Why isn’t Networking in Every Curriculum?

peopleThis afternoon I was invited to an incredible lunch and discussion with Indiana Business College Harrison College. Indiana is well-known for having some of the finest schools in the country, and in the world, but the folks at Harrison recognize that we’re in a rapidly changing world. They are making an aggressive push to ensure that they will stay ahead of the curve.

As we were talking, I realized that there is one glaring tool missing from the student curriculum nowadays. Simply put, it’s how to network (with and without technology). Most students are required to take classes such as Public Speaking by the time they graduate, but rarely are they educated on the importance and power of networking.

I have close friends of mine that express regret that they’ve not attended regional events and stayed connected with previous leaders they worked with. Years later, they’ve found that they disappeared from the spotlight and now need to ‘catch up’ to gain traction to get the job or opportunity they are looking for. You simply can’t get that time back!

The majority of my time spent outside my primary job is spent networking. Networking is definitely #2 on my list of how I invest my time (#1 is executing well on my current job!). Close at #3 is finding the time and opportunity to work on new ventures or side-jobs. That’s right – I actually put networking as a greater priority than making a second income!

The reason is simple – networking has resulted in me gaining my primary job as well as led to all of the secondary opportunities. Without the network, I wouldn’t be where I am – and wouldn’t have the opportunities opened to me to go where I’ll be next.

Networking is an Investment

Networking is an investment. On the surface, it may seem like you are spending time and energy supplying consulting, services or extending your network at no cost. However, through these relationships you are gaining peoples’ trust and building authority on the subject at hand.

Case in point, I took the day off of work today. I spent the day talking social networking strategies with Harrison College, consulting BioCrossroads on building their online presence, and attending an Indiana Entrepreneur Steering Committee meeting – all through my network relationships!

A Networking Curriculum

If a school is demanding public speaking as a required skill, educators must give networking the attention it deserves. Students must be educated on finding networking opportunities, how to tend and nurture their network relationships, cultivating an online presence – as well as how to capitalize on all of the above. If you can’t fill an accredited course on the topic, I look forward to seeing universities and colleges developing workshops on the topic.

If you’d like some assistance on this, feel free to contact me!


  1. 1

    Excellent Idea.
    With MySpace and Facebook college students are in someways on the cutting edge of social networking. They just need info on how to take it to the next level.

    • 2

      Hi Kiki!

      In some ways, yes. However, college students are also naive in their use of these networks. A single error in judgment could destroy a person’s reputation for many years to come!

      Let’s hope we see this curriculum take shape in the next few years.


  2. 3

    Hey Doug

    That is one thing I need to do more of is networking. I’ve online covered but I could do more of the meet and greet with my peers in the real world. I’ll have to find a way to fit it in between school and work.. it’s a have to really.

  3. 4

    If used correctly, networking is so powerful. Through forums and facebook, i have gathered a small team that works together creating products for clickbank. Its like a division of labor, where the work gets done efficiently. Also through networking or mastermind groups as some call it, the learning experience is second to none. Meeting and discussing issues/problems with people beats any ebook any time of the year. Just my 2 cents.

  4. 5

    @ Thomas ,
    yes you are right , in my view very few things in this world can change everything , those are one is network and other is team work., Always as a human it is must to interchange the knowledge what we have and its possible through network only, if u r in network u have a chance to know all the members feelings and their ideas so all those ideas + yours so ur knowledge will be increased and its same as all the member's in the network get a chance to increase their knowledge becoz knowledge is more powerful than anything ,

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article which gives me to share my view here .

  5. 6

    I guess you could update your post since IBC changed its name to Harrison College.

    I’ll have more to say about what I tell my students about online networking

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