From Dot-Edu to Dot-Com: Predictors of College Students’ Job and Career Information Seeking

Authors: Cassidy Puckett and Eszter Hargittai

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Citation: Puckett, C. & Hargittai, E. (2012). From Dot-Edu to Dot-Com: Predictors of College Students' Job and Career Information Seeking. Sociological Focus. 45(1):85-102.


One of the key elements of understanding mechanisms of social stratification in job market entry is looking at the ways in which groups learn about careers and seek jobs in early adulthood. Online resources for job seeking are growing, yet we know very little about the nature of young adults’ use of the Internet for this purpose. Are there types of people who utilize the Internet more than others? If so, are these patterns unique to the Internet or are they the same as those for other sources of information? We address these questions using survey data of 1,060 college first-years at one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the United States. The survey includes extensive measures of demographics, academic achievement, Internet experiences, as well as job-seeking practices.We find that African Americans, Asians, and Caucasians who grew up speaking a language other than English are more likely than Caucasian native English speakers to use the Internet for investigating jobs and careers.We also look at other sources of information, but only with the Internet do we find significant effects for these groups.


  • Introduction
  • Social Stratification, Job Search, and the Internet
    • Demographic Factors
    • Other Factors in Job Information Seeking
  • Data and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and Conclusion


The authors are grateful for a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that made this research possible, and they thank the Robert and Kaye Hiatt Fund for Research on Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University. They appreciate as well the helpful input of Jeremy Freese and that of the anonymous reviewers and are thankful for the contributions of Waleeta Canon and the research assistants of the Web Use Project group in 2006-07. The support of Ann Feldman and Tom Moss is gratefully acknowledged. The first author also thanks MPES, an Institute of Education Sciences/U.S. Department of Education Training Program, for its support.

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