This week’s focus at TechRepublic is professional organizations. The benefits of becoming a member of a professional organization are enormous, including networking, industry information, career guidance, and lifelong friendships. Have you taken a look at what’s available? We’ve compiled a summary of some of our readers’ comments on associations and a listing of training associations found on the Web.
If you have a training association you’d like to add to this list for your peers, please let us know by posting your comments at the bottom of this page. Also, view the sites we’ve listed and let us know which ones are your favorites.
We’re members, are you?
I’m a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity. Over the years, I have received tremendous career guidance and have made several friends, thanks to my membership.

Even though I’m not a paying member of a training association, I use the forums of several associations’ Web sites. The information you receive, even without membership, can be a great asset to your professional career. I visit these forums any time I have training or IT questions.

In a recent TrainingRepublic NetNote, we asked you to send us information about the associations to which you belong. Below you’ll find a selection of responses from our readers.

Donald Leedy, electronics instructor, said:
“I currently belong to two organizations. I’m a member of The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), an association that provides resources to enhance my educational and training skills by communicating with other educators and attending training seminars for the specific areas that I teach.

“I’m also a member of The Electronics Technicians Association (ETA), an international professional organization of electronics technicians. It provides third-party certification of your job skills, the ability to communicate with other technicians, job search and resume assistance, and other helpful services and information.”

James New responded:
Project ManagementInstitute (PMI) has grown to be the organization of choice for project management professionalism. With almost 45,000 members worldwide, PMI is a leading nonprofit professional association for project managers, providing project management standards, seminars, educational programs, and professional certification that more and more organizations desire for their project leaders.”

Nancy Adomeit commented:
“I’m president of the Professional Association for Computer Training (PACT). We meet monthly in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Dues are $100 a year and the benefits are many. First, there is the networking that takes place at every meeting. We even build that into our meeting plan. We are an all-volunteer group, so there are many ways to participate, with an opportunity to share knowledge and build professional skills. Our speaker program is strong and varied, regularly allowing our own members to present. We also draw big-name training industry speakers.”

I want to be a member too
Here are several other training association links we found.

American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)
ASTD provides training professionals with opportunities to network and share specialized information. ASTD has approximately 47 special interest groups (or “forums”), local chapters, volunteer opportunities, and a virtual community via the Internet. This association has an awards program to honor individuals, teams, and organizations for their exemplary contributions to the training and development profession.

Associationfor Learning Technology (ALT)
ALT, established in 1993 in the United Kingdom, seeks to bring together people with an interest in promoting good practice in the use, development, learning, and training of technologies.

Associationof Macintosh Trainers (AMT)
AMT, established in 1991, provides training support for the international network of Apple Macintosh trainers, instructors, educators, and consultants. This support networking system assists end users everywhere.

The Computer Education Management Association (CEdMA)
CEdMA provides IT managers and directors of computer education organizations with a forum to discuss issues and challenges faced in the computer training industry.

Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)
CompTIA is active in the areas of public policy, workforce development, IT training, and e-commerce standards. CompTIA certifies IT and service professionals with its widely adopted, vendor-neutral certification programs.

Information Technology Training Association (ITTA)
ITTA acts as a central location for peer-to-peer contacts, information exchange, discount opportunities, professional development, advice and tips on training management, and industry news.

New Zealand Association for Training and Development (NZATD)
NZATD provides networking, forums, and personal development information to those involved in training and development.
If you have any suggestions for future articles or would like to comment on this one, please let us know by sending us anote . This is your community, so we want to hear from you!