Is this a good starting point for a career?

I am new here, and I have what may be a silly question, so please bear with me.
I am interested in becoming a records specialist for a police department, and the job requirements state that one must have “considerable experience in records maintenance and data entry work. An equivalent combination of education, training and experience may be considered.”
I am currently a college student, but my university does not offer any courses in this sort of field. Does anyone know if this is a good place to start? I want to get a basic understanding of what would be required of me before making any drastic decisions such as paying for classes through yet another university or training program, and I am unclear on exactly what this course would be teaching and if it would relate to the job requirements.
Also, if I were to apply to the job, would completing this course be a valid achievement to list in an application? Or would it be best as simply a jumping-off point for further education in the future?
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,


Hi Casey,

I would absolutely include this, and any other extracurricular studies you’ve completed, in an application to a Records Management job, or any other office-related job.

In general, when in the earliest stages of building a resume, you’ll want to include as much as possible so that the hiring managers know that while you may not have extensive work experience, you’re self educating and working on self improvement. Without experience, that’s your biggest way of proving yourself. Once you start building a work history, it will be easier to transition to a RM job, or any other job for that matter.

In general, as a college student or recent grad, you’ll just want to get as much work experience as possible in the earliest stages, and may not want to limit yourself so strictly to looking at only a specific job, like being a RM for a police department.

Good luck!



Go for the job. You never know what a positive attitude will do for you. Ask questions about the job. Are there govt standards and policies they must follow? Will they support a membership in ARMA Int’l and local Chapter meetings? Even better, do a little research on what state or local policies they may need to follow. Then you can be ready to at least acknowledge what exists even if not an expert in the requirements. See if there is a local chapter in ARMA, AIIM and check out Information Coalition and Information Governance Initiative for IG information.


Hi Casey - Five years ago I reinvented myself as a records custodian/records manager. I use all my skills (inventory, subject categorization, mad-IT skills) and funding from my program for NARA courses. Records are everywhere at home and work, but learning RM verbiage, regulations, methods, and best practices is best imparted by NARA (trust me).


–and Casey, not all training programs have a cost. Yay for University of Records Management (RMU) Feith Community!


Go for the job. The RMU courses are a great resource tool! As Cinman stated…ask the question about membership support in associations such as ARMA and AIIM


As I have indicated during each of the last six semesters of RMU, my goal is to expand the students thinking about records management to a higher level in the information lifecycle management landscape. RM is only part of the information lifecycle and understanding the inter-dependencies of the various technologies is critical to elevate the status of the records management position. So I don’t simply focus on how to collect, categorize and manage the retention and disposition schedules. You can get any RM book and learn this. A good records manager, to be successful, needs to expand their knowledge base to include technology, organizational behavior, marketing, compliance, etc., etc., etc. As the custodian of the organizations digital and physical assets, your RM role is critical to the organization and you have to be a promotional genius in some cases to justify both your existence and the value of RM. It’s a complex dance which may qualify you for Dancing With The Stars!

Understand that is you have not taken a Change Management course I would recommend you do that immediately. If nothing else is said this professional is a constant changing and very versatile job.