Back to School: What LinkedIn’s Tens of Millions of Students Are Concerned About

Opinion: Content Quarterly Insights report also examines World Cup chatter

There are more than 46 million students and recent graduates on LinkedIn m-imagephotography/iStock

In the second-quarter edition of the LinkedIn Content Insights Quarterly, we discover what students on the platform have been reading, sharing and chatting about, while also looking at how incredibly buzzy 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia was earlier this summer.

The audience of the quarter: students

Marketers, take note: There are more than 46 million students and recent graduates on LinkedIn. Between April and June, students on LinkedIn were thinking about college and engaging with content about graduate schools, admissions and, not surprisingly, scholarships.

As some labor market researchers have noted, STEM majors are accelerating as humanities degrees are declining. STEM-oriented topics were well-represented, including biomedical engineering and Block Element Modifier (a way to create reusable components and code sharing in front-end development).

That said, it came as a surprise to see strong interest in content around social sciences and the humanities. TOEFL, or teaching English as a foreign language, remained a classic and popular summer job choice for students around the world.

The top 10 topics engaging students:

  1. BEM (Block Element Modifier)
  2. Advanced placement program
  3. TOEFL
  4. Graduate schools and students
  5. College admissions
  6. Biomedical engineering
  7. Search engine marketing
  8. Scholarships and fellowships
  9. Social sciences
  10. Humanities

Top articles for students

When it comes to the specific articles, students showed interest in some practical and directly relevant topics, such as university rankings. They also displayed interest in topics on diversity, such as an article on Nike launching a hijab for women athletes and another on the only full-time female trader on the New York Stock Exchange.

Students also sought out inspirational content on LinkedIn—from wisdom by philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates to emotive content of people achieving remarkable things from challenging starts.

Finally, our data showed that students are, unsurprisingly, interested in hot tech topics, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Lessons for marketers

So, LinkedIn is not just a platform for working professionals—it’s also for people who will soon be professionals. Students are, of course, interested in school. Articles topping the list include rankings of colleges and commencement advice.

But students aren’t totally ensconced in the education bubble. They’re also taking note of some of the biggest trends in the world—AI, blockchain, diversity—and they will soon have an outsized influence on where these trends go in the future.

Top 10 articles engaging students:

  1. Elon Musk’s resume is out and it is giving everyone serious resume writing goals
  2. These are the world’s best universities
  3. Nike becomes the first major brand to launch hijab for women
  4. Here’s my gift to college graduates
  5. Google’s new AI head is so smart he doesn’t need AI
  6. Teen who grew up in homeless shelters earns full ride to Harvard University
  7. IIT Delhi to allow PhD students to start a startup instead of thesis
  8. How this 23-year-old become the only full-time woman trader at the New York Stock Exchange
  9. Big Four giant PwC announces blockchain auditing service
  10. Melinda Gates: what graduates need to hear at commencement this year

Hottest topic of the quarter: the World Cup

As always in the Content Insights Quarterly, we share the top topics and content that LinkedIn’s more than 575 million members engaged with over the last quarter. The World Cup is the biggest sporting event, so it’s not at all shocking that it was the top conversation point on LinkedIn.

However, World Cup content on LinkedIn didn’t center on match results. Rather, it focused on the ties of the tournament to culture, leadership, technology and business.

Below are the hottest topics from the World Cup. Check out the article, in particular, about Goldman Sachs’ AI simulation of the World Cup winner, which showed us that AI still has a way to go to compete with the unpredictability of soccer results.

Top five articles on the World Cup:

  1. After defeat, Japan’s World Cup team leaves behind a spotlessly clean locker room and a ‘thank you’ note
  2. What the Croatian president taught us about leadership
  3. Goldman Sachs used AI to simulate 1 million possible World Cup outcomes — and arrived at a clear winner
  4. Traders get so distracted by big World Cup games that market volumes fall by 40%
  5. The winner of the World Cup is Apple

Jennifer Brett leads Americas insights for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.