Professional Development

Professional development not only helps professionals advance in their careers and influence their professions, but also strengthens connections between learners and their associations. ASAE Research Foundation research on professional development looks at the evolving landscape of learning, why people choose to participate in programs, and how associations can shape their professional development programs to serve members, other professionals, and their industry as a whole.

Featured Research

The Decision to Learn

This book analyzes the responses of nearly 8,000 members from a variety of membership organizations to understand learners' needs and preferences, their actions, and the influences that demographic characteristics and other factors have on the continuing-education choices individuals make.

The Benefits of Credentialing Programs to Membership Associations

This report examines the findings of ASAE Research Foundation original research that explores the benefits of credentials to the credential holders and the value of a credentialing program to the association that is sponsoring or administering it.

Major Research Initiatives

CEO Pathways and Compensation

Who becomes an association CEO? The ASAE Research Foundation sought to understand the experiences and education that move a professional down the path to becoming a chief executive. While every CEO’s path is unique, the research found a number of common threads that suggest advice to aspiring CEOs. This research was undertaken with support from Naylor Association Solutions.

Workforce Development

This in-progress research will identify the gaps in knowledge about the role associations play in workforce development and the value the sector provides to stakeholders, including employers and employees. The ASAE Research Foundation is working with NORC at the University of Chicago on this large-scale study.

Publications and Resources


The Decision to Learn: Why People Seek Continuing Education and How Membership Organizations

Can Meet Learners' Needs

Reports and Research Briefs

The Benefits of Credentialing Programs to Membership Associations

Pathways to CEO Success: How Experience, Learning, and Networks Shape Association CEO Careers


Are Associations Effectively Supporting Workforce Preparedness?

CEO Salary Dynamics: A Snapshot

Credentialing’s Two-Way Benefits

Pathways to CEO Excellence

Lessons on Learning