LinkedIn has lowered its minimum age requirements to allow young college prospects in America who are 14 years old and up to begin networking with and exploring prospective colleges and universities.
LinkedIn rolled out its new feature University Pages in September, designed to drive a new audience of young, social-networking-centered users to the professional networking site. Universities will be able to set up their own pages, designed to include general school information, convey school culture and post status updates of notable school news and events, including photo slideshows and video. Approximately 1,000 University Pages from around the world have been set up, with an average of 200 being added each week.
“University Pages provide students and recent graduates with access to incredible information about their school’s alumni, including where they work, which areas they live in, what they majored in, what they are skilled at and, perhaps most importantly, how they are connected on LinkedIn,” says Crystal Braswell, manager of corporate communications at LinkedIn. “Students can use this information to help determine next steps for beginning their own careers, or provide the opportunity to reach out to a previous fellow grad to gain helpful tips and tricks on how to get started in an industry or with a particular company.”
Parents play an integral part in helping students establish profiles on LinkedIn and utilizing University Pages.
“On LinkedIn, parents have the opportunity to guide their students through the process of establishing their professional identities online. This could include helping them identify their earliest connections, deciding which experience, courses, test scores, etc., are going to provide the best representation of who they are, and talking to them about the type of career they might like to have one day in order to identify the best path to take—and school to attend,” says Braswell.
LinkedIn has taken extra safety precautions to protect its users who are minors. Minors will have different default settings to limit publicly viewable profile information and unwanted communications. For the complete list of privacy settings for minors, click here. There will also be special routing for Customer Support tickets initiated by members under 18. Most importantly, LinkedIn has added a link to its Safety Center and Family Center so that members can access information on how to safely use LinkedIn.
What do you think about LinkedIn’s University Pages? Has your child considered creating a LinkedIn profile?