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Some CS veterans would probably shoot me on sight for questioning its value, but let's face it, you are a member of IEEE if you're paying them a fee every year, and I don't think there's anything else keeping you from entering if you're in CS/EE. I see every single professor writing it on his CV though, and it is beginning to look like a must-have.

Agreed, you get some (limited) access to papers from their library, and a discount for conferences and the rest of the library, but as a student I can't afford to skip classes to go to conferences (and often I can't afford the travel costs either), and I have few things pressuring me to read papers, if any. In fact I haven't come across a subject with so little material on it with public access that I felt I needed access to other papers.

I'm not denying the existence of people that actually use the papers they have access to, but I am confident that a survey would reveal that not even a quarter of the members access the libraries.

To sum up my points:

  • It only shows that you pay a fee every year
  • Probably without using anything of what you get for that fee
  • It just adds a line to your CV that doesn't really say anything about you.

So does it have any value? Do people notice this? Is it worth renting a title and nothing else?

Concerning whether or not it is a duplicate of Should I write IEEE membership on my CV:

That question assumes membership is already active and asks if it is worth mentioning it, however it costs nothing to mention something you already have so the parameters are significantly different. This question questions if it is even worth obtaining the membership, essentially also asking if this (or any) title is worth paying for, given that many others already do so.

Even though some of the answers do make mention of whether it holds any value to those who answered, they do not address if university staff or recruiters pay attention to this, or even how it affects them. One could even see it as renting a title to compensate for lack of other things to write on the resume.

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    I've been wondering this also. I do read IEEE papers but my university is already paying for them (so discount on papers wouldn't get used). And I do potentially attend/publish-in IEEE conferences, but the discount is small (and Paying for IEEE membership would come out of my pocket, vs paying for conference attending comes out of my supervisor's grants) – Lyndon White Sep 28 '16 at 7:08