Professional bodies and your future

Whatever profession you ultimately move into it may be desirable, or you may be required, to join the professional body for that discipline. If you decide to teach, you could consider joining the General Teaching Council for your country (see above). Apart from this, there are also subject-specific teaching organisations which you can join, such as the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM), or the Association for Science Education (ASE). If you are going to teach young children, then you may want to look at the British Association For Early Childhood Education.

Alternatively, if you are training to be a teacher after completing a degree in your subject, then you may wish to keep up to date with that subject by joining the organisations linked to that subject, for example, the British Psychological Society (BPS) or the British Computer Society (BCS).

Choose a professional body or organisation that you may be expected to join. You should look at the website / promotional literature and find the answers to the following questions:

  • Does the society have separate activities for younger members?
  • Can you join as a student or do you need to obtain your degree first?
  • Can anyone with an interest in the subject join?
  • Does the society advertise relevant job vacancies?
  • Is there a newsletter magazine produced by the society, if so how regularly is it produced and what is it called?
  • Is careers advice available?
  • Once you have found the answers, you should ask someone in your department who is a member, to briefly outline to you some of the advantages of membership.