Are you a student trying to decide whether or not to join AITP (or any professional group)? One of the best things that you can do to help yourself plan for the future is to get involved in a professional organization like AITP. From my personal experience, I can tell you first hand that being active in a student chapter has many reward both personally and professionally. I joined AITP as a student member back in 2006 when I was studying as a CIS student at DeKalb Tech (now called Georgia Piedmont Technical College). I'm now a senior finishing up my bachelors in Information Security at Kennesaw State. When I first joined, I thought that AITP was just another computer club to get involved in, but shortly afterwards, I realized that there was so much more to this group than I could ever imagine.
One of the biggest draws to me are the conferences that AITP offers to its student members. We have both a regional and a national conference every year. I've been a part of the conferences for the past couple of years, and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. The national conference in particular has over 500 students attending from over 30 different colleges and universities nationwide. The conference features everything from guest speakers, seminars, breakout sessions, contest, prizes, and job opportunities from the conference sponsors (Microsoft, Dell, State Farm, USAA to name a few). Several contests are offered from PC Troubleshooting, to BI (Business Intelligence), network design, and programming. Just to give you an idea of what the contests are like, Dell had sponsored the network design contest at the National Collegiate Conference in Detroit back in 2007. During that year, the top duo team who won the contest were given new Dell Inspirion laptops and $1000 scholarships. The conference also gives you a chance to meet new friends and colleagues from around the country.