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LinkedIn Launches Student Career Mapping Tool

Career Explorer, available at 60 U.S. universities in beta, allows student to find relevant job opportunities, top companies and estimated salary ranges.

Only a few days after launching a beta designed to help students explore different career paths, LinkedIn released a Javascript API to help simplify the application design process.

Built on the OAuth 2 User Agent Flow, the new API is a drop-in component that lets developers add a "Sign in with LinkedIn" button to a web page within minutes, said Praveen Neppalli Naga, senior software engineer at LinkedIn, in a company blog post. The new platform is still under development, and LinkedIn seeks feedback from developers that use the tool, he said.

"We've tried to make it as easy as possible to add LinkedIn identity and functionality to your web application. You can import our framework with a single script tag," said Neppalli Naga. "Your users will then see a dynamic button that lets them grant your app permission via our improved OAuth user flow. Once you have a user's authorization, you can invoke any LinkedIn REST API with just a few lines of JavaScript. In addition, we've upgraded all of our APIs to support JSON, allowing them to handle any request directly from the browser."

LinkedIn recently began using the Javascript API for its own products, he said. LinkedIn Signal, for example, uses these new APIs for authentication, said Neppalli Naga. Signal, currently under beta, helps LinkedIn users see only news feeds and status updates that are relevant and of interest to them.

The social networking site for professionals also hopes to spark younger, future business peoples' interests through the debut of Career Explorer, a beta product that gives students the ability to explore different free app career paths based on their school, level of education, and desired industry.

"In addition to visualizing various career paths, they'll also be able to find relevant job opportunities, top companies, estimated salary ranges as well as the people in their network who can get them there," said DJ Patti, chief scientist, chief security officer and senior director, product analytics, at LinkedIn.

Initially, the program is available at 60 universities across the United States. LinkedIn plans to roll out Career Explorer to the broader LinkedIn community in the coming months, Patti said.

Career Explorer makes career recommendations based on students' work interests and the successful career paths of professionals with similar profiles. The program also looks at members of students' networks who can help them advance in each of their recommended career path choices. In addition, the beta offering provides participants with statistics and data on potential professions, jobs, and targeted companies, as well as relevant job openings and how students can use their networks to secure or find more information about those open positions.

Lastly, Career Explorer taps LinkedIn's library of company profiles and updates, which include job postings and notifications.

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