Is LinkedIn a Valuable Tool for Students?

December 17, 2013
December 17, 2013 ACS

Social networking is definitely a major part of most teenager’s lives. For those who are applying to college, high school seniors can now use the professional networking site LinkedIn.

With 238 million members, LinkedIn has already established itself as the “go-to” place for professionals of all ages to find jobs and get career tips and advice.

Students can use LinkedIn in two capacities. The first allows students to research any college or university that they are interested in. The second allows students to create profiles highlighting any accomplishments they have that may be difficult to include in a traditional application.

How did LinkedIn do this? It has made these features possible by lowering the age requirement for users to 14 in the United States and activating “university pages.”

Now, prospective students can use the university pages to ask alumni for perspectives on campus life or course loads. They can also get updates on student projects or faculty members, explore the career paths possible with different majors and even connect with classmates.

Christina Allen, LinkedIn’s director of product management said, “I knew that hidden in millions of member profiles were incredible insights about the career outcomes of educations from universities around the world. If harnessed, these insights could provide incredible value for students.”

According to Sumi Dumas of CNET, these university pages will offer basic statistics about a specific college or university, but also leverage the power of a user’s LinkedIn network. So, for example, you go to view a page, you can instantly see how you are connected to the university.

John Hill, LinkedIn’s higher education evangelist says, “People have said I want to be an astronaut when I grow up and there was never a way to see that footprint or that pathway to get into becoming an astronaut. We give you that through data and that becomes aspirational.”

Students need to realize that creating a profile can have tremendous upside and be quite valuable. Doing this, says Hill, will allow you to “connect to groups” and “connect to companies that you’re interested in learning more about to make your network a little more robust.”

And, even though this is a valuable resource for students, some parents may be apprehensive about their child logging in to a social network, especially one like LinkedIn, which is mainly geared toward professionals. According to the article by Dumas, LinkedIn said that anytime a minor creates an account, LinkedIn automatically has the highest level of privacy settings in place.

If you have any questions about college admissions and what you need to do to further your education, please contact us and we can set up an appointment to discuss anything pertaining to the college process.



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