a better, more prestigious position, meaning you have to do less climbing your way up.
Keep in mind too that it is possible to earn an associate’s degree and then to transfer your credits to a bachelor’s degree program and thus complete your bachelor’s degree in only around two years.
This is a great option for those who have finished earlier schooling but who want to continue their educations or to make them more relevant to the field.
There are not many court reporters out there who have master’s degrees or doctoral degrees, and these degrees are certainly not necessary to success in the field. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a master’s level or PhD level program for court reporting in the state.
However, if you so wish, you could choose to pursue a higher level degree in something related, like criminal justice or criminology. In any case, a higher level degree, no matter what it is in, will likely cause you to earn a higher salary than yoru colleagues and will be nothing but a benefit to you throughout your career and your life in general.
In addition to earning a degree, you might also consider achieving a certification in order to supplement your education or to increase your skills in a particular area of the field. Certificates are granted by a number of institutions and organizations.
Certificate programs vary in the amount of time they take to complete, but they tend to be brief and inexpensive. A certificate is not a degree or a replacement for a degree, but it is an easy way to show your expertise in a particular area of the field, and it can help you to achieve jobs.