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Why LinkedIn Is Changing The Way It Interacts With Students

LinkedIn has spent years trying to reel in students. Since 2014, it had an entire portal dedicated to helping students find universities, connect with other students, and even choose potential majors. Now the company is retooling the way it interacts with students.

Starting today, LinkedIn’s sole student focus is to get them jobs. In fact, it’s doing away with many of its student services because they’ve found that students just want help finding a job. LinkedIn is launching a new app—dubbed LinkedIn Students—that does just that.

According to the app’s product lead Ada Yu, the company spent the last year surveying students and found that most simply wanted employment help. Before, the company offered a variety of services for students—many of which were tailored to life inside of college. They included tools that would help high school students find compatible colleges and other programs that gave students information about potential fields of study. Those services will all be gone on May 16.

In their place, LinkedIn is offering this new app. It asks the users three questions: What school are you in?; What major are you?; What year do you graduate? From there, LinkedIn Students connects students with alums who are in similar fields, recommends entry-level jobs at companies within the students’ network, and also recommends articles that may be relevant to the users’ interests.

According to Yu, students have found LinkedIn’s offerings up until now to be daunting. “They don’t have anything to put on their profile,” she said, so why would they consider using the site?

What’s also important, says Yu, is getting the students connected to the right people. And in this modern age, the way to actually get a job (or at least an interview) is to know someone who has an in. In fact, most of the 2015 graduates who found jobs on LinkedIn were in technology and professional services, which often require finding someone within the industry to connect with.

Yu and her team hope this new app will help get students more new jobs in more industries. The ultimate goal is to give students access to opportunities and, with LinkedIn’s millions of users, Yu says it’s “in the position to facilitate some of these conversations.”

Now she and her team wait to see if students will use the app, and whether this will change 2016’s job demographics.

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