I have often been asked what associations really do aside from group together people of similar profession or interest to directly benefit themselves. There are many answers that I could give in response, but one of my favorites is that they introduce recent college graduates into the professional world in a way that no one else can. Personally, as a brand new, young professional myself, I can appreciate these efforts and understand just how helpful they actually are. “How do they do this?” you may ask, let’s take a look!
Talk About the Career Options
The simplest, yet most valuable part of associations contacting college students and recent graduates is simply giving them the knowledge of what is even out there in the world. Once you are in a career path of your own it can be easy to forget that there was a point when you might have not even known the job you now have existed.
Understanding Relationships Between Employers and Potential Employees
Many associations, such as the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, set up systems that replicate the application and interviewing processes in order to get a feel for the types of young professionals coming in to any given workforce. With this information, companies can more easily brand themselves for more incoming college graduates, thus creating a more cohesive bond between soon-to-be employees and their potential employers/jobs.
Actively Involving Pre-College Students
It is even easier to allow college students and post college students to grasp what each profession entails when they are exposed to it actively before even getting to their higher education destination. For example, The Aerospace Industries Association holds a contest annually for middle school and high school aged students called the Team America Rocketry Challenge. I know I personally did this challenge for many years across the many states that I lived in, and it definitely did spark my interest in possible careers in the field of aerospace. Ultimately, it was not something I pursued, but it definitely did give hands on experience of what that career might include. By having associations give this early look into varying fields that the school system simply cannot include to the same extent, certain industries are priming potential employees early on!
So what do associations “really” do? They can use their power to affect the career choices of students nationally, thus strengthening their own field. Have you had an association affect your career path in any way? What phase of your education was it in? Let us know!
Kaiser, A. (Jan. 11, 2016). “How Associations are Attracting Students to the Profession or Industry”, Retrieved from http://www.smooththepath.net/2016/01/11/how-associations-are-attracting-students-to-the-profession-or-industry/