Indian students are graduating from social networking to professional networking.

Of LinkedIn’s 20 million student members, over 11 per cent are in India. They are using the professional networking site to follow their ‘dream’ companies or sectors.

These members, who are largely below 25 years, have graduated in the last three years, or have mentioned ‘student’ in personal profiles. In turn, professional networking site LinkedIn is now helping companies engage with students or recent grads through career pages.

“Companies such as L&T and HCL Technologies are using LinkedIn to reach out to students for employer branding,” says Mr Irfan Abdulla, Head of Hiring Solutions at LinkedIn India.

Students also want to engage with companies in sectors they are passionate about, says Mr Abdulla. “They keep getting updates about their dream companies even before they have thought of placement in these firms,” he adds.

In fact, a recent study by the social media site revealed the top 10 companies that students would want to work for in the country. This is based on the students’ LinkedIn activities that gave information such as the job pages students look at, the number of followers for a company, and track how students are looking at companies. This activity, of course, increases during the placement season.

Students use social and professional networks to research companies, explore trends, and get inside information on careers from classmates, friends and family. There are two million company pages on LinkedIn.

To find out which companies have attracted the attention of recent grads, LinkedIn crunched data available on its site and came up with the following results:

The most watched mid-size companies among Indian students are Facebook, Sapient, Biocon, Flipkart and Nvidia.