CRA BASICS, TIPS AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR ENTRY LEVEL CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES OR THOSE INTERESTED IN BECOMING CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES
I often hear people say that they have master’s degrees or PhD degrees or even a medical degree but they have been unsuccessful in getting a CRA position.
Why is that?
It’s because recruiters and hiring managers don’t care.
Nope, sadly, recruiters and hiring managers absolutely do not care about your advanced degree.
What they care about is your experience. Specifically, your monitoring experience.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you do not have at least a bachelors in a science major or a Nursing degree you NEED to get that asap, if you are serious about this career path. However, other than that it’s not a must to have masters until you are ready to move on to higher level positions (we’ll cover that another time).
Now that you know this you need to focus your attention on getting monitoring experience.
Oh boy how do you do that? Its tough because monitoring positions (CRA positions) require 2 years of experience. But if someone cannot get hired unless they have 2 years of experience, how on earth could they ever possibly get this experience?
The trick is to get an opportunity where you can be developed.
Get an entry level clinical research assistant job at a CRO.
Now here is where the maximization comes in!
Don’t get hired and sit on your butt. You don’t want to stay an assistant! You need to be a Clinical Research Associate. You want to travel and you want to get PAID!
Spend 2 years learning the basics of how clinical trials are conducted and what goes on between Sponsors-PIs- Study Coordinators-CRAs, and Project Managers
While you are there you need to be making it very clear to your manager what your goals are professionally he/she can help you achieve it by exposing you to training and co monitoring and shadowing experience.
This experience is enough for you to get your CRA position either within your current CRO or in another one or at a pharmaceutical company.
Now go, your future awaits.
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