This summer, LinkedIn announced the launch of their University Pages. This new feature was designed to connect prospective college students to the post-grad career potential at various colleges. It works by allowing colleges to have their own unique “University Page.” On the page, the college can post statistics on LinkedIn members who are alumni and employed. It gives students an aggregate of the percentage of alumni employed, in what fields and what job titles. This allows prospective students to create their own networking opportunities with both the colleges and alumni. As your college is preparing to do all it can to attract the best and brightest students, LinkedIn’s newest tool could be an added advantage. We here at Higher Ed Hero have put together this list of what LinkedIn University Pages means for your college.
Getting Social on a Professional Network
It has been common practice over the last decade or so for colleges and universities to leverage social media to connect with students. While Facebook and Twitter have a natural appeal because of their sheer size, there is always the danger of alienating potential students if the attempt at engagement feels more like direct marketing. This is largely a concern because students tend to prefer using these social networks to, well, socialize. With LinkedIn, though, users are on the site to network for professional reasons. It is for that reason that students are more apt to engage with a college or university on LinkedIn – because it is more suited to the purpose of the site.
What are the Advantages of University Pages for My School?
It has been well-publicized recently that college grads are having difficulty finding jobs, especially full-time employment in their field of study. The concern over a lack of jobs after graduation has prompted the government to step up its efforts to increase college accountability – that is proving the education received leads to jobs. Moreover, potential students and the parents of potential students are starting to question whether or not college is worth the initial investment and debt. Therefore, your college is most likely going to have to show that you can connect education to the job market in order to stay competitive.
Your University Page is the perfect tool to showcase the real-world employment results of your college’s alumni. Once your page is setup, LinkedIn can access all user profiles that list your college as their alma mater and provide statistics on the number of alumni employed in various fields and at specific companies.
What are the Incentives for Students?
The most obvious incentive would be allowing students to research post-grad employment in a given field of interest. For example, let’s say a student is considering a Marine Biology degree and wants to work for a sea preservation organization after college. That student can then search the top schools offering the degree and compare that with each university’s Page to determine which is the most likely to set him or her on their desired career path. Clearly, if your school does not have a Page setup, that is a potential opportunity missed.
Once students find a university or universities that interest them, they can then follow that university. Once a student follows a university, he or she can then receive personalized information aggregated in their LinkedIn Edu page. Students can ask questions directly to a university. Colleges can follow students to keep exchanging information in order to keep potential students engaged. By leveraging the tools of LinkedIn University Pages, colleges can attract students, engage them and begin cultivating potential students into enrolled students.
I hope you found these tips from Higher Ed Hero on what LinkedIn University Pages means for your college helpful. Have you had success with LinkedIn University Pages or do you have thoughts on potential dangers? Leave your comments below to share with your colleagues.