Court Reporting, a profession as difficult as its rewards are extensive, can be described as the transcription of the spoken word using a very complex phonetic theory. A court reporter may work in freelance or official capacity. A novice court reporter may transcribe depositions and preliminary hearings as a freelancer, getting paid by page. However, an official, certified court reporter may work directly for a judge, transcribing jury trials and getting paid a consistent salary, as well as additional fees per transcript. While court reporting can be incredibly lucrative and fulfilling, one must lay the foundations for success. That is, they must choose the right local court reporting schools, become certified, and be sure to continue with their education all throughout their career. Following these steps will no doubt bring success in the field of court reporting. In order to be sufficiently trained and prepared for a fast-paced career in court reporting, one must be sure to get a well-rounded, full education in the field. While there are many schools that offer court reporting training, very few offer a well-rounded education in the field. Alfred State University, a State University of New York located in New York's upstate region, is among the schools offering a very thorough and comprehensive local court reporting program. This program, extending two years in length, trains students in phonetic theory for the first year, and moves on to speed building the second year. Due to the intensity of the program, students are required to spend a great deal of time practicing outside of class. While the difficulty of court reporting training is something similar in complexity to learning Beethoven on the piano as a beginner unfamiliar with the keys, this additional practice is absolutely essential. Technical Knowledge is essential to the field of court reporting. The field itself, moving exclusively in the direction of real-time reporting is heavily reliant upon software and computer technology in general. Consequently, the court reporter must be highly computer literate. Alfred Stateís program offers extensive training familiarizing students with the inner-workings of court reporting software. Courses also offer training in legal terminology, medical terminology, and transcript production. Due to the limited amount of local court reporting schools available, many programs that offer internet training have surfaced. It is difficult to discern the comprehensive programs from those that are lacking. By and large, one must use caution because these programs offer theory training and speed building only, neglecting the peripheral training in technology and software that are important to the field and the court reporter upon entrance into the field.