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This Is How LinkedIn Can Help You Pick the Right College For Your Kids

Feb. 2, 2015 Yahoo!

The other day I asked my daughter, for perhaps the thousandth time, what she wants to be when she grows up. Usually the answer is, “Veterinarian.” Sometimes she says, “Lawyer.” Other times it’s “Musician” or “Chef.” And why not? She writes songs and is a talented cook.

This time she said, “I don’t know, Dad. Stop asking me.”

Now that she’s 16, that’s pretty much her response to everything. But soon she won’t have the luxury of avoiding this question. She’ll need to decide where she wants to go to study law, music, the culinary arts, or whatever. It’s a huge decision with vast personal and financial implications for everyone involved.

There are scores of online tools to match your kids to schools, and a lot of them are sleazy. They’ll sell your child’s information to third-rate institutions that aggressively seek to separate you from your tuition funds.

But there’s a new way to help make this decision, and it’s from a surprising source: LinkedIn.

In September 2013, LinkedIn lowered its minimum member age to 14. Last fall, the network introduced tools to help teenagers explore potential career paths and find schools that fit them.

By mining the career and education data of its 330 million members, LinkedIn can help kids figure out what they want to be when they grow up, and help them find grownups who already have those jobs.

The best part? It’s free and won’t result in endless amounts of recruiting spam and robocalls. It’s also kind of fun to use LinkedIn in this geeky, data-crunching way.

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