December 6, 2011

For like or money? Social media outweighs salary for some job-seeking college grads

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

An international study published by Cisco states that some recent college graduates are influenced more by the use of social media in the workplace over salary when considering their future job choice. The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report highlighted the important relationship between the internet, especially social media, and the corporate workplace.

The report states, “Surprisingly, only 48.3 percent of companies allow all employees access to social networking sites while at work for non-business use.” The study emphasizes social media as an innovative method for corporate companies to attract and retain young talent with innovative skills and ideas and how young employees value the availability of social media in the workplace often more than the prestige of their position.

Unlike the survey’s conclusions that being able to use social media in the workplace is often more important than salary or prestige, Sara Mancero, a senior marketing major, said “Leave it for some other time – a social time – not the workplace.”

Many college students say that the use of social media in the workplace, whether restricted or not, has the potential to obstruct the efficacy of a company, project and employee. Nick Jackson, a junior finance and economics major, said, “Those who are putting any type of social media ahead of their future career.

are seriously impeding their progress as a professional.”

In a survey by, 31.3 percent of companies have taken disciplinary action against an employee concerning the misuse of social media. Although many companies utilize social media as a means of marketing to create brand awareness among consumers, the personal use of social media in the workplace by employees has the potential to cause controversy in and out of the workplace.

Although the study states the importance of social media to “attract young talent,” Mancero said “I wouldn’t” consider social media when weighing job opportunities after college, “because it’s not a big part of my daily life.”

For the first time social network users surpassed the number of email users in 2009, illustrating the pervasiveness of social media in today’s culture. Despite the presence of social media throughout the workplace and culture, the Cisco report said, “A quarter of all companies ban social network for personal use entirely.”

In an effort to put his career ahead of social media, Jackson said, “While the uses of social medias are extremely prevalent, especially in college culture, they will have absolutely zero impact when determining a job post-college.”

Rather than weighing the importance of social media, Mancero, whose imminent future contains a place in today’s workforce, said “position, salary, mobility and the ability to work with innovations are what I will consider.”

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Illustration by Kassie Roberts/The Louisville Cardinal

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