I received an e-mail from the IEEE the other day, and frankly I was quite surprised at what the head of the organization for electrical and electronic engineers had to say. President and CEO Michael Lightner was writing to ask for help and participation in the 2006 drive to help increase IEEE membership. The reason for my surprise was because I thought every EE joins the IEEE as a matter of course. After all, it’s our professional organization. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?
There are many tangible benefits associated with membership: career and professional development tools, discounts on products and services, the award-winning Spectrum magazine, which I really enjoy reading by the way, reduced conference registration fees, multiple opportunities to network with the leaders of the field, access to top technical information, an increasing number of continuing education courses, and much more. In 2005, for example, the IEEE launched a members-only web portal, myIEEE. I have to admit, I haven’t tried this yet, but the portal puts all of the IEEE membership benefits together in one, easily-accessible place.
The IEEE is also planning to launch of IEEE.tv later this year. Through streaming video, this new feature can place conference presentations, technical seminars, and other items of general interest directly on your desktop. There are also plans to launch a new, online member directory to help members get in touch with each other.
So how do you make some IEEE dough? Just participate in the Member-Get-A-Member program (http://www.ieee.org/web/volunteers/membership_ dev/mgm.html). This program has an incentive for finding new members: you will get a $5.00 IEEE credit voucher for every member that you recruit.
But Lightner points out that the real reward is more than a credit voucher. It’s a stronger, better IEEE with enhanced connections into industry and the community. These connections will help to build the IEEE Network that supports our careers and the profession.
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