When I was at university, one in five people had laptops in their lecture theatres, there was no university wireless internet, and batteries lasted about 30 minutes. This has changed, and changed dramatically. I was walking through the lecture theatres at Melbourne University and every seat had a power outlet and a network plug available. Our intern Rob then proclaimed, to my initial amazement, that every graduate is now online during their lectures. They are on Facebook, Twitter or clearing out their inboxes.
Wow. University has changed. In stark contrast I was talking to a graduate from a state government department two weeks ago about how strict their internet policy was. Essentially there were only a select number of websites that employees were allowed to visit, and you had to apply for a business reason to have this changed. Forget Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Thankfully you can still check out the latest national news at news.com.au.
So what is going to happen with internal internet policy?
Well today marks the first day that one of the larger federal government departments has opened up Twitter and Facebook to its employees. The Federal government has been knowen to be strict on this in the past, so seeing this happen is a sign that changes are already starting to happen to ensure a good employer brand within the graduate recruitment industry. I suspect that many graduates will be evaluating which employers to choose from based on their internet policies within the next couple of years, and I have anecdotal evidence of this happening already.