LinkedIn hasn’t really competed with Facebook and Tumblr for the youth crowd. But it’s taking a step toward attracting more young users with the launch Monday of University Pages. The new initiative kicks off with more than 200 colleges and universities debuting their own pages on LinkedIn, offering information to prospective students and alumni alike.
The pages supply users with campus news and updates and allow them to connect with students, explore the careers of graduates and learn about high-profile alumni. People can also follow the career pathways of different majors from philosophy to physics to see what’s possible.
“We believe University Pages will be especially valuable for students making their first, big decision about where to attend college,” stated a LinkedIn blog post today. To that end, the professional network is opening up the site to high school students for the first time on Sept. 13 to begin their search for the right college.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner noted during the company’s earnings conference call earlier this month that college students are among the fastest-growing demographic segments on the site. Offering access to high school-age kids (14 and older) will only help LinkedIn expand more rapidly in the youth market as it seeks to broaden its overall user base of 230 million worldwide.
For schools, University Pages are a natural extension of their own sites and profiles in print and online college guides from Peterson’s to U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings. But they also serve broader roles as alumni networks, recruiting hubs and career centers.
LinkedIn says it plans to expand
University Pages, which are similar in look and feel to company pages, to thousands more schools in the coming weeks. Among the initial participants are New York University, INSEAD, University of
California San Diego, Villanova and the Rochester Institute of Technology.