Since its inception in 2003, LinkedIn has been compiling information from its users. This is not the "we're watching what you're doing online" information gathering like other websites may do to "enhance" the user's experience and ad placement. LinkedIn's members voluntarily provide information about their own schooling and work history, and this information had been used to create "People You May Know" matches on the site that members could connect with. In an attempt to find other uses for this information, the creative teams at LinkedIn brainstormed the concept called University Pages.
University Pages not only provideds a platform for a university to link with its future, current, and past students, it also compiles information from "linked" LinkedIn user accounts to enhance the snapshot of the university. In order to use LiknedIn, a user must first create an account. The age requirements for establishing an account was lowered to 14 years old so that students could benefit from these new tools. A tutorial takes the user through all the steps a student should take in order to professionally set up a profile. After setting up an account, users can begin searching for university and employer websites which contain information about the number of users linked with those pages. LInkedIn boasts having over 200 countries, every Fortune 500 company, and over 2000 schools of higher education represented.
If planning for a successful future is important to you, then using the unparallelled tools offered by LinkedIn should be considered and essential part of the process.