General Question

jackm's avatar

Should I join an engineering society?

Asked by jackm (6198points) August 30th, 2010

I am a junior in electrical engineering. I was wondering if I should join an engineering society such as IEEE and why?

I have average grades, and currently plan on going to graduate school. Would it be essential, useful, or pointless to join an engineering society?

If I should, which ones would you recommend?

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10 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t know anything about engineering societies, but in general, joining associations in your career field can be beneficial. In the nursing field, the American Nurses Association has scholarships available to it’s members for furthering their education and then also have continuing educations programs to help nurses keep up to date with their practice. I would imagine an engineering society would have similar benefits for it’s members. I would recommend doing some research about them and joining one if you could afford to do it and plan to be in the engineering field for a while.

Nullo's avatar

Societies are aaaall about networking. The guy next to you at the Society dinner? Wouldn’t ya know it, but he’s the HR director for that company that you want to work for.

It’s not about free jobs, mind. It’s about getting you into contact with people who would otherwise be out of reach. You meet and talk at the functions, get your name aired, and when your resume floats across his desk in a year or so, he’ll go, “Hey, I know that guy!” and the odds of you getting the position shoot up 15%.*

* Not based on actual statistics.

cazzie's avatar

first, a laugh about ‘societies’....

http://xkcd.com/703/

but yes… Networking in within your industry sounds like a good idea. Can lead to jobs, mentoring…. industry initiatives.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. Figure on staying in until two years after your start of employment date.

lilikoi's avatar

Like others have said, these things are about networking, sometimes ideas exchange.

Joining an engineering society as a student is affordable. They all have student rates that are orders of magnitude lower than the professional rate.

I was in several orgs as an engineering student. Benefits ranged from free lunch to interesting presentations to building things to planning events to free attendance at conferences and trips to the mainland.

You don’t have to attend every single meeting or event just because you’re in the club, nor do you have to be the president. You can decide how involved you want to be.

Really I don’t think there is anything to lose.

And if you want to go to grad school, it won’t hurt to befriend professors and get your grades above average.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes. Any contact with other people who are interested in the same field will lead to tips and ideas on how to improve your chances.

ETpro's avatar

I highly recommend it. It is a great enhancer to your resume and opens doors to conference and training discounts. I helped get the SMTA started and ended up its first Chairman of the Standards Committee and then its President. That experience proved invaluable in moving from a cubicle to being a self-employed consultant.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It’s not just about joining, but about being involved with the organization. Great way to make connections, and to get information about employers and different types of work.

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