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The AEA: Membership has its Privileges By Steve Nunn, CEO, Association of Enterprise Architects


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The AEA: Membership has its Privileges

Posted By Birgit Hartje, Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The AEA: Membership has its Privileges

By Steve Nunn, CEO, Association of Enterprise Architects


I’m often asked by people outside of our association (and by those considering joining it) what the advantages and benefits are of joining a professional association like the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA). Although I may be a bit biased as the AEA’s CEO, I believe that joining an organization such as ours is invaluable for numerous reasons—both for individuals and for the organizations they work for.


A number of years ago, American Express ran an ad campaign that boasted the slogan “membership has its privileges.” The implication was that card holders were a part of a community that “had their back,” so to speak—a community that helped them with what they needed, when and where they needed it.


For professionals, associations provide the same sort of privileges. Being part of a group of other professionals working in your field is helpful on various levels. First, being a member of the AEA provides credibility and recognition within the international community of Enterprise Architects (EA). With members in nearly 120 countries, it also helps professionals within the workplace. When hiring managers see membership in an association such as the AEA on someone’s CV or resume, it not only provides professional recognition for the skills and experience you have, but it can help give a “boost” to your candidacy with hiring and HR managers when applying for jobs.


Maintaining your membership in a professional organization shows that you take an active interest in keeping up your professional skills and learning new ones. This, in turn, helps you advance your career, not only by helping you stay current within the industry and getting recognition for that, but it can also help during annual reviews resulting in promotions or additional compensation.


Part of the AEA mission is also to help you improve and maintain your skills through networking and mentoring opportunities and involvement in local or regional chapters. The best way for any of us to learn and grow is by interacting with each other and sharing our experiences and knowledge as practitioners.  Getting involved at the chapter level and attending conferences where you can learn about the latest industry trends or receive professional development credit for attendance go a long way toward helping you create and maintain your professional network beyond social media interactions such as LinkedIn. There’s just no substitute for being able to connect with your colleagues face-to-face!


In addition to all of these “tangible” benefits there are also “intangible” benefits to membership. Being part of a recognized professional group helps provide a sense of job security and competency—a pride of association based on your professional accomplishments.  We may not talk about these things “out loud” very often, but all of us crave recognition for the work we do day in and day out—being part of a professional community beyond your place of work, like the American Express campaign, demonstrates that we are part of a community larger than ourselves and that we are successful in our chosen profession.


The privileges associated with AEA membership also extend to your workplace.  Membership provides a level of confidence to managers and colleagues in making hiring decisions because it proves candidates are competent, skilled and professional. Companies benefit because they know that candidates have the chops to jump in and hit the ground running when hired.


At the end of the day, belonging to a professional association lends credibility—to individuals, to their work, to the organizations that hire them and to the profession. As the AEA continues provide opportunities for EAs to advance their careers and increase your value in the market through professional excellence, we will also continue to explore how to elevate EA to the status of a “profession” in order to gain additional exposure and credibility for your work.


I invite you to get involved and join our network of more than 38,000 professionals worldwide!  


Please visit the AEA website for additional information on membership, and  refer to our list of local chapters ( throughout the globe.









Tags:  AEA membership  EA profession 

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