And that’s what University Pages aims to solve. Similar in functionality and appearance to Company Pages, University Pages give schools a place to display alumni careers, notable alumni and featured groups, among other features. More than 200 schools have already taken advantage of the new feature, including New York University, University of Michigan and University of Illinois. Thousands of other schools will be given access to the new feature in the coming weeks.
In an effort to make the University Pages more engaging and to give prospective students a place to ask questions, the status update feed not only gives the school a place to share information and resources—prospective students are encouraged to share something or ask a question, giving them more direct access to the information that will help them make a decision.
University Pages Prompt Big Changes
LinkedIn hopes the University Pages will be effective for students making decisions about where to attend college, a thought process that’s influenced a big LinkedIn change. Starting September 12, LinkedIn will be available to high school students (who were previously excluded from the site due to minimum age requirements) so that they can begin building their profiles, researching schools and exploring prospective career paths.
And as a result of the updated age requirement, LinkedIn has unveiled some new security changes that are designed to protect younger users, including:
- Different default settings to limit publicly viewable information and unwanted communication.
- Special routing for customer service support tickets initiated by members under 18.
- Links to LinkedIn’s Safety Center and Family Center so that any LinkedIn member can access information about how to safely use the site.
LinkedIn, No Stranger to Profitability
LinkedIn has long been a pioneer when it comes to building a social network that’s profitable and this move seems, at least to us, another step along that route. Likewise, colleges and universities are money-making machines, and the more students they can recruit as a result of their presence on and use of LinkedIn’s University Pages, the more profitable they can be.
Maybe it makes sense that students can potentially get a head start on creating profiles, building online professional networks and exploring their options. One thing’s for sure, it will be interesting to watch this develop and see how many students opt in.
In fact, a whole cottage industry could arise if students get uber competitive and strive for the best LinkedIn profiles (and presence) in hopes of impressing college admissions teams. Oy! The very idea kind of makes my head hurt.
What do you think? Those of you who have kids in high school (and who are yourselves active on social media sites), we’d love to hear what you think.