New Social Media Website Targets Graduate Students and Alumni for Networking, Job Searches

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A new social media website, inDegree.com, connects four separate yet interdependent groups to improve professional networking and job searches: graduate students and graduate alumni seeking jobs with employers searching for top recruits and with universities who need to stay connected with high-value alumni.

A new social media website, inDegree.com, connects four separate yet interdependent groups to improve professional networking and job searches: graduate students and graduate alumni seeking jobs with employers searching for top recruits and with universities who need to stay connected with high-value alumni. Each group faces unique yet related challenges:

  • For graduate students, placement services have been cut back, on-campus recruiting is down, and increased enrollment means higher competition for fewer jobs.
  • Graduate alumni have watched their competitive advantage shrink, as the number of people with graduate degrees increases.
  • Universities' costs to maintain alumni services have climbed as donations have dropped.
  • Employers' costs for hiring graduate degree holders continues to rise, along with the resources it takes to find the right candidates.

On the positive side, some recruiters--anticipating a thaw in hiring in the first half of 2010--are reaching out to candidates, planning to scoop first-string talent as soon as they have openings. At the same time, social and professional networks enable students to increase their exposure online.

The disconnect, however, is that graduate students have difficulty differentiating themselves on generic social networking sites. inDegree.com is a niche site that employers can use to efficiently target candidates with advanced degrees only, says Alex Miningham, cofounder and chief executive officer of inDegree. It's the only service that connects graduate students and alumni with universities and employers, offering a full array of networking features, career management, recruitment, and alumni management services. Miningham began developing the website when he experienced firsthand how students graduating from advanced degree programs were saddled with debt and had little hope of getting what they came for--a better job.

In addition to the benefit of improved placement, inDegree combines career and alumni services that are separate at most universities, eliminating the duplication of resources--that can free up budget for other priorities. Graduate programs can also track student placement with inDegree.

inDegree's partnership with the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students will bring on a number of the top public and private universities across the country. Beginning in 2010, universities can access additional premium services such as exit surveys, benchmarking studies, and other analyses.

For students and alumni, the benefits are many fold:

  • Access to over 500,000 jobs that target graduate degree holders only,
  • Interactive platform to publish a professional profile, apply for jobs, manage applications, and see who's viewed their resume,
  • Automatic links to classmates and alumni, with real-time updates on connections, and
  • Ability to search networks across many dimensions, such as employment information.

These services are free for each group: students, alumni, universities, and employers. Unlike other websites, employers can create corporate profiles, post jobs, and target an unlimited number of candidates at no cost on inDegree.

Miningham founded inDegree with Molly Wasko, professor of management information systems at Florida State University and researcher of digital social networks. ―The value for users arises when all four groups are connected, says Wasko. ―Aggregating the groups creates a viral expansion loop: more universities lead to more graduate students, which leads to more employers, which leads to more graduate alumni.

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Marcia Roitberg
inDegree
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