Sara Gabrielsson & Johan Lundh Heinstedt

The importance of a network

- what impact does contacts have for a media technologists way to their dream job?


This thesis is mainly inspired by theories of how people connect through the ever-increasing proliferation of social media in our everyday lives, by the Hungarian writer and poet Frigyes Karinthy, 1929 and by statistics from SCB. Today's technology facilitates the maintenance of a broad and well-oiled professional network. We have chosen to take a closer look at the impact of this on people's careers.

The report shows what use the alumni of the MSc program in Media Technology at KTH have had of their networks in their careers. To be able to determine this we have studied through a questionnaire, what actual benefit the alumni have had of their networks through creating a quantitative interpretation of the benefits, which we then analyzed, based on existing theories of how social networks work. We have used the theory of Granovetter “The strength of weak ties”. We have also done interviews with as well alumni as recruiters to obtain qualitative information to supplement the survey.

Based on survey results and interviews, we have seen that the alumni can benefit from their professional networks and we conclude that networking is important. SCB's statistics say that 7 out of 10 jobs are provided through contacts, our study showed that 6 of 10 alumni got their first job through networks/contacts. In addition to job offers, the networks have also contributed with providing the alumni with important career contacts. Both alumni and recruiters believe that social media is very important for maintaining contacts and that LinkedIn is the main tool for professional networking.