Originally Posted by JChance
How did you get started in RA? Did u need any experience prior to RA or did u go for the certificate?
Sorry for the delay in response.
I ended up in RA quite by chance, so rather than discuss my history, I think it would be more beneficial to tell you what I have seen regarding new people entering the field. I've been in RA for close to 10 years, have my RAC and work for an F500. My experience is mostly with devices.
RA is very difficult to get into without some sort of experience. Positions may stay open for a year or more despite hundreds of applicants. Very few companies are looking to bring in people with scientific backgrounds who are interested in RA without submission experience. With that being said, taking a scientific position with a company for a year or two can give you insight into their business processes and products and give you a leg up when applying as an internal applicant for an RA position.
If you don't want to do that, as you probably know, many universities (e.g. Hopkins, USC, Northwestern) are now offering MS programs in RA and that is one route to take. At the very least, you gain familiarity with how things work and, most importantly, establish relationships in industry.