Translating user data into useful information is now the cornerstone of LinkedIn’s product roadmap. For example, the company recently updated company profiles with additional data visualizations such as the most popular schools attended by employees, the segmentation of an employee base by skillset and more. Today, LinkedIn is launching a new data-focused feature, called LinkedIn Career Explorer, that provides college graduates with insights from other LinkedIn members to help them visualize a career path.
Career Explorer leverages data from the professional social network’s 80 million members to help students visualize and map successful career paths in a variety of industries. The product also shows college students job opportunities and salary information, the type of education and experience required, and will indentify people who can help them find these jobs.
So students can specify a type of job that they want to pursue or the company they want to work for and LinkedIn will show professionals who have succeeded in similar endeavors. Students can also access the best contact within their networks for certain fields or companies, and LinkedIn will recommend job openings.
The new feature will lead students to the Company Profiles (LinkedIn now has over 1 million profiles on the network), and encourage users to “follow” those companies to receive updates, including job postings, new hires and more.
Career Explorer is currently being rolled out to students at 60 universities in the U.S. and will eventually expanded to users from other educational institutions. The feature seems fitting for the platform and will no doubt provide a unique way for college students to see the career paths of those who have reached success in particular industries. Also, Career Explorer is a way to attract college students (and perhaps even ambitious high school students) as members of the community and perhaps gain loyalty among this age group.
One challenge the network faces is making the platform a destination for users to visit at least every day (in an effort to match the frequency at which users visit Facebook or Twitter). In order to accomplish this, LinkedIn is trying to make its platform more useful to its members. And there seems to be two ways LinkedIn is adding additional functionality to its platform: through social features and data visualizations. As we’ve written in the past, providing ways to mash-up and use 80 million members’ data is helping to democratize the massive amount of career data on the network.