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May 09, 2007


Adam Kovitz

Sooner or later Networking will be taught at our universities and even secondary schools. We're already seeing schools in the U.S. planning courses for the Fall, 2007 Semester, such as the Rochester Institute of Technology. Their Social Computing Lab just received a $124,000 from the National Science Foundation and are planning a course for 90 students. Of course, there is also Ron Burt's Networking & Social Structures course at the University of Chicago.

And while other schools are getting into the Networking scene, the biggest challenge is the lack of a neutral third party, centralized body of knowledge and/or standards.

Networking, as an academic subject, touches upon so many other traditional ones: communications, collaboration, marketing, sales, customer service, leadership, management, political science, sociology, computer networking, internet-based application development, etc.

The question is: is it time to consider Networking as its own body of knowledge or should each traditional discipline cover it in some fashion during the course of one's studies?

Mike Segall

Last year I DID teach a course of 10 x 2 hour networking lessons to students at City University, University of London.

Networking Coach

I only can agree with you Edgar ;-)

But there is hope. I was hired by the UAMS (University of Antwerp Management School) last year to teach them how to network. It was only half a day, just enough to raise awareness, but for many of them this was all they needed to take action themselves.

It was very nice to share my knowledge with them. Like Ron wrote my life would have looked very differently if I had learned to network in college or university.

The workshop for UAMS was in their carreer track. Now all the other colleges and universities need to give courses so students can help each other out and tap into the network of alumni (and vice versa).

We have a long way to go, but I'm hopeful !

Have a great networking day !


David Sandusky

It hit me young in my career when many executives I worked with told me they wished they started networking [correctly] when they were my age (at the time). I also hear that they wish they started a career strategy and mentor relationships earlier too...

A few times recently I have been at networking events by groups like IEEE where there was a mix of students through 'retired'. I find it is only the entrepreneurial students going to these events - and they are networking in other ways too!


Well said Edgar! It becomes a givers gain when you walk your talk; not to eager to spread your own business card but to get how you can help others.
The reason why they don't teach this in universities might be that networking isn't about skills but knowledge and even tacit knowledge.

Ron Hayes

I know that if I had learned networking in college, it would have made a world of difference for me. And, when I first heard about networking, it was giving out business cards to sell yourself/your business and I didn't like that approach so I shied away from it. Now, I know better and wish I had those years back.

TJ McCue

Bravo Edgar!! Networking is indeed a skill and an area many students don't understand for years after finishing undergraduate or graduate school. My wife attended Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business and one of the things she found valuable was the networking opportunities and i believe they had a short course on networking at the time. It would be interesting to find out if any universities teach such a course.

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