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You must be thinking: Why should I become a member? What's in it for me? Is an INCOSE membership a good value for me?

Well, of course it is! It's all about you. Let's see why.

Do you want to increase your value to your employer or client by expanding your skills toolkit?

New skills are attained and skills can be honed though several of INCOSE's venues. The annual international symposia features papers, panel presentations, and tutorials. It is also one of the two times each year when our technical committees and working groups meet in person. The annual international workshop is the other event. Regional conferences hosted by chapters offer a shorter venue and are attractive to those interested in less travel and expense. Most chapters regularly hold meetings featuring speakers on interesting topics. Tutorials have become a mainstay activity sponsored by chapters and are an excellent value. The quarterly publication INSIGHT features a theme topic in each issue. Recent themes have included fundamentals such as risk management and measurement.

Do you want to enhance your network of professional colleagues?

With 5,000 members in one of 53 chapters or affiliates in 16 countries you'll have a unique resource of individuals with similar interests and concerns for potential collaborative opportunities. While the premier forums for interchange and discussion are the international symposia, the near realtime forum is on the Internet. General discussions are held using email reflectors. Most technical committee and working groups have focused discussions through separate reflectors.

Do you want to support Systems Engineering by advancing the practice by contributing to the body of SE knowledge?

INCOSE organizes its technical activities with the assistance of the Technical Matrix. There are Application Sectors listed across one axis and Systems Engineering enablers along the other. The enablers are WHAT we practice and the Sectors are WHERE we practice it. So every project, activity or interest, or even a member’s experience, can be expressed as a map of intersections on the matrix. This provides an ability to map all our activities in an integrated way that has not been possible before.

The Technical Matrix explicitly recognizes INCOSE is more than just aerospace and defense by establishing a broad range of Application Sectors along one axis. Each enabler and each sector has a dedicated member appointed to the rank of Assistant Director whose role is to stay informed with the happenings and direction of their appointed area of interest and to participate and communicate with the broader community in order to help establish and manage a strategic view of INCOSE’s technical capabilities and interests.

Do you want to pay less for valued publications?

Some publications like the Systems Engineering Handbook, now in its 3rd edition, and the Metrics Primer are available at no cost to INCOSE members. Other publications from INCOSE, such as symposia proceedings, are offered for purchase to members at the lowest prices. In a recent agreement with an online bookseller, we are able to expand the number and variety of publications offered for sale. Systems Engineering, the Journal of The International Council on Systems Engineering is produced and mailed to members every quarter through our publisher, John Wiley and Sons. This represents a value of $65 USD per year.

Do you have a desire to participate in the global marketplace?

With chapters in 15 countries, INCOSE is an ideal vehicle to enhance your knowledge of cultures, practices, and the communication subtleties needed to produce successful projects. The world is shrinking and time zones are collapsing. Multi-national corporations are fostering project teams that span the globe. Professional development in preparation for the world market is a wise thing to do.

Do you want to demonstrate your expertise to your employer or client through certification?

Certification is a formal process whereby a community of performing skilled representatives, such as INCOSE, warrant that a person has achieved competency in certain skills. Certification differs from licensing in that licenses are permissions granted by a government entity for a person to practice within its regulatory boundaries. Certification also differs from a "certificate" that documents the successful completion of a training or education program. The International Council on Systems Engineering established its Professional Certification Program in March 2004 to provide a formal method for recognizing the knowledge and experience of systems engineers. The title of the baseline recognition of personal certification is "Certified Systems Engineering Professional." Certification is valid for three years from the date awarded, and may be renewed in three-year intervals.

Do you want to prepare and demonstrate your potential for a management position?

Leadership positions in chapters and at the international level offer members the opportunity to learn, develop, and practice leadership skills. Serving as committee chairs, officers, and board members, our members bring back to the workplace the skills to motivate and lead teams to successful accomplishments. There are few management challenges greater than working with teams of volunteers to produce quality products. Likewise, there are few rewards greater than of being part of a team that achieves its goals.

Do you want to keep the profession healthy for the future?

Long term, sustained memberships are vital to the well being of any organization. A strong show of support for systems engineering is a membership in INCOSE.