Each year about half the IEEE student members who graduate don’t renew and sign up as full members—they just drop out.By not joining, those graduates are missing out on a load of benefits that come in handy when they enter the workforce. There are many advantages to becoming a member after you graduate, including help with finding a job, mentoring and continuing-education programs, and discounts on conferences, books, and insurance.
Here are 11 reasons why you should keep your membership after you finish school.
1. Dues are discounted for your first year
Sure, the leap from US $30 (in the United States and Canada, $25 everywhere else) a year for student membership to $129 for basic IEEE dues can seem steep, but IEEE eases the load with a 50 percent discount for your first year after graduating.
2. You get help finding a job
The IEEE Job Site features postings from the world’s top tech employers. The site lets you create an online profile that includes your qualifications and the type of job you’re looking for, and IEEE will even e-mail you when positions matching your criteria are posted.
3. IEEE Xplore digital library is at your fingertips
In your new job, you’ll need to stay on top of the latest work in your field. The IEEE Xplore digital library provides access to more than 1.5 million documents from IEEE journals, transactions, letters, magazines, conference proceedings, and standards. You pay two-thirds less per article than a nonmember would. You can also download articles for free from those journals you get as part of your society membership. In addition, a $35 subscription to the IEEE Member Digital Library lets you download up to 25 articles per month from any IEEE publication or conference proceeding.
4. Advice comes free with the IEEE Mentoring Connection
Need to learn how to prioritize your job tasks? Want advice on how to approach your first performance review? You can get the answers to these and other questions through the IEEE Mentoring Connection. The online program connects recent grads and young professionals with IEEE members willing to devote time to guide them in their professional development.
5. There’s continuing education, at a discount
Need extra training to stay current in your field? That’s where the IEEE Education Partners Program comes in. It offers IEEE members a 10 percent discount on more than 6000 online continuing-education, certificate, and graduate degree courses from universities and organizations partnered with IEEE.
Want to bone up on the latest technologies but don’t have time to make it to an IEEE conference? You can purchase conference tutorials online through the IEEE Expert Now Web site. The site contains one- to two-hour courses on more than 50 topics in aerospace, lasers, optics, signal processing, vehicular technology, and other fields.
6. You get discounts on books and conferences, too
Get a 15 percent discount on Wiley-IEEE Press books, which cover a diverse range of electrical and computer engineering topics.
You also can get up to 20 percent off the registration fee on IEEE conferences. Each year IEEE sponsors or cosponsors more than 800 conferences in more than 60 countries on the latest engineering breakthroughs in many technical fields.
7. Networking opportunities
Taking the step from student to professional is much easier if you have a network of like-minded colleagues to help you. MemberNet is an online community that lets you find others who share your technical interests, educational background, and more.
There are also plenty of opportunities to network in person. IEEE sections, societies, and regions hold numerous meetings each year that bring together members from your local and regional IEEE community as well as business leaders from local companies.
8. IEEE Spectrum and The Institute
One of the benefits most often cited as a favorite in member surveys is IEEE’s flagship publication, IEEE Spectrum. The monthly magazine for technology insiders features the latest in science, engineering, and technology. And be sure to check out IEEE Spectrum Online for more news, features, videos, and more.
And, of course, you get the monthly IEEE member newsletter, The Institute, to keep you posted on what’s happening at IEEE.
9. You can gain soft skills for free
Volunteering for IEEE—whether for your section, society, or region—offers many benefits. Not only are you contributing to your profession, but you also gain valuable soft skills that you might not learn at your job, such as effective ways to lead meetings and make presentations. Learn more about volunteering.
10. The IEEE Financial Advantage Program
Members receive discounts on products and services from the Financial Advantage Program. IEEE has negotiated with insurance and other companies to offer specially negotiated group rates on services for you and your family, including great deals on life insurance, auto and home insurance, loan consolidation, and college savings plans, as well as discounts on office supplies.
11. IEEE is fun, too!
IEEE members don’t just hold technical meetings. They also organize fun get-togethers that you can participate in. IEEE sections regularly host barbecues, tours of tech sites, dinners featuring interesting speakers, and other events. Check out your local section’s newsletter to find what’s happening in your area.