Professional associations are good investments. Whether you are networking for a job, keeping skills up to date or just seeking the company of colleagues, your reward from participating will exceed your investment many times over. I have only included groups that I know to have an active chapter in the Philadelphia area, just as a way to illustrate the F2F aspect of association activity and provide ideas of associations that are likely to exist anywhere.
Gerry Stahl's INFO105 class recently heard about the different kinds of literature I find in the information technology / information systems field. Following ancient library wisdom "use the right tool for the job," students who distinguish between the following 6 types are in a better position to take advantage of the strengths of each, while avoiding some of the "round-peg-square-hole" pitfalls that might otherwise arise.