Networks and memberships

Belonging to professional and social networks/communities can help you to explore career options and make connections.

Some areas of work are regulated by professional bodies. They may accredit qualifications, collate relevant labour market information, provide sector insights and news, and connect members to collaborate and network. In some cases, you must already be working in the profession to join, but many welcome aspiring members.  

If you have a genuine interest in a particular career, joining its professional body will help you to demonstrate that interest and improve your commercial knowledge. There may be a cost involved, but discounted rates often apply.  

You may have heard of the following UK-based examples: 

  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) 

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) 

  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 

The UK Government holds a list of professional organisations. Use it to search for topics relevant to your areas of interest.  

List of professional organisations and learned societies  

Our popular sectors section of our website also includes information on professional bodies relevant to particular sectors.

Popular sectors

For networking opportunities, start with the University of Edinburgh networking platform, Platform One. Alumni on this platform have agreed to support current students and recent graduates to take their next steps.  

Platform One 

The University of Edinburgh Alumni LinkedIn group gives you access to over 20,000 members of the community. Explore careers, progression routes, and make connections.  

LinkedIn alumni group 

You could also consider belonging to a community-based club or society to explore your interests, for example, a sports club, arts society, or interest group. If one doesn’t exist, consider making one and advertising it in your local community.