The services of a stenographer are also common in the business world. For example, a company may have a stenographer present during a meeting of the Board or a quarterly earnings meeting. The task of the stenographer is to use dictation methods to capture all verbal communications that take place in the meeting and prepare them for eventual approval and inclusion in the permanent records of the company. As with the courtroom, it is not unusual for a corporate stenographer to tape record the meeting as a way of ensuring complete accuracy with the final transcript.
Stenography should not be confused with the process of dictation that was once common in most office settings. While both practices make use of shorthand to prepare transcripts, the dictation work of administrative assistants is usually confined to the preparation of documents such as letters or interoffice memos. By contrast, the stenographer is focused on the preparation of permanent records that often have legal standing in a court of law.
Training as a stenographer requires mastering the art of shorthand as well as developing a keen ear and excellent hand coordination. When the stenographer intends to pursue assignments in a business setting, the training necessary can be completed in as little as six months. However, the training requirements for a court stenographer are more extensive and may take up to six years to complete. Certification as a stenographer may be granted by a business school, although there are colleges and universities that offer degree programs that relate to the profession as well.