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Online Colleges for Court Reporting

The stars of the courtroom are often the attorneys and judge, but the most important person in the room may very well be the court reporter. This individual meticulously documents the court proceedings, and their records are crucial to resolving legal disputes and determining the outcome of appeals. However, court reporting degrees aren't just for those interested in law. Graduates of court reporting programs attain in-demand skills that can lead to jobs in other arenas as well. According to the National Court Reporters Association, more than 70 percent of the nation's reporters work outside the courtroom in occupations that range from broadcast captioner to webcaster.

Court Reporting Online Programs

While court reporters have traditionally used stenotype machines to record judicial proceedings, new technology has made voice and electronic recording more prevalent. Court reporting programs can vary from short-term training in legal transcription and paralegal studies to more comprehensive degree programs. Many online court reporting degrees offer an education that can provide instruction in reporting techniques as well as the knowledge needed for related occupations. For example, those interested in the career may want to consider earning an associate degree in criminal justice administration or a bachelor's degree in legal studies. Advanced degrees such as master's and doctoral degrees in criminal justice are also available from colleges that provide online court reporting programs. See online colleges for criminal justice for more degree options.

Those who graduate with court reporting degrees can go on to several careers. First and foremost, they can, of course, work as court reporters. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates demand for this occupation will grow 18 percent from 2008-2018. In 2010, individuals working as court reporters earned mean annual wages of $53,270 according to the BLS. The National Court Reporters Association says approximately 27 percent of judicial reporters work in a courtroom. Many of the remaining reporters work for attorneys to record depositions. Those with court reporting degrees can also go on to work in a number of occupations both within and outside the legal field. These include a broadcast captioner, a live-event captioner (CART provider), a webcaster or even a medical transcriptionist. Online court reporting programs offer the skills needed for a variety of careers that extend far outside the courtroom. In addition, those with an associate or bachelor's degree may find other employment opportunities as a paralegal, legal secretary or legal assistant.

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