In our current highly competitive, still-recovering job market, networking is perhaps more important than it’s ever been before. And while in decades past it’s been common practice to start networking after graduation or in the latter half of our college career, today there’s a growing popularity to the notion that it’s never too early to start networking. At least that’s what the people at professional social networking site LinkedIn seem to think.
Since its launch a decade ago, LinkedIn has cemented its place as the most professionally centered of all social media sites. Long the sole domain of working professionals and those who are looking for work, the site has been pretty much devoid of teenagers, who instead flock to more “social” social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Introducing University Pages
However this week LinkedIn announced plans to open its doors to legions of users under the age of 18 for the first time. LinkedIn’s new “University Pages” will make it possible for users as young as 14 to join the social network and start browsing through the profiles of hundreds of colleges and universities.
University Pages were designed to allow students to tap into networks related to schools they’re interested in attending. Using University Pages, students will be able to ask questions of both current attendees and alumni from their school of choice. With University Pages teens can gain access to information such as who an individual school’s notable alumni are or what kinds of jobs and employers alumni end up working for.
“University Pages are a great place to get regular updates about campus news and activities from the schools themselves, to ask questions, and engage with both the campus community and alumni of schools,” explained LinkedIn’s Christina Allen in a company blog post.
An international network for students
University Pages will allow students to check out different schools located all over the world, explore potential career paths for specific majors, and start building their professional networks from an early age.
“We believe University Pages will be especially valuable for students making their first, big decision about where to attend college,” explains Allen. “Over the next few weeks, thousands more schools will be given access to their University Pages.”
The service will be launched on September 12 and at this point more 200 universities have adapted their pages to be cohesive with the program; including NYU, UC San Diego, University of Michigan, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, to name just a few.
More Social articles from Business 2 Community: