Stenography is derived from two Greek words “Stenos” meaning narrow and “Graphie” meaning writing. The method of writing a language in short form to record the said sentences accurately is called shorthand and it is the basic part of Stenography. Symbols and abbreviations for words and common phrases are used to quickly grasp the words as spoken by someone. A person who is recording these symbols and abbreviations is called stenographer. Stenographer uses stenographic pencil or pen to write on note book / plain paper and then he types them on typing machine or computer. In past, Greek courts used to have employees who used the technique to record the statements and orders.
Main purpose of the technique is to capture and transform the oral dictation or discourse for compact, meaningful, comprehensive and to the point expression. The post of Stenographers are key part of any organization; government or private for disposal of official correspondence and maintaining of record.
Sir Isacc Pitman is considered the founder of the modern shorthand system which is adopted and applied in fifteen languages. In late 19th century, Japanese translated and adopted the Pitman’s System. Pitman system was replaced by American Graham System but it is still widely used.
The profession is suitable for both male and female who can adopt it for a very good career with proper attention and hard work. Numbers of opportunities keep on coming for the stenographer round the world as well as Pakistan. In Pakistan, hundreds of posts of Stenographers are advertised in government sector.
If someone wants to become a Stenographer, ha has to acquire two skills; Shorthand & Typing with a specified speed requirement such as 70 words per minute of short hand and 35 words per minute of typing. This is a set of two skills which improves upon hard practice. The demand of Stenographer in government departments is greater as compare with private sector, that is why we mainly focus upon the government sector.
The post has evolved over the years; initially it was in BS-06, later on upgraded in BS-07. After we years it was felt that the post should be in BS-12 and it was upgraded in BS-12. In the recent years, it has been twice upgraded, once in BS-14 and then last year in BS-15. In the Higher Courts the post is in BS-17 and in lower it is in BS-16. It can be safely said that the post has evolved well and it may be a very good career. In the courts, the speed requirement is higher as compared with the government department meaning thereby that one has to work very hard to get the post in the judiciary but hard work always gives the reward.
Career scope is also very good particularly in Secretariat and High Courts. In Secretariat, a Stenographer retires as Deputy Secretary or Additional Secretary. In courts, there is every chance for a qualified stenographer to become Assistant Registrar, Deputy Registrar or even Registrar. Stenographer gets first promotion as Senior Scale Stenographer, Second as Personal Assistant, Third as Private Secretary, Fourth as Section Officer, Fifth as Deputy Secretary.
The Departments usually prescribe the qualification as:-
“Intermediate with shorthand speed of 70 words per minute along with 35 wpm typing speed”
Whereas the courts prescribe the qualification as:-
“Graduation with 100 wpm shorthand speed and 50 wpm typing speed + computer certification”. In Supreme Court of Pakistan, LLB is preferred.
Government Commerce Colleges offer the D.Com the course of shorthand and typing is part of syllabus; D.Com is equivalent to Intermediate. Anyone may learn it through the private colleges or teachers in any major city of Pakistan. Nowadays, the computer has replaced the typing machines so one needs to get the basic know how of the computer operations; particularly the MS Office, In-page and Internet. No doubt, it is a dry subject but interest can make it attractive and with the time, certain level of attachment begins. In any field of life hard work is the key and regular practice is the main point to achieve the goal to become Stenographer. 06 Months to 01 year is normal time for learning stenography and then sheer practice is required.
Admission in Shorthand/ typing institute such as Commerce College offering D.Com or in a private Shorthand/ typing institute. Interest in English language; particularly vocabulary with spellings, and correct pronunciation alongwith correct usage of grammar i.e. tenses, active voice passive, direct indirect etc. Practice of Shorthand and Typing on regular basis. Good quality shorthand pencil and note book. General computer applications such as MS Office. Take dictation from persons instead of same one while practicing.
Practice such shorthand-outlines again and again which feel harder. Prefer to type your dictation instead of writing down. Build your grammalogues. Make your own shorthand outlines and short-forms.