Recent College Grads Show Major Shift in Internet Usage

Generation Y is graduating from college and enter the workforce, and that means some major changes are getting ready to start taking place. A new study by Y2M showed some interesting findings about their use of the Internet:

Career –On the career search front, 69 percent have posted a resume online. The bulk of these posting were on Monster.com, though postings on CareerBuilder.com showed the greatest year-over-year growth, with an increase of more than 400 percent.

Networking – Social networking is a dominant new trend, replacing many traditional avenues for entertainment and the sharing of information. There is a big shift away from alumni networks, supplanted by significant gains in social networking sites and the use of instant messaging. In fact, only 32 percent of respondents indicated they would seek out alumni for social purposes, down from a high of 70 percent in 2003. Conversely, visits to social networking sites have grown by 30 percent among frequent visitors.

Media – News consumption online has grown from 20 percent to 78 percent of respondents. Additionally, graduate publications, such as alumni magazines, are of little interest to graduates; however, 73 percent would like to receive their college newspaper via e-mail, underscoring the importance of campus media to graduating seniors and recent graduates.

It’s clear from this that the trend toward more and more virtual relationships, both for social and business purposes, is not slowing down, but actually accelerating. You now have a generation of people entering the work force who have had a personal computer in their house their entire life. In many cases they’ve had their own computer for at least five years. They’ve had Internet access for perhaps 10+ years and high-speed access for 5+. They’ve gone through college as heavy users of MySpace and Facebook. They read and write blogs.

If you’re not comfortable with using this technology and building relationships virtually, it’s time to get up to speed. This is no longer some fringe practice just for techies and academics — it’s just how modern business gets done.