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  • STEM Students Rate the Use and Effectiveness of Social Networks

    April 01, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Special Populations
    A STEM student signs into Facebook.

    TAGS: STEM, recruiting methods, branding and marketing, surveys, benchmarks, spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    While LinkedIn was certainly the most highly regarded social network across STEM majors, computer science and engineering majors found it to be more useful than mathematics majors, according to results of NACE’s Class of 2015 Student Survey.

    Figure 1 shows the percentage of job-seeking STEM students who used select social networking sites and the percentage of these students who rated each service’s effectiveness in the job search as either a “3” (“very useful”) or a “4” (“extremely useful”) on a 4-point scale.

    Although a few other social networks—Facebook, in particular—saw moderate use among some majors, for the most part they failed to garner any overwhelming ratings of effectiveness.

    Despite this, some networks showed promise to certain majors by earning a higher-than-expected rating of effectiveness based on the overall “use-effectiveness” relationship. These include Reddit and Twitter for computer science majors and Instagram for engineering majors

    Overall, the results show that despite employers’ efforts to connect with students via social networks, students are still somewhat wary of communicating with employers through these sites and of employers reviewing their profiles as part of the application process.

    Results from Class of 2015 STEM graduates are featured in Students in Demand: An Insight Into Class of 2015 STEM Graduates. Highlights from the report are available on NACEWeb.

    Figure 1: Social Networks in the Job Search—Use and Effectiveness

    Social Network Computer Science Engineering Mathematics
    Used Effective Used Effective Used Effective
    % of responses
    LinkedIn 96.7% 75.3% 94.5% 65.2% 83.8% 56.7%
    Facebook 68.5% 16.4% 57.2% 16.3% 63.8% 13.7%
    Blogs 51.6% 19.1% 39.0% 8.5% 41.0% 9.4%
    Google+ 45.1% 12.2% 37.2% 13.0% 35.9% -
    Instagram 32.2% - 29.4% 20.9% 32.5% -
    Twitter 35.6% 28.1% 27.8% 12.0% 27.8% -
    Reddit 34.8% 25.8% 31.6% 8.2% 25.6% -
    Source: Students in Demand: An Insight Into Class of 2015 STEM Graduates, National Association of Colleges and Employers