LinkedIn unveiled University Pages for the college-bound or college-interested audience this week. University Pages are designed to help provide practical information about colleges and alumni career tracks to help prospective students better research and engage with a higher education institution.
More than 200 colleges and universities have claimed their University Pages already, including heavy hitters like the University of Michigan, New York University and Villanova. While it’s a great hub of news shared directly from the college, what may be just as valuable for prospective students is the wealth of knowledge and data LinkedIn can offer about college alumni.
People will be able to search and see how many alumni have LinkedIn profiles, the most popular industries in which alumni work, major cities or areas where many alumni live, and other useful information to help students make a practical and informed decision about their school of choice and major.
LinkedIn is helping to bridge the ideation gap between college entry and exit by offering real-life options and career pathways. Imagine high school students engaging with a handful of potential colleges and actually engaging with others already out of those schools and in the workforce. It extends the college connection beyond what fraternities, sports and activities are associated with a college experience and opening up a window into life beyond.
Prospects and alumni will be able to see how they’re connected to the school’s network and make professional connections. Professional connections who just may be able to help forward their career by sharing opportunities or contacts, communicating advice, offering recommendations and providing examples of what to expect with any chosen educational or career path.
As part of their effort to attract and support this younger audience, they’ll soon drop the minimum user age to 14 in the United States. LinkedIn’s new University Pages will launch for high school students (14 years +) on September 12, 2013.
Beyond attracting a younger under 25 year old audience, LinkedIn is making itself valuable to its 240 million professional members who can now continue the lifelong journey of education and networking across the full spectrum of career levels.
“Building a Great Student Profile” has useful advice for teens and young adults starting to create their professional profile – or just keep in mind as they build their experience and digital portfolio.
LinkedIn expects thousands of additional higher education institutions to roll out their University Pages in the coming weeks and months.