Professional Associations

What are they?

Professional Associations are organizations made up of practitioners from and students entering a particular career field who work together to grow the profession, share expertise and impart standards of practice.

Why are they important?

As an undergraduate exploring career options, professional associations offer excellent opportunities to carry out exploration activities and network with professionals in your field of interest.  Often professional associations hold conferences and events that students may attend, and most offer student membership rates that are minimal. Also, attending events sponsored by professional associations or joining an association will allow you to gain in-depth insight into a field.

How can I learn more?

Use the directories provided below to begin researching professional associations.  Once you have targeted those you are interested in, look into events, networking opportunities, or membership depending on your goals.  The Piper Center staff members will help you navigate the directories and can offer insight into making the most of membership in a professional association.


WEDDLE’S Association Directory
Listing of thousands of professional associations by occupational focus

What Can I Do With This Major?
Hundreds of professional organizations by college major

Spotlight on Careers
A Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) sponsored site for career advice for off-campus use (username: spotlightpass; password: liberalarts2017)

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network 
The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) promotes an efficient, viable, and inclusive nonprofit sector that supports the growth, learning, and development of young professionals.