LinkedIn for the Next Generation
By: Christine Henderson
With more than 200 million members, LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for companies and professionals. LinkedIn allows employers to post job opportunities and recruit potential employees through the site. Job seekers can upload resumes, connect with coworkers and peers and discuss industry news and trends.
With a required minimum age of 18, LinkedIn used to be reserved for adults entering the job market. But now, the network’s services are available to much younger users. LinkedIn recently dropped its age limit to 14 for users in the U.S.
Good for the site – and its members
LinkedIn’s interest in the younger demographic is largely profit-based. Though most of LinkedIn’s capital comes from fees charged to recruiters, college students represent a significant number of LinkedIn users – around 30 million. LinkedIn projects similar growth among younger members – who will then likely stick with the site as they transition through college into the job market.
LinkedIn’s lower age limit opens up the site as a resource for college-bound teens. In fact, the move was accompanied by the addition of a new “University Pages” feature that will make it easier for teens to connect with colleges and universities that catch their attention – even before the application process begins.
Over 200 schools have already signed up for University Pages, which allows users to follow school updates as well as research the school’s academic programs, graduation statistics, and alumni employment. Students can also communicate with college admissions staff and alumni through the network.
Read related content:
- Infographic: B2B Social Media Is Not Dead
- LinkedIn Reaches 200 Million Members
- Think Before You Post: Five Social Media Virtues
Can LinkedIn help break down the digital divide?
As more companies and institutions move to the Web, online literacy is increasingly important for young adults. Teens with broadband Internet access at home tend to have better grades and higher graduate rates than those who don’t. And knowing how to navigate the Web – outside Netflix, Twitter and Facebook – can help teens explore long-term goals and career paths.
But not all teens have equal access to the Internet. The U.S. Census reports a 27.1 point percentage gap between groups with the highest and lowest rates of home Internet access .This “digital divide” has a negative effect – in terms of grades, graduation rates, and overall success – on teens who lack Internet access at home.
Organizations across the country are banding together to combat the digital divide and increase Internet access. Nonprofit group Connect2Compete is working to make high-speed Internet service and computers more affordable. And Internet providers like Verizon Internet are getting involved, too. Verizon has partnered with the International Society for Technology Education to promote online literacy for students at school and at home.
LinkedIn’s lower minimum age could also help minimize the digital divide. If teachers and counselors help students navigate the network at school, more students will gain access to the site – and learn how to better utilize the Internet for their academic and professional goals.
Creating a LinkedIn profile helps teens build valuable skills – like how to write a resume, how to communicate professionally online, and how to effectively brand themselves, both for college admissions and for future jobs. We’ll have to wait to see how – and if – it affects the digital divide.
Christine Henderson is a freelance tech copywriter and public relations specialist who specializes in issues related to career development and transformation. You can contact her directly via email.
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.