Joining a professional association or organization could be an opportunity for you to grow your skills and relationships within your chosen career path. They may provide useful information about a field, enhance your professional development, and may help connect you with people you want to know within the industry. Sometimes, these organizations may also help with access for tuition assistance, private grants, and fellowship opportunities. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.
What Is a Professional Organization?
A professional organization is a group that comes together with a specific area of focus, often related to careers or professional development. An organization has a specific purpose and a set of objectives it works to fulfill. It provides an opportunity for members to network and meet each other. It could provide support from earning continuing education in the field, allowing members to stay at the front of their industry. These groups may also offer help in professional development for those who may be just getting started in the field.
Sometimes professional organizations enable individuals to connect with people around the world in their industry. They could provide opportunities to attend conferences throughout the U.S. or around the world.
What Is a Professional Association?
A professional association is a group of people who come together based on some type of shared commonality, such as being part of the same company or industry. The association works together to network and build relationships between those with those shared interests. It also helps to ensure each member of the association remains educated and up to date on what’s happening within the industry.
Often, associations are active in shaping legislation that often focuses on their industry or their type of professional. There are many types of associations, but they tend to focus on providing people with information while creating networking opportunities for those involved. Some examples may include a teachers association, The American Nursing Association, or the American Kinesiology Association.
Association vs Organization
An association and organization are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Most often, they are easily used together. However, there is a slight difference in what these terms mean. An organization is a group of people who have a very specific purpose to work towards. They typically have specifically outlined objectives. Organizations typically focus on things like community outreach or growing shareholder value within a company.
An association is slightly different. It’s still a group of people with shared interests, but there’s less of a defined purpose. It is a group of people who may work within the same job or may have a specific interest. It may include volunteering groups or fellowships. Sometimes associations are clubs or unions.
Keep in mind that both may be valuable to your education and career development. If the organization or association is interesting to you, consider joining it and taking advantage of all it has to offer.
What are the Benefits of Joining a Professional Association?
We believe joining a professional association or organization is one of the best things you can do! Professional Organizations not only provide useful information about your chosen field, but they also enhance your professional development and provide endless networking opportunities. Additionally, may also provide monetary returns such as tuition assistance through private grants and fellowships. Read on for more:
No matter what your chosen field of study, as a graduate student you want to remain in the mainstream of your desired field. Of course there are numerous ways that this could be accomplished – networking, trade and professional journals, etc. However, one great way to draw on all of those resources is to join a professional association.
Why Join a Professional Association?
Joining an association or organization may provide you with an opportunity to learn, network, and build your knowledge about your industry, career, or other programs that interest you. One way to look at the value of joining an association is that it helps to create a difference between a job and a career, as people within associations typically are more immersed and a part of their career’s future.
For those just entering into a field, a professional organization or association creates learning opportunities. It may offer networking opportunities that allow students or recent graduates to find work within the industry or enable a more in depth, hands on style of learning.
Researching each association or organization associated with a career path may be the first step. Get to know what the organization offers, what members within it do, and what benefits it offers may help you determine if this is a path you hope to take.
Where I can find Professional Associations?
They are easy to find if you know where to look. Your career center and campus library can normally provide you with resources for on-campus and local chapters. One resource you may want to ask them for is the National Trade & Professional Associations Directory (published by Columbia Books). The latest 2010 edition presents detailed contact and background information on over 7,800 trade associations, professional societies, technical organizations, and labor unions in the United States.
Recalling the adage “knowledge is power,” even membership in professional associations tangential to your field may be beneficial. Case in point: One organization with which GradSchools.com has developed a professional relationship is The National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP). NAGAP is committed to serving the needs and interests of graduate admissions professionals; the symbiotic nature of the relationship is fairly obvious.
What are the most prominent organizations?
A teeny sampling of prominent professional associations will show you the breadth, and possible overlaps, available:
- American Medical Association
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
- American Psychological Association
- American Marketing Association
- The American Institute of Architects
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- Society of Women Engineers
- Society of Automotive Engineers
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- National Association of Realtor
- American Bar Association
- American Nurses Association
- National Association of Home Builders
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
And there are international professional associations as well.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.
What is SDA Bocconi MIHMEP Program?
The SDA Bocconi MIHMEP is the only programme so far that trains a new cadre of professionals by providing an interdisciplinary and international programme specifically focused on healthcare management and policy. Through an itinerary comprising 9 months of classroom activities and a three-month internship, participants will develop theoretical and practical skills in health care management, health economics, policy analysis and formulation, and epidemiology.
Whether you are looking to become part of a community within your chosen field of study, or you are searching for professional development to enhance your career opportunities locally or abroad, professional organizations are most certainly the way to go!
Check out our Student Guide for more useful information for Graduate Students.
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