When high school students are searching for colleges, they most likely head to the Internet and dedicate several hours, days, weeks analyzing dozens of websites to answer these questions.
- What schools have the best rankings?
- What majors at these schools are the strongest?
- What kind of job will I get after graduating?
Well, imagine if you could find all of that information in one place.
Guess what? You can!
It's all available on a website most high school students wouldn't think to troll called LinkedIn.
Fortunately, their parents are probably very familiar with this site and can help them with their search.
Conducting a college search by "Field of Study"
The thing that makes searching for colleges on LinkedIn very versatile is that you can approach it in many different ways. It all starts by using the "Education" tab at the top of the screen after you login to the desktop version of LinkedIn.
You can use the "Field of Study Explorer" to see how many people on LinkedIn studied that particular field, where they work, what they do now, and where they went to college. You can also see if any of these people are connected to you via LinkedIn in case you want to reach out and ask them questions about their college experience or job.
Here's a search using biotechnology as the Field of Study and narrowing it down to people working in the United States.
You can see that 49,977 people on LinkedIn studied biotechnology, where they work now, what they do, and where they went to university. You can continue to filter the results by employer, specialization, or university.
Here's what happens when you filter by employer.
By choosing Pfizer as the company I'm most interested in, you can see what types of jobs people do there and what universities they attended to get these jobs. The filtering tools make it very easy to get the answers you're really looking for.
Conducting a college search with "University Finder" and "University Rankings"
You can also search for colleges using the "University Finder" if you know what you want to study but are unsure who has the best program. Then once you have a list of universities, you can narrow it down by location to filter your search even further.
Again, looking at biotechnology in the United States, here are the top three universities that came up along with the top employer for students graduating with that major from that university.
Next, you can explore the "University Rankings" of these particular colleges. LinkedIn conducts their rankings a little differently than say Princeton Review or US News, but they are very clear on how they do it as can be seen in the following graphic:
Once you have a solid list of possibilities, you can add them to your "Decision Board." This allows you to go off and do whatever other research you find is necessary to help you narrow down your choices knowing you can always come back to do future searches or analysis.
The thing that makes using LinkedIn most compelling is that you're looking at real people with real jobs and not just a bunch of statistics on a website that might be outdated or skewed to a particular university's advantage.
Of course, we still think visiting the college and meeting the professors and students is one of the best ways to help you make your decision, but using LinkedIn is a great tool to get you started and it's FREE!
For more help finding the best college that fits your needs, you might also want to check out these posts:
- 7 Tips for Deciding Which Colleges to Apply to
- 5 Things You Should Do BEFORE Applying to College
- 10 Questions to Ask Students When Visiting Colleges
- 15 Questions to Ask Admissions When Visiting Colleges