inDegree – LinkedIn For Graduates Without a Network

indegreeProbably the most obvious analogy to illustrate what is would be to compare it to LinkedIn–it’s most obvious competitor.  The two sites aren’t really quite the same, though.  While LinkedIn is the current standard for business networking, it’s not really the same as this new startup, which de-emphasizes the network building and emphasizes the job hunt.

Most of the networking that happens at inDegree is educationally-based.  Alumni, fellow graduates, teachers and professors, and school organizations are generally the emphasis here.  Rather than colleagues, current and former co-workers, etc. like at LinkedIn.

The idea is for graduates to work together to collaborate on job searching.  It seems pretty dumb right off the bat, but begins to make sense when you think about today’s world and how networks truly function.

A graduate with a new degree in Computer Science, for instance, might have a network that includes his mother in pharmaceutical sales, his father in electronics engineering, and an older sister in graphic design.  His friend, graduating at the same time, has a new degree in Digital Graphics Manipulation and his network consists of his father in construction trades, his older brother in computer programming, and his uncle in Web development.

Between the two of them, they have some obvious networking connections.  So why not work together to find a new job, references, etc.?

That’s the basic gist behind inDegree.  The site will officially launch in 2010 and will focus on advanced degree-holders only (no undergraduates or certifications).  According to the research inDegree’s founders conducted, this is the explicit niche of job seekers who are generally falling through the cracks of current networks.

The beta launch of inDegree was in May to Florida State University business students and it’s since publicly launched on August 31.  Accounts, posting, and site use are all free of charge currently.

In early 2010, the site plans to launch matching services similar to eHarmony and other dating websites to better connect possible graduates with employment and helpful networking groups, at a charge of course.  Which brings a whole new set of comparative jokes to be made about the site.

Overall, it appears that inDegree may be on to something and this could be an extremely useful resource for graduates looking for employment.  How the matching portion will work out is anyone’s guess, but just the network alone is worth looking into if you’re a recent or soon-to-be graduate.

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