Social media as a career boost

Social media make careers. They network companies and specialists, make training easier, and allow developers to access collective intelligence.

It's a kind of global brain in which 10 million researchers and developers from 193 countries are linked like synapses. In the social network ResearchGate.net, problems are presented for discussion, specialist questions directed at colleagues, papers published, and failed attempts documented to avoid mistakes being repeated. The Berlin-based platform is not even the biggest of its kind. More than 41 million scientists are already networked through Academia.edu.

More and more industrial companies are also using the shared knowledge in social networks to increase the efficiency and speed of their development processes. Global corporations and medium-sized enterprises look for fresh solution approaches and ideas to improve their products on open innovation platforms such as NineSigma.com, IdeaConnection.com and Innocentive.com. In some cases, swarm intelligence helps; in other words many small contributions from many brains. In other cases, problems require the undistorted view of individual external developers. In almost every case, the rapid inflow of creativity invigorates the innovation culture.

And, almost as a side effect, the participation Internet invigorates the careers of those who know how to use it. Not only because talented people show what they're capable of. Or because researchers and developers find jobs easier. It's due more to the fact that many companies are shifting recruitment of skilled employees toward social media. For example, a recent study “Recruiting Trends 2016” carried out by the University of Bamberg in Germany showed that 70 percent of the companies surveyed and 60 percent of job seekers use social media applications. Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter supplement the companies' own job websites and job ads. Companies are thus adapting to suit the habits and devices of the young target group: Digital natives access social media from their smartphone, tablet or notebook. And they leave trails that companies and headhunters follow attentively when they are actively looking for employees. They comb through profiles on Xing, LinkedIn—or, if they are looking for experts, on ResearchGate and Academia.edu. As a result, the global brain not only creates collective intelligence but is also a boost for the careers of those it links.

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