LinkedIn today launched a new feature for college students at over 60 universities across the United States that it calls “Career Explorer.” The feature will allow students to explore different career paths based on where they go to school, their level of education, and the industry they hope to join when they graduate. The new offering, which is in beta testing for the next several months, walks the students through a visualization process for different careers, showing them any job openings that LinkedIn members have available in that market, as well as estimated salary ranges and the people in their network that might be able to help.
The feature allows students to create and save multiple career paths, and shows them similar career progressions taken by others in their chosen industry, as well as picking out individuals within their broader LinkedIn network that might be able to supply a recommendation or give them some tips on how to proceed down a specific path. Students can also learn about the industry or market they are hoping to join, including statistics about jobs, companies and trends in that industry.
It may not replace the university guidance office, but these types of tools could make life a little easier for students who are unsure about their chosen career path or how to get started — and might also help LinkedIn develop a long-term relationship with those students, which seems smart. The company has been adding new features steadily over the past several months to make the service more social and has also made some acquisitions: moves that some see as preparation for an initial public offering.
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