Benefits Of Industry Associations
No matter what your chosen field of study is, as a graduate student you should ensure that you stay abreast of any changes in your industry. There are numerous ways that this could be accomplished e.g. networking events and professional journals, but one great way to draw on all of those resources is to join a professional association.
Many professional industries have an association e.g. in Australia Accounting professionals can join the Institute of Chartered Accountants, CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants whilst IT professionals can join the Australian Computer Society. It is possible to join these associations while you are still at University or after graduation, however, fees are reduced for students who are still studying. Some of the great benefits of joining professional associations are listed below:
Access to jobs
Many industry associations offer their members access to job listings which may not be available on other websites such as LinkedIn and Seek.
Many industry organisations offer continual professional development via courses, workshops, seminars and publications which are only available to members or are offered at reduced prices for members. These are all excellent ways to enhance your resume, especially if you have limited work experience or are looking to take the next step in your career.
Latest industry knowledge
Many of the top industry experts are part of industry associations and actively contribute. Industry associations offer a great opportunity to stay abreast of the latest industry news and developments enabling you to be a well-informed and prepared professional.
Most associations such as the CPA hold an annual conference which is an excellent opportunity for you to network with other industry professionals. There is often a careers fair as part of the conference where you can make contact and stay up to date with hiring managers.
Enhancing your resume
By joining membership organisations and listing any continual professional development courses you may have attended on your resume, you are showing potential employers that you have a real passion and dedication to pursuing a career in your chosen field. Again this is extremely beneficial if you have limited work experience and it helps you to set yourself apart from your competition. Don’t forget to add your professional memberships to your resume too!
So, do some research into which industry association is best suited to your needs and start reaping the benefits.