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November 15, 2022, by Leah Sharpe

Joining a Professional Body or Institution as a Student

By Andy Smith, Careers Consultant

Joining a professional body/institution as a student is a really good idea but taking advantage of your membership is the most important part. There are several ways that joining a professional body can bolster your studies, social life, job hunt, and future career – as long as you are prepared to put in the effort and engage with the opportunities it opens up to you.

What is a professional body?

According to a report from Memberwise, a professional body is an “organisation with members (mostly individuals) practicing a profession or occupation. These organisations usually have oversight on knowledge, skills, support, conduct, and practice of the respective profession/occupation.” They can therefore provide support during your education journey and help you in deciding on your next steps into your chosen profession. 

Why should you join?

Being a member of a professional body can really boost your job hunt and enhance your employability. Many professional bodies run regular regional networking events where you can make contact with potential employers and find out what is happening in your chosen sector. Student and affiliate membership is often available which will give you access to specific events and allow you to build your own network of fellow professionals.

Your student membership of a professional body will also reaffirm that you are immersed in real-world learning, and reinforces to employers that you are a competent, knowledgeable, and professional individual. As a result, it can be useful to include any professional memberships on your CV when applying for roles in your chosen sector.

Membership of any professional body will also include access to a whole variety of resources, including journals, magazines, lectures, and eBooks. Alongside the networking events, there may also be conferences and career fairs providing more opportunity to meet and immerse yourself in what is happening.

Some professional bodies may have a dedicated job site for members where you can find opportunities, and some even run ambassador programmes, where you can get involved with educational outreach activities on behalf of your organisation!

Finally, the professional body is very likely to be the organisation providing structure and training for your continued professional development beyond further education. As you progress in your career and decide to continue in the profession you will be supported to full membership which will be a passport to future job mobility and cement your credentials in your chosen profession, whether that is in Accountancy, Engineering or Law.

Take a look at the full list of UK professional bodies.

If you want to chat to a member of the Careers team about joining professional bodies or institutions, you can book an appointment via MyCareer. 

Posted in Careers Advice