The Popular Professional Organizations

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What are the most popular professional organizations?

As a graduate student and a professional you may want to consider joining a professional organization. These organizations connect individuals in similar fields to share ideas, network, and learn about the latest developments in the profession. Below is a list of some popular professional organizations and the services they provide to their members.

What is the American Historical Association?

The American Historical Association “brings together historians from all geographical, chronological, and topical specializations and all work contexts, embracing the breadth and variety of activity in history today.” It also “addresses the diverse special needs of individuals and the interests of the profession as a whole.”

  • Membership Benefits: Members of the AHA receive special discounts, benefits and access to a variety of tools and resources beneficial to people in the profession. Members also receive AHA publications such as The American Historical Review, Perspectives on History, and the handbook for the Annual Meeting Program.
  • Membership Fees: The AHA charges dues for membership based on income and other specified categories. Other specified categories of membership include Students, Early Career Members, Associate Members, K-12 Teachers, Retired Members, Contributing Members, Life Members, and Joint Spouses/Partners of Members. Dues for income and other categories range from $40 to $300 annually and cost $3500 for a lifetime membership.
  • Popular Conferences: The AHA Annual Meeting (127th annual as of 2013)

What is the American Management Association?

The American Management Association offers a range of professional training and development resources to individuals, teams, enterprises, and government agencies by way of seminars, webinars and podcasts, articles and case studies, conferences and trainings. To fulfill the needs of international business managers, the AMA also has an international component.

  • Membership Benefits: Members of AMA receive preferred pricing (at least 10% off all AMA seminars for most plans), exclusive access to business and professional development resources, and, depending on the membership, tools, resources, and trainings that can be extended to staff directly or through “Participation” membership.
  • Membership Fees: The AMA offers membership to students, individuals, small businesses, and corporations. Membership fees, as of March, 2013, are as follows:
    • Corporations: $2,195 for a one-year membership
    • Small Businesses: $2,195 for a one-year membership
    • Individuals: $250 for a one-year membership
    • Students: $95 for a one-year membership
    • Each plan offers different benefits, so be sure to review each plan carefully and select the one that best suits your needs.
  • Popular Seminars: The AMA most commonly offers seminars in:
    • Business Enhancement Skills
    • Business Writing
    • Information Techonology Management
    • Marketing
    • Management and Supervisory Skills
    • Project Management
    • Sales
    • Strategic Planning
    • Thinking and Innovation
    • Customer Service
    • Human Resource Management
    • Interpersonal Skills
    • Leadership
    • Presentation Skills
    • Purchasing and Supply Management
    • Strategic Alliance Management
    • Time Management
    • Training and Development

What is the American Nurses Association?

The American Nurses Association supports and represents the interests of nurses politically, economically, professionally, and ethically.

  • Membership Benefits: Membership to the ANA grants nursing-professionals access to the ANA Career Center, professional development trainings and materials, discounted certification exams, professional liability insurance, and a myriad of other resources for professional development and security in the field of nursing. National membership can be tied to state membership or stand alone.
  • Membership Fees: The ANA offers three types of membership: the ANA and State Membership, the ANA Only Membership, and the E-Membership Only membership.

Fees for the ANA and State Membership vary by state. To determine membership fees in your state. The ANA Only Membership requires an investment of $183.00 per year or $15.75 per month and is only available in certain states. The E-Membership Only membership requires an investment of $45.00 per year. 

Popular Conferences and Events:

  • The National Nursing Ethics Conference
  • The ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference
  • The ICN Quadrennial Congress
  • The Membership Assembly
  • The ANA Nursing Quality Conference
  • The National Magnet Conference
  • Lobby Day

What is the American Political Science Association?

  • Promote domestic and international scholarly communication and research
  • Promote high quality teaching and education about politics and government.
  • Support diversity within the profession.
  • Increase opportunities for members.
  • Strengthen the professional environment for political science.
  • Represent political scientists’ professional interests.
  • Defend the importance of academic research into politics.
  • Encourage high ethical and intellectual standards in the discipline.
  • Serve the public by making research available to citizens to prepare them to be effective political participants.
  • Membership Benefits: Members of the American Political Science Association gain access to resources in four primary areas: career advancement, scholarly and teaching resources, networking and visibility, and discounts.
  • Membership Fees: The American Political Science Association offers full membership to professionals on an income-based sliding scale. Other membership types are offered to Targeted International Members ($40/year), Associate Members ($62/year), Family Members ($29/year), High School Teacher Members ($45/year), Student Members ($45/year), and Unemployed Members ($45/year).
  • Popular Conferences and Events: The American Political Science Association informs members and non-members of a variety of types of conferences, programs, and seminars in the profession. It also hosts an “Annual Meeting & Exhibition” with varying themes and an APSA Annual Meeting.

What is the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)?

The Association of Information Technology Professionals champions “the human element of the Information Technology profession and remains focused on providing a community of knowledge, education and resources that will empower its members to reach their true potential as an IT business professional.”

  • Membership Benefits: Members of the Association of Information Technology Professionals enjoy benefits designed to support IT professionals in fully developing their skills and advancing their careers. Members gain access to a developed network of professionals in various IT fields; support in discovering career and business opportunities; and information about industry trends. They also gain access to training opportunities in leadership and business skills and become a part of a global network of IT professionals.
  • Membership Fees: The Association of Information Technology Professionals has many membership options: Professional, Student, Enterprise, and Student to Professional. Student and Student to Professional members receive a significant discount. Each membership level requires members to play dues to both the national AITP and a local chapter.
  • Popular Conferences and Events:
    • AITP National Collegiate Conference
    • Information Systems Educators Conference
    • AITP Member Summit

What is the Customer Experience Professionals Association?

The Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) “is a global non-profit organization positioned to guide and enhance the growing field of customer experience management. CXPA brings together like-minded professionals focused on advancing the practice of customer experience management and creating career growth by establishing customer experience management as a recognized and admired professional discipline.”

  • Membership Benefits: Members of the NEA receive discounted and/or exclusive access to professional development resources, support services, and discounted services and products. Certain members also receive exclusive financial offers and opportunities.
  • Membership Fees: The CXPA offers memberships to individuals, their companies, and other organizations in the sector. For all applicants, there are two membership types: the CXPA Individual Membership and the CXPA Corporate Membership. The CXPA Individual Membership requires an investment of $195/year and the CXPA Corporate Membership requires an investment of $2,500-$10,000/year depending on the revenue accrued by the corporation applying for membership.
  • Conferences and Popular Events: The CXPA website shares a calendar comprised of CXPA and member-sponsored events. Events offer trainings, networking opportunities and other specialized conferences. Examples of conferences offered in 2013 are:
    • The 2013 Customer Experience Leadership Conference: The New CEM Techniques Every Leader Must Know
    • The CXPA Roundtable Conversation: Intuit Best Practice Visit, Lessons Learned and Takeaways
    • The CXPA Thought Leader Conversation: Jon Wolske, Culture Evangelist, Zappos

What is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers?

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has a simple mission, “to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.” The IEEE works with its members to “inspire a global community through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities.”

  • Membership Benefits: The benefits offered by the IEEE to members vary by country and the career phase of the applicant. Individuals qualify for one of four “grades” of membership: the Student Member Grade, the Graduate Student Member Grade, the Associate Member Grade, the Member Grade, the Senior Member Grade, the Fellow Member Grade, and other grades such as Life Member, Gold, and Affiliate.\
  • Membership Fees: The IEEE has two basic membership types: the Professional Membership and the Student/Graduate Student Membership. The membership dues vary by country, membership type, and length of membership. A Student half-year “e-Membership” in a “developing nation” costs and $13.50, and a Professional full-year membership in the United States costs to $185.00.
  • Conferences and Popular Events:
    • The IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference
    • The IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory
    • The IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting
    • The IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium

What is the The National Communication Association?

The National Communication Association “advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry.” Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, the NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.”

  • Membership Benefits: The NCA supports members in a variety of ways. It offers members opportunities to be recognized, to lead, and to network. Members are invited attend national events and conferences, and gain access to industry-based publications and professional development resources. NCA members obtain support in teaching, learning, and administrating. The NCA supports member research and funding; and grants access to external relations resources. The NCA also has undergraduate student organizations such as Lambda Pi Eta, Sigma Chi Eta, and NCA student clubs.
  • Membership Fees: The NCA has five membership types: Regular, Patron, Student, Emeritus, and Life. The cost of membership for each type is as follows:
    • Regular: $165/year
    • Patron: $265/year
    • Student: $60/year
    • Emeritus: Free (lifelong)
    • Life: $4500 (lifelong)
  • Conferences and Sample Events:
    • The NCA National Convention
    • Humanities Advocacy Day
    • Clarifying Conversations: “Representations of Race and Identity in America Culture”
    • The Biennial Conference on Communication and Environment
    • Institute for Faculty Development
    • The Committee on International Discussion and Debate

What is The National Council of Nonprofits?

The National Council of Nonprofits typically works through state associations and supports and advocates for individuals and organizations working in the charitable nonprofit sector.

According to the National Council of Nonprofits, state associate members do the following for the nonprofit sector: “advance the nonprofit sector”, “participate in a network” of their peers, and “provide valuable programs and services” to their members.

Individuals and organizations located in states that do not have an affiliate can become “Nonprofit Ally Members”.

  • Membership Benefits: Individuals and organizations that are members of the National Council of Nonprofits enjoy a variety of benefits. They gain access to policy discussion and trainings, receive descriptions of and instructions for obtaining financial and other resources. They gain access to policy professionals who can present at nonprofits’ annual conferences, are given listings on the National Council of Nonprofits’ website. Organizations also gain access to an extended network of other nonprofit groups.
  • Membership Fees: Nonprofit Ally Members pay dues based on their total revenues. State associate members pay fees based on the state in which they are located.

What is The National Education Association?

The National Education Association offers working and retired education professionals and students access to professional development, financial assistance, insurance, products, services, and travel discounts. Members of the NEA also enjoy access to support systems, community chat rooms, and newsletters designed to support professionals working in education.

  • Membership Benefits: Members of the NEA receive discounted and/or exclusive access to professional development resources, support services, and discounted services and products. Certain members also receive exclusive financial offers and opportunities.
  • Membership Fees: The National Education Association offers the following membership types:
    • Active Professional/Certified
    • Active Education Support Professional (ESP)/Clasified
    • Retired
    • Pre-Retired Subscription
    • Student Membership
  • Conferences and Popular Events:
    • The annual NEA Annual meeting and Representative Assembly
    • NEA’s Read Across America Day
    • National Teacher Day
    • American Education Week

There are many more professional organizations to explore; they vary in specificity, demographics, and scope. While large organizations offer members many benefits and the power of numbers, smaller organizations may offer more recognition and individualized attention. It may be beneficial to pursue membership in a variety of professional organizations to optimize your network and build your skills.

Annie Rose Stathes holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Political Science, from the University of Colorado, Denver. She is currently an instructor of writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado

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