What are some actionable steps — such as technologies to master — to transition my IT experience into the electronic medical records (EMR) field? For example, is the CompTIA CDIA+ (Certified Document Imaging Architect) still viable?
First of all, it's easier to move within the IT field between sectors or industries if you're already working in IT. Employers are not only looking for technical skills, but also soft skills and work ethics; after all, these are transferable and follow people wherever they go. Experience built up is very valuable and highly sought after.
Certifications (vendor and non-vendor): General non-vendor-specific certifications, like those from CompTIA, are not only viable but are also desirable. A lot of vendor-specific certifications delve deep into their own programs and only skim the hardware that their programs run on. Added to that, certifications (vendor-specific as well as CompTIA ones) and experience really go hand in hand.
Field: You're going to have to decide what field within the area of EMR you want to go into. There’s the data side, security side, support side, development side, etc.
Networking: No, I don't mean TCP/IP, even though you do have to know it. I mean networking with other IT professionals. You'd be surprised how much information can be relayed via this method. Associations in the United States — such as CompTIA's IT Pro membership, the Network Professional Association (NPA) and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) — can all be of assistance.
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