Groups That Benefit Information Technology Professionals
- Association for Information Technology Professionals
- Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
- Association of Software Professionals
- Association for Computer Machinery
- Organizations for Demographic Groups
As the field of information technology continues to expand, organizations for IT professionals are increasingly important and a good reason to pursue a IT career. In an industry where methods and standards can completely change almost overnight, these groups provide educational resources to ensure that their members stay up to date with the latest new developments. According to Entrepreneur, while younger generations are more drawn to belonging to social media groups, they are finding significant career benefits in organized, longstanding professional organizations including in-person networking opportunities, networking conferences and job offers. Some membership options for IT professionals include the following.
Association for Information Technology Professionals
The AITP accepts members from all stages of their careers and offers a free membership for students enrolled in a postsecondary institution. The group maintains two major platforms, one for specialty training and another for job seekers. There are more than 30 local chapters across the country that offer face-to-face meetups as well as opportunities for mentoring and training. One branch of this organization focuses specifically on the academic aspect of information technology, offering a means for publishing research.
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
This organization includes IT professionals along with members of other industries who are concerned about the potential changes new technology could make in society. While technologic advancements have huge upsides, there can be some risks if things are not properly regulated. The CPSR has developed policy positions on issues like privacy, intellectual property, civil liberties, and voting protections, and members organize campaigns to educate the public as well as elected officials about these ideas. There are CPSR chapters in 26 countries around the world, and activists also meet locally to share techniques for getting their messages heard.
Association of Software Professionals
The ASP is one of the IT professional associations that focuses on a IT specialization, particularly software design and development. The group provides resources to its members about new programming languages and techniques but also offers guidance and support for freelance developers and those looking to start their own businesses. While not as large as some of the other groups, the ASP does have members worldwide who are eager to share their work and review programs created by other members.
Association for Computer Machinery
Another niche professional IT group, the ACM brings together members of the computing branches of the industry including workers in the fields of automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, algorithms, and bioinformatics among others. This group has more than 100,000 members from all over the world and offers online educational resources and discussion boards about different topics in the field. There are scholarships and fellowships offered to computing students, funded by membership fees and other donations, as well as lifetime achievement awards for prominent long-term members. The ACM's major focus is to help develop ways for computers to solve some of the world's biggest problems.
Organizations for Demographic Groups
According to Forbes, women, African Americans, and Hispanics are underrepresented in IT, putting the industry at a disadvantage, but some tech firms are working to change this. Organizations like the AWC, or Association for Women in Computing, and the BDPA for African American professionals provide resources to help their members get jobs and promotions in an occupation in which they are immediately at a disadvantage, regardless of skill level. These groups also provide peer support from others who have had similar experiences.
Whether a beginning student or an established figure in the IT world, networking and keeping current on new technology are essential parts of this ever-changing industry. These organizations for information technology professionals along with other groups provide the necessary resources and environment for career growth.