As a computer science student, you may be wondering how professional organizations for computer science majors can enhance your academic study and which of these organizations provides the most benefits. Dozens of organizations exist, but some of these associations are specialized to a geographic region or individual university and may not be appropriate for a broad audience. The computer science industry comprises hundreds of specialties and sub-fields, and you can find a wide range of organizations with your niche in mind. Below, we highlight four professional organizations designed to help computer science majors hone their skills while making valuable connections during school and after graduation.
Association for Computing Machinery
The Association for Computing Machinery services the scientific computing community worldwide through comprehensive newsletters and other publications that promote the field of computing as a profession and field of study. Students enjoy a variety of benefits including a three-month subscription to the association’s flagship publication, an email address assigned by the chapter, access to several additional publications on the latest industry news, a subscription to the organization’s student magazine, and a quarterly email newsletter showcasing current programs and opportunities for computer science professionals.
Association for Information Science and Technology
Members of the Association for Information Science and Technology explore innovation in the field of information science. Established in 1937, the organization now encompasses approximately 4,000 members in a wide range of fields related to computer science and information technology. Students enjoy benefits such as various subscriptions in the organization’s publications, discounts on special services for members, voting rights and free online seminars among other benefits.
Association for Women in Computing
Founded in 1978 as one of the first professional associations specifically for women in this field, the Association for Women in Computing now hosts chapters nationwide for individuals, groups and universities. Students can form a chapter with only five individual members, and members receive several significant benefits for joining the organization: practical seminars, career assistance, skill enhancement, scholarships, leadership training and various newsletters. The organization’s individual membership feature helps professionals who can’t attend meetings gain the benefits of regular membership.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is one of the largest and most globally recognized organization for professionals and students who plan to pursue careers in computer science and engineering. The organization values innovation and offers a host of benefits to members worldwide. Top benefits include access to downloadable Microsoft software products, career assistance, discounts on other products such as Rosetta Stone, a subscription to the organization’s magazine, grants for student travel, and professional networking opportunities. Students can use the organization’s interactive website to find benefits that apply to their areas of interest.
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Professional organizations help students gain exposure to advanced research and current events happening within their chosen field of study. The benefits typically outweigh the cost of membership, but you should read each organization’s charter to make sure they offer the kind of benefits that will help you find employment and make the right connections after graduation. Some associations offer newsletters, career fairs and other employment resources that may offset the price of subscriptions. For many students, professional organizations for computer science majors also offer the perfect opportunity to network and build friendships during school.