I get this question ALL the time! People want to gauge their own likelihood for success based on others’ success.
First, don’t do that. YOU are 100% responsible for your own success, and comparing yourself to someone else is the worst thing you can do. Just like I can’t promise you you’ll be one of my success stories, you can’t base your likelihood for failure on some numbers that have nothing to do with you, your ability, and your drive to succeed. Unless you’re an exact duplicate of someone who always fails at everything — not likely — trying to compare yourself to someone else is just a waste of your valuable time.
That said, I can give you some numbers and statistics — I just don’t have a percentage of failure and a percentage of success because I don’t require all students to report everything to me. That’d be a full-time job in and of itself, and I certainly don’t think universities do that for each of their degree programs, nor does anyone expect them to.
While I don’t have the time or resources to keep track of who’s actively working after they graduate, I can tell you we have had 695 Transcript Proofreading graduates and 237 General Proofreading graduates as of August 27, 2018. Read what some of those graduates have said about their experience.
This type of proofreading work is very difficult, so my honest-to-goodness estimate is that NOT all of them are working post graduation. Some people just won’t make it, and that is not a reflection on the quality of the course, that’s just a fact of life. I do my absolute best to make it crystal clear what this program entails, how difficult it is, and what you can expect to get out of it. But I cannot do the work for anyone — I cannot be there to make sure they don’t embarrass themselves by missing errors; I cannot be in the room to encourage them when they’re prospecting for clients. Personal responsibility is HUGE when you’re building a business for yourself.
I have also received a grand total of zero complaints from people about not being able to find work from those who actually follow all of my instructions (and don’t give up). It’s out there — you just have to know what you’re doing (be excellent!) and go find it. Be sure to read this post for more on that: The 3 Pillars of Success in Proofreading — and in Life.
You may also find this post of use:
Why the Proofreading Market Will Never Be Saturated
In addition, if you check out our About page, you’ll find a link to a survey I did to ask students what kind of money students have been able to make within their first two months after completing the Transcript Proofreading course. I was pleasantly surprised with the numbers. Not everyone responded to the poll. Students tend to spend a lot less time hanging out in the Facebook group once they graduate — probably because they’re busy executing their newfound marketing skills (which is what they’re supposed to be doing!).
Many grads have also taken on other types of tasks to build a kind-of virtual assisting business. They add in transcription, bookkeeping, and other things to round out their work-at-home arsenals. This is incredibly smart. Not everyone wants to do nothing but proofread all day, every day (not even me!). Many students have told me that because of my course, they realized they had the power to do all kinds of things from home and are thus not focusing only on proofreading as they may have originally intended. They may elect to go in another direction entirely. But those people are not failures.
The marketing skills they learn in my courses can be applied to ANY industry, so if they do want to add on transcription, they’ll be better off because of our marketing module. But I can’t exactly label someone a failure if one student goes on to make $150/month with one client because that’s all they need vs. another student who makes $2,000 a month with ten clients only because they had more time, y’know?
We do have students who quit the courses and never finish. That’s to be expected in any kind of course, even at the university level. People drop out. There are also students who take a loooooong time to finish, and that’s okay. I’d rather them take a long time than rush through, make mistakes, and ruin their reputations.
I hope it’s more clear now why I don’t have concrete numbers on the percentage of people who succeed or “fail” — with so many factors that affect people’s lives on a near-microscopic level, it’s pretty much impossible to have concreteness on failure/success. However, I’d say with the number of happy students I have (I lost count) vs. the number of unhappy students (haven’t had to start counting yet), we’re doing pretty good.