Professional Associations for Information Technology Specialists
- CompTIA Association of Information Technology Professionals
- Association of Computing Management
- Association for Women in Computing
- Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals
- Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Information Technology industry is projected to grow by 6.1 percent a year from 2010-2020. The industry provides experts who do everything from programming services to facility maintenance. Individuals interested in pursuing a career in this lucrative sector but ever-changing sector should join a professional organization that can help them stay on top of the latest developments. Below is a list of five organizations for IT specialists.
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CompTIA Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) has been an industry force since the 1950’s. AITP has both national events like Channelcon and over 30 local chapters that provide excellent opportunities to learn and network. Some of the benefits of membership include access to over 1,200 on demand course through Lynda.com, CompTIA’s virtual workforce communities, industry research reports, career resources, webinars and events, and discounts on retail and certifications. AITP promotes leadership and innovation though student programs, platforms for academic research, and service awards.
The Association of Computing Management (ACM) is the largest computing society in the world with over 860 chapters worldwide and 100,000 members, half of which reside outside the United States. With this global reach, there are unlimited networking opportunities within the 37 Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Members, as well as non-members, have the opportunity to enhance their career development through volunteer opportunities, including leadership roles in AMC’s Education Board and journal publications. ACM promotes excellence in technological and professional achievements via its eminent awards, Fellowships, and Distinguished membership. In addition to ACM’s broad influence, the organization offers national conferences, research databases, and educational opportunities like webinars and e-learning.
Founded in 1978, the Association for Women in Computing (AWC) was the first professional computing organization dedicated to the advancement of women. The AWC has chapters nationwide and independent membership for individuals who are not within the vicinity of a local chapter. As a growing organization, any five independent members can create a new chapter, creating vast opportunities to become involved in chapter leadership positions. The AWC also supports student chapters at colleges and universities. Chapter membership includes guest speakers and workshops, job listing and career planning, skill enhancement, scholarships, mentoring, and more.
The Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) aims to improve and standardize business, analytics, and computing through on-going professional certifications and an industry-wide code of conduct. The goal of the ICCP is to help members maintain their professional competence by updating current knowledge and acquiring new skills. To this end, ICCP offers certified membership. To maintain certified membership, professional level members need to submit evidence of 120 hours of professional development, and associate level members must submit evidence of 60 hours of professional development.
Founded in 1981, the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) is a global organization with members in 26 countries. Its purpose is to promote the responsible use of computer technology by educating policymakers and developing numerous social responsibility projects. Membership dues fund all of CPSR’s activities and the news and action center helps members become involved.
Membership in professional organizations is a career advancing opportunity. Becoming a certified professional not only increases an individual’s confidence and focus through the attainment of measurable results, but it also demonstrates increased knowledge and skill that garners respect from both peers and customers, demonstrating one of the many values of belonging to organizations for IT specialists.