7 Must-Join Tech Organizations for Ongoing Learning and Growth
The economy has been unstable the last few years, but your career doesn’t have to be. Being connected with the right people can keep you ahead in the tech industry and can help you stay afloat amidst unemployment and layoffs happening everywhere. Stay on top of the demands of employers by finding top IT organizations to join.
Connect and Reconnect: The Importance of Being in an IT Organization
Be in control of your career opportunities and stay relevant by staying connected. Join professional organizations specific to the growing needs of your career. Here are the three main reasons why:
1. You Can Upgrade Your IT Skill Set Outside of Work
Technology is always innovating according to human needs. You have to stay knowledgeable about new programs, platforms, and processes.
Amazon and Workplace Intelligence’s recent survey says Millennial and Gen Z employees to quit their current jobs this 2023 because they believe they will learn more from a new employer – the “Go to Grow” model.
3,000 workers were surveyed, and skill development is a top priority for 83 percent of them. 78 percent of them fear that they lack the skills to advance in their careers and 58 percent are worried about their skills being outdated.
Most employees can upgrade their skills by being involved in the workshops and seminars offered through professional associations.¹
2. You Can Build a Network and Gain New Opportunities
In our remote/hybrid world, we are missing the water cooler conversations and impromptu mentoring opportunities. Leaning into a tech organization can help make your community stronger. Building connections with other tech professionals can benefit any stage of your career, especially when you’re looking for new opportunities. Asking the right people will let you know which companies are looking for people like you.
Through them, you can also learn about any challenges and trends that may come up in the industry, such as how to leverage Artificial Intelligence in your work. You will be ready to tackle anything with people you can look up to and rely on.
3. You can hone your soft skills by volunteering
A lot of organizations require volunteers to help their activities reach more people. By doing so, you get a closer look at the people behind these successful events and what motivates them to help others. You may also learn to be more compassionate and find a cause that you would love to advocate for.
You can also bring the values you learn from them back into the office. You may become more proactive in helping your colleagues and be more excited to take charge of projects assigned to you.
Continuously and Effectively Grow With an IT Organization
Find professional organizations with computing professionals that are pursuing the same growth tracks as you. This is so you can find genuine support and ideas to keep you focused and inspired.
Fresh Start for the New Professionals
If you’re new to the industry and are just about to start your tech career, join an association for talent development that give you ideas on paths that you can take. These groups can show you the many opportunities you can explore and pursue in your stage of discovery.
The Information Technology Industry & Association or CompTIA is a non-profit organization that gives its members access to communities, events, and research studies. They are known for their original research and certifications.
They encourage their members to contribute to the community as they consume information. You can meet industry leaders and other professionals in person through their events the ChannelCon and the EMEA Member and Partner Conference.²
They also offer webinars and virtual events that can help you develop your career and for business leaders to enhance their businesses.
CPSR can pique the curiosity of younger experts in the field with its concern for the impact of technology on society. The association provides the public and politicians with assessments of the promise, power, and limitations of technology through computers. The group is composed of mainly computer scientists.
Learn from experts across the globe with ACM. The organization serves more than 75,000 experts in over a hundred countries. They have special interest groups (SIGs) on specific topics such as computer architecture and e-commerce. Their SIGs sponsor conferences and publish newsletters that you can subscribe to as well.³
Growth Avenues for the Tenured
If you have been in the industry for a long time, you can refresh your knowledge and learn new things through tech experts from large communities, especially those that have international reach. Through them, you can discover new processes and developments in tech that are unique to certain areas outside of your city or country.
The Society of Information Management (SIM) is a leading professional organization at the intersection of business, technology, and leadership. SIM brings together IT executives, senior IT professionals, consultants, and academicians to foster knowledge sharing, networking, and professional development.
The Minnesota Chapter in particular has been fostering connections and facilitating the exchange of knowledge for over 25 years. The chapter is dedicated to improving IT leadership practices through the dissemination of unbiased information, the development of leadership skills, the enablement of future IT leaders, and community outreach initiatives.
IEEE is the world’s largest computer professionals association with over a hundred thousand members. It organizes conferences and designs tutorials and journals and other services for its members around the globe.
Associations that Support Diversity
If you’re looking for associations where you can support diversity or meet people from the same life background as yours, there are many of them that you can join as well. Listen to life stories to inspire you and advocate for your rights by learning the strategies from the advocates themselves.
AISES is a non-profit organization pursuing the increase of STEM representation for American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Alaska Natives, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples of North America.
They offer scholarships and professional development support to students in STEM and career and networking opportunities.
BIT, a global networking platform, offers Black people in the tech industry access to guidance, resources, and mentorship through a network and community of professionals. They have 14 local chapters in the US. They are committed to “stomping the divide” for Black people.
Be Inspired by People You Connect With
Having peers who are pursuing advancement in tech like you can make your growth more inspiring, especially at times when you feel like you’re not growing enough. You can find them in information technology associations.
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1 Perna, Mark C. “74% Of Millennials & Gen Z Think They Can Build Better Skills At A New Job.” Forbes, 31 Oct. 2022, www.forbes.com/sites/markcperna/2022/10/31/74-of-millennials–gen-z-think-they-can-build-better-skills-at-a-new-job/?sh=5479c82da313.
2 “Information Technology Associations to Join.” Best College Reviews, Updated 18 Oct. 2022, www.bestcollegereviews.org/lists/five-information-technology-associations-to-join/.
3 Hoffman, Allan. “Top IT Organizations.” Monster, www.monster.com/career-advice/article/top-it-organizations. Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
4 “20 Professional Organizations Focused on Diversity in Tech.” CIO, 22 Jul. 2021, www.cio.com/article/193688/professional-organizations-focused-on-diversity-in-tech.html.