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LinkedIn opens up to high school students with 'University Pages'

August 19, 2013|By Jessica Guynn
  • Greg Leffler, a site reliability engineer at LinkedIn, works outside his company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters in May.
Greg Leffler, a site reliability engineer at LinkedIn, works outside his… (Noah Berger / Associated…)

SAN FRANCISCO -- With 238 million members, LinkedIn has already established itself as the go-to place for professionals of all ages to find jobs and get career tips and advice.

Now the company is looking to get that kind of endorsement from teens.

On Monday, LinkedIn is rolling out University Pages to target college-bound high school students. The pages will connect students with schools and alumni, the company said.

To begin with, there will be 200 schools, including UC San Diego, but LinkedIn says thousands more schools will soon join up.

This is the first time LinkedIn is opening membership to younger teenagers. United States high school students 14 and older will be able to create profiles on LinkedIn starting Sept. 12.

The prior minimum age to join LinkedIn was 18. But the service has noticed how popular it has become with college students and recent graduates. College students represent the company's fastest-growing demographic, with 30 million students and recent graduates worldwide signed up for the service.

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Prospective college students can use the pages to ask alumni for perspectives on campus life or course loads, get updates on student projects or faculty members, explore the career paths possible with different majors and connect with classmates.

"I knew that hidden in millions of member profiles were incredible insights about the career outcomes of educations from universities around the world," said Christina Allen, LinkedIn's director of product management. "If harnessed, these insights could provide incredible value for students."

Opening up membership to this younger demographic is sure to be another item on LinkedIn's resume that so far has mightily impressed Wall Street.

Investors were pleased again this month when the Mountain View, Calif., company posted its second-quarter performance. LinkedIn has delivered earnings and revenue above analyst estimates in all nine of its quarters as a publicly traded company. The stock's shares closed at $227.01 on Friday, five times their initial public offering price of $45.

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