Quick Overview: What industries are on LinkedIn? [August 2013]

LinkedIn-industry

I’ve been getting a bit curious about the industries on LinkedIn and the ratio of people within those industries. There is no easy way to get a summary of this information and LinkedIn’s own Advanced Search feature returns idiosycratic results, as I’ll explain below.

What we do know:

Search results, idiosyncratic?

The search results do seem to be idiosyncratic and buoyant. I have identified a couple of reasons for that so far:

Depends on the time

It is a little hard to drill down to exact numbers when the numbers are a moving target thanks to a growth rate of 2 new members every second.

This means:

  • 120 new members every minute
  • 7,200 new members every hour
  • 172.800 new members every day

With no easily available way of drilling down into what’s available right now, at this time in each industry, for each location I am interested in (Global, Australia, Western Australia), the day/month/interval between searching can be critical in terms of the search results displayed.

It took me ~3 days to compile the totals for each industry used in this post – from the time I started to the time I completed, the amount of members on LinkedIn would have grown by over half a million (~518,400), based on the growth rate published in February this year.

Depends on LinkedIn Advanced Search functionality

Although we know there should be ~225,000,000 members on LinkedIn, getting to a search result where you see that data is…difficult.

LinkedIn does restrict the functionality available in the Advanced Search option:

  • the default appears to only search 1st degree connections, 2nd degree connections, group members that are located in/near your location
  • you can select “3rd degree connections + everyone else” provided you filter by another search option, e.g. location or industry

Based on filtering by location “Australia, 4,357,514 results are returned as at 11.04pm 29 August 2014, but my last search about 30 minutes ago retrieved 4,362,980, so exact figures are buoyant and it does not appear to be possible to see the total amount of members on LinkedIn.

What Industries?

Assuming that filtering by industry and ensuring that 1st degree connections, 2nd degree connections, group members and 3rd degree connections & everyone else will retrieve as complete set of search results as possible, I spent my spare time across 3 days from 27 August to now (29 August 2013) searching in the 147 industries to see what results are retrieved.

As at 27-29 August 2013, you can refine LinkedIn’s Advanced Search by 147 industries, with the following results for locations:

Total of search results displayed (Member profiles retrieved in search)

Industry Anywhere Australia Western Australia
Accounting 4,188,494 111,437 655
Airlines/Aviation 1,155,482 24,391 189
Alternative Dispute Resolution 100,413 2,657 25
Alternative Medicine 357,112 7,960 100
Animation 387,656 4,799 33
Apparel & Fashion 1,170,866 18,477 109
Architecture & Planning 1,591,755 33,201 191
Arts and Crafts 1,366,192 31,276 571
Automotive 2,984,755 42,722 432
Aviation & Aerospace 823,104 9,991 73
Banking 3,652,857 61,898 327
Biotechnology 813,308 9,010 32
Broadcast Media 879,724 16,936 111
Building Materials 834,983 24,577 262
Business Supplies and Equipment 713,930 9,477 115
Capital Markets 269,400 3,410 19
Chemicals (Any location: 1,283,835 13,410 204
Civic & Social Organization 552,520 5,960 92
Civil Engineering 1,652,112 41,130 518
Commercial Real Estate 306,999 5,581 30
Computer & Network Security 596,474 6,878 23
Computer Games 303,677 4,867 26
Computer Hardware 836,841 7,421 41
Computer Networking 913,367 10,587 50
Computer Software 4,334,516 50,471 96
Construction 5,207,034 144,652 2,925
Consumer Electronics 529,288 6,396 28
Consumer Goods 1,490,971 24,306 134
Consumer Services 1,526,590 24,282 278
Cosmetics 732,530 10,267 102
Dairy 139,199 3,720 53
Defense & Space 709,485 14,393 52
Design 1,887,366 43,588 232
Education Management 5,127,911 118,873 1,939
E-Learning 443,931 8,942 85
Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing 2,164,519 32,811 276
Entertainment 1,449,209 31,449 172
Environmental Services 1,095,206 35,581 649
Events Services 712,471 18,968 112
Executive Office 439,654 7,256 74
Facilities Services 1,180,782 14,595 191
Farming 875,424 19,380 1,241
Financial Services 4,536,926 130,198 380
Fine Art 637,533 7,399 76
Fishery 106,093 2,143 106
Food & Beverages 2,198,509 33,251 308
Food Production 1,093,033 21,194 294
Fund-Raising 151,884 2,765 14
Furniture 517,832 6,443 50
Gambling & Casinos 190,954 5,822 13
Glass, Ceramics & Concrete 134,925 2,100 28
Government Administration 3,382,683 78,612 1,246
Government Relations 445,303 11,183 154
Graphic Design 918,344 16,150 92
Health, Wellness and Fitness 3,099,101 98,462 1,138
Higher Education 3,442,531 71,417 365
Hospital & Health Care 5,539,555 103,779 1,262
Hospitality 2,081,568 75,256 1,279
Human Resources 2,140,365 50,879 469
Import and Export 697,770 10,184 37
Individual & Family Services 785,538 14,859 206
Industrial Automation 619,414 6,242 39
Information Services 552,440 11,449 68
Information Technology and Services 8,877,567 228,830 528
Insurance 2,587,142 32,120 112
International Affairs 377,591 3,960 9
International Trade and Development 553,053 6,485 46
Internet 1,624,016 23,215 118
Investment Banking 400,048 6,193 7
Investment Management 565,210 12,418 61
Judiciary 336,377 1,222 16
Law Enforcement 538,121 7,413 135
Law Practice 2,045,857 41,581 99
Legal Services 1,210,771 23,521 118
Legislative Office 65,195 568 4
Leisure, Travel & Tourism 1,038,211 24,366 345
Libraries 259,254 4,079 41
Logistics and Supply Chain 1,301,012 24,654 273
Luxury Goods & Jewelry 267,071 3,220 39
Machinery 904,957 12,274 250
Management Consulting 2,030,879 49,529 253
Maritime 444,404 10,355 385
Marketing and Advertising 3,868,683 87,411 343
Market Research 339,045 6,070 9
Mechanical or Industrial Engineering 2,215,866 37,210 464
Media Production 841,940 21,043 160
Medical Devices 1,004,794 12,022 20
Medical Practice 2,227,753 31,456 350
Mental Health Care 888,009 14,365 197
Military 767,958 3,537 12
Mining & Metals 1,019,817 100,509 7,310
Motion Pictures and Film 399,978 7,102 20
Museums and Institutions 180,104 3,225 32
Music 1,292,714 23,510 179
Nanotechnology 102,821 1,226 10
Newspapers 391,042 6,164 66
Nonprofit Organization Management 1,689,632 37,024 445
Oil & Energy 2,913,536 63,067 1,815
Online Media 401,088 10,035 27
Outsourcing/Offshoring 453,269 3,793 37
Package/Freight Delivery 154,883 1,532 20
Packaging and Containers 319,947 5,543 5
Paper & Forest Products 244,276 2,402 47
Performing Arts 405,169 8,462 53
Pharmaceuticals 1,960,485 22,185 104
Philanthropy 157,016 2,675 29
Photography 775,990 17,730 229
Plastics 345,319 3,558 24
Political Organization 158,996 2,313 42
Primary/Secondary Education 2,025,806 22,508 331
Printing 661,964 13,472 52
Professional Training & Coaching 960,308 22,267 247
Program Development 337,430 3,660 41
Public Policy 268,625 6,379 35
Public Relations and Communications 1,001,221 21,847 119
Public Safety 352,560 7,228 141
Publishing 680,072 12,965 55
Railroad Manufacture 69,329 2,085 43
Ranching 147,597 1,092 37
Real Estate 3,257,375 63,462 756
Recreational Facilities and Services 220,023 4,181 79
Religious Institutions 647,320 10,905 147
Renewables & Environment 573,764 9,427 122
Research 1,968,474 34,215 167
Restaurants 916,981 7,264 80
Retail 3,864,166 94,170 1,103
Security and Investigations 737,300 13,763 168
Semiconductors 453,985 885 5
Shipbuilding 148,375 1,258 10
Sporting Goods 233,951 3,523 29
Sports 1,042,442 25,344 183
Staffing and Recruiting 774,484 20,821 130
Supermarkets 224,934 2,404 35
Telecommunications 3,645,889 64,097 217
Textiles 649,336 9,110 101
Think Tanks 167,978 4,543 50
Tobacco 90,948 1,242 7
Translation and Localization 359,389 3,112 40
Transportation/Trucking/Railroad 1,612,362 39,349 673
Utilities 1,133,876 26,891 376
Venture Capital & Private Equity 163,424 2,068 7
Veterinary 309,040 6,132 123
Warehousing 328,897 4,986 30
Wholesale 969,573 21,208 132
Wine and Spirits 290,636 10,214 398
Wireless 219,382 1,464 10
Writing and Editing 892,140 20,295 186
Total Based on Search: 152,279,588 2,922,085 41,844
Actual Total 225,000,000 4,362,980 42,518
Difference (%) 48 49 2

Note that when summed, the total results as based on search results by industry is different to the published total for both All and Australia.

I could never get to the point where I was presented with 225,000,000 search results. While I could get to the point where I could see 4,362,980 results for Australia (which correlated with the BRW article in March 2013 + an allowance for growth in the 5 months since), when I searched by industry, the numbers never aligned.

Method used for each industry total was the same:

LinkedIn-Advanced-Search

Screen shot of LinkedIn Advanced Search screen with initial filter fields highlighted (Taken 30 August 2013)

  1. Advanced search
  2. Select Industry
  3. Ensure all 4 Relationship options selected: 1st degree connections, 2nd degree connections, group members and 3rd degree connections & everyone else
  4. Set Location Anywhere
  5. Search
  6. Record figure
  7. Add location Australia
  8. Record figure
  9. Add location Western Australia
  10. Record figure
LinkedIn-Advanced-Search-Results

Screen shot of LinkedIn Advanced Search screen with location filter fields selected (Taken 30 August 2013)

While growth across industries was >500,000 in the time I searched (assuming LinkedIn growth rate as published in February 2013 was steady), I searched across locations for each industry at a time so the figures within the industry and locations should be relatively consistent (give or take the idiosyncracies of the search).

Results as a percentage of results for that location

Looking at the available industry total of member profiles within a location, as a percentage of the overall total (result data in table above):

Total Based on Search Results: 152,279,588 2,922,085 41,844
Industry % of Anywhere Total % of Australia Total % of Western Australia Total
Accounting 2.40162545868 3.14015134224 1.56533792180
Airlines/Aviation 0.66253765393 0.68730701103 0.45167765988
Alternative Dispute Resolution 0.05757544769 0.07487084286 0.05974572221
Alternative Medicine 0.20476316089 0.22430256274 0.23898288883
Animation 0.22227667482 0.13522964806 0.07886435331
Apparel & Fashion 0.67135863017 0.52065809696 0.26049134882
Architecture & Planning 0.91269065492 0.93556148060 0.45645731766
Arts and Crafts 0.78335590039 0.88131745632 1.36459229519
Automotive 1.71141789768 1.20385101576 1.03240607972
Aviation & Aerospace 0.47195663203 0.28153353070 0.17445750884
Banking 2.09449849232 1.74420603374 0.78147404646
Biotechnology 0.46633973895 0.25389021235 0.07647452442
Broadcast Media 0.50442176950 0.47723469882 0.26527100660
Building Materials 0.47876788897 0.69254825182 0.62613516872
Business Supplies and Equipment 0.40935774618 0.26704967175 0.27483032215
Capital Markets 0.15447029375 0.09608941444 0.04540674888
Chemicals (Any location: 0.73613351738 0.37787655356 0.48752509320
Civic & Social Organization 0.31680744879 0.16794513492 0.21986425772
Civil Engineering 0.94729853732 1.15899050321 1.23793136411
Commercial Real Estate 0.17602904867 0.15726540234 0.07169486665
Computer & Network Security 0.34201007423 0.19381319429 0.05496606443
Computer Games 0.17412425908 0.13714580061 0.06213555109
Computer Hardware 0.47983324089 0.20911423594 0.09798298442
Computer Networking 0.52371220785 0.29832804419 0.11949144441
Computer Software 2.48535248627 1.42220786986 0.22942357327
Construction 2.98564243344 4.07610732483 6.99024949814
Consumer Electronics 0.30348653616 0.18023105418 0.06691520887
Consumer Goods 0.85490248088 0.68491182035 0.32023707103
Consumer Services 0.87532593074 0.68423553122 0.66437243093
Cosmetics 0.42002273305 0.28931085574 0.24376254660
Dairy 0.07981481225 0.10482481575 0.12666093108
Defense & Space 0.40680904367 0.40557622934 0.12427110219
Design 1.08218997937 1.22825378201 0.55444030207
Education Management 2.94027438202 3.34968825889 4.63387821432
E-Learning 0.25454399397 0.25197405980 0.20313545550
Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing 1.24110573781 0.92457178217 0.65959277316
Entertainment 0.83095671842 0.88619237383 0.41105056878
Environmental Services 0.62797621582 1.00262681971 1.55099894848
Events Services 0.40852117543 0.53449384549 0.26766083548
Executive Office 0.25209162038 0.20446474815 0.17684733773
Facilities Services 0.67704432962 0.41126832955 0.45645731766
Farming 0.50195620802 0.54610347562 2.96577765032
Financial Services 2.60141162569 3.66881219394 0.90813497754
Fine Art 0.36555274606 0.20849430424 0.18162699551
Fishery 0.06083228239 0.06038698391 0.25332186215
Food & Beverages 1.26059514124 0.93697041630 0.73606729758
Food Production 0.62673024719 0.59721966266 0.70260969315
Fund-Raising 0.08708821862 0.07791414397 0.03345760444
Furniture 0.29691782166 0.18155545374 0.11949144441
Gambling & Casinos 0.10949042492 0.16405647240 0.03106777555
Glass, Ceramics & Concrete 0.07736415882 0.05917529922 0.06691520887
Government Administration 1.93958439750 2.21518505807 2.97772679476
Government Relations 0.25533068010 0.31512255768 0.36803364879
Graphic Design 0.52656595192 0.45508622968 0.21986425772
Health, Wellness and Fitness 1.77698233795 2.77453252923 2.71962527483
Higher Education 1.97390042624 2.01243921147 0.87228754421
Hospital & Health Care 3.17630544958 2.92435875110 3.01596405697
Hospitality 1.19354276329 2.12061729418 3.05659114807
Human Resources 1.22725616292 1.43370478514 1.12082974859
Import and Export 0.40009182210 0.28697202248 0.08842366887
Individual & Family Services 0.45041679887 0.41870751002 0.49230475098
Industrial Automation 0.35516355804 0.17589153224 0.09320332664
Information Services 0.31676157788 0.32261809558 0.16250836440
Information Technology and Services 5.09027610361 6.44813510453 1.26182965300
Insurance 1.48343201456 0.90510029086 0.26766083548
International Affairs 0.21650554079 0.11158770709 0.02150845999
International Trade and Development 0.31711306374 0.18273895972 0.10993212886
Internet 0.93118867328 0.65416884347 0.28199980881
Investment Banking 0.22938207897 0.17451077526 0.01672880222
Investment Management 0.32408372210 0.34992326936 0.14577956218
Judiciary 0.19287399407 0.03443438840 0.03823726221
Law Enforcement 0.30855125815 0.20888880623 0.32262689991
Law Practice 1.17306656187 1.17169910318 0.23659305994
Legal Services 0.69423961410 0.66279152993 0.28199980881
Legislative Office 0.03738192577 0.01600550950 0.00955931555
Leisure, Travel & Tourism 0.59529605846 0.68660254319 0.82449096645
Libraries 0.14865271543 0.11494097405 0.09798298442
Logistics and Supply Chain 0.74598257542 0.69471801279 0.65242328649
Luxury Goods & Jewelry 0.15313487685 0.09073545880 0.09320332664
Machinery 0.51889002830 0.34586553456 0.59745722206
Management Consulting 1.16447838051 1.39566352136 0.60462670873
Maritime 0.25481520574 0.29179058256 0.92008412198
Marketing and Advertising 2.21825018356 2.46312956178 0.81971130867
Market Research 0.19440378896 0.17104479345 0.02150845999
Mechanical or Industrial Engineering 1.27054740883 1.04852994467 1.10888060415
Media Production 0.48275693810 0.59296467685 0.38237262212
Medical Devices 0.57613520543 0.33876449865 0.04779657777
Medical Practice 1.27736325286 0.88638962482 0.83644011089
Mental Health Care 0.50917227575 0.40478722535 0.47079629099
Military 0.44033666611 0.09966811111 0.02867794666
Mining & Metals 0.58474918918 2.83221435660 17.46964917312
Motion Pictures and Film 0.22934194193 0.20012522620 0.04779657777
Museums and Institutions 0.10326918258 0.09087635237 0.07647452442
Music 0.74122461515 0.66248156408 0.42777937100
Nanotechnology 0.05895616212 0.03454710326 0.02389828888
Newspapers 0.22421816114 0.17369359255 0.15772870662
Nonprofit Organization Management 0.96881199472 1.04328870389 1.06347385527
Oil & Energy 1.67058189229 1.77714695030 4.33753943218
Online Media 0.22997840082 0.28277339411 0.06452537998
Outsourcing/Offshoring 0.25989827609 0.10688186187 0.08842366887
Package/Freight Delivery 0.08880780441 0.04316978971 0.04779657777
Packaging and Containers 0.18345325566 0.15619461122 0.01194914444
Paper & Forest Products 0.14006453406 0.06768527082 0.11232195775
Performing Arts 0.23231839068 0.23844827713 0.12666093108
Pharmaceuticals 1.12411541890 0.62514476814 0.24854220438
Philanthropy 0.09003083758 0.07537805972 0.06930503776
Photography 0.44494210561 0.49960859766 0.54727081541
Plastics 0.19800121518 0.10025986410 0.05735589332
Political Organization 0.09116614263 0.06517736528 0.10037281331
Primary/Secondary Education 1.16156959135 0.63424649274 0.79103336201
Printing 0.37956114898 0.37962363383 0.12427110219
Professional Training & Coaching 0.55062753844 0.62745542268 0.59028773540
Program Development 0.19347776994 0.10313409292 0.09798298442
Public Policy 0.15402591930 0.17975201605 0.08364401109
Public Relations and Communications 0.57408649585 0.61562036284 0.28438963770
Public Safety 0.20215310604 0.20367574416 0.33696587324
Publishing 0.38994402975 0.36533702587 0.13144058885
Railroad Manufacture 0.03975230511 0.05875261851 0.10276264219
Ranching 0.08463011116 0.03077115559 0.08842366887
Real Estate 1.86773449561 1.78827754230 1.80671063952
Recreational Facilities and Services 0.12615819392 0.11781520287 0.18879648217
Religious Institutions 0.37116447867 0.30728887521 0.35130484657
Renewables & Environment 0.32898846929 0.26564073605 0.29155912437
Research 1.12869620277 0.96413469651 0.39910142434
Restaurants 0.52578442627 0.20469017786 0.19118631106
Retail 2.21566019723 2.65358948911 2.63598126374
Security and Investigations 0.42275778614 0.38782363957 0.40149125323
Semiconductors 0.26030882075 0.02493816181 0.01194914444
Shipbuilding 0.08507620577 0.03544882210 0.02389828888
Sporting Goods 0.13414431958 0.09927360911 0.06930503776
Sports 0.59772205628 0.71416132539 0.43733868655
Staffing and Recruiting 0.44407858570 0.58670900237 0.31067775547
Supermarkets 0.12897409449 0.06774162824 0.08364401109
Telecommunications 2.09050313595 1.80617102563 0.51859286875
Textiles 0.37232042563 0.25670808374 0.24137271771
Think Tanks 0.09631629920 0.12801589730 0.11949144441
Tobacco 0.05214834550 0.03499796268 0.01672880222
Translation and Localization 0.20606876170 0.08769215769 0.09559315553
Transportation/Trucking/Railroad 0.92450642828 1.10880421373 1.60835484179
Utilities 0.65014906756 0.75775379581 0.89857566198
Venture Capital & Private Equity 0.09370509757 0.05827358037 0.01672880222
Veterinary 0.17719933030 0.17279187371 0.29394895325
Warehousing 0.18858506386 0.14049906757 0.07169486665
Wholesale 0.55593996335 0.59761416465 0.31545741325
Wine and Spirits 0.16664672715 0.28781738390 0.95115189752
Wireless 0.12579065325 0.04125363717 0.02389828888
Writing and Editing 0.51154093493 0.57188699885 0.44450817321

Notes and further thoughts

1) There is a difference between available search results and published results:

  • Global results: 225,000,000 is 48% more than the search results I was able to achieve by drilling down within the preset industries and locations in the Advanced Search screen
  • Australia results: 4,362,980 is 49% more than the search results I was able to achieve by drilling down within the preset industries and locations in the Advanced Search screen

The difference is more than the estimated growth across the time period that I collated these search results.

The difference could be explained in terms of people not selecting an industry (although that would mean that 49% of Australians had not selected an industry when filling in their LinkedIn profile), however without an easy way to see “all”, or “people who have not selected an industry” it will be hard to verify.

2) Subjective selection of location

There is significant room for interpretation between individuals at location. I noted in my searching that there instances of subjective location selection.

Some of my connections – who I do know are Western Australian (they are living and working in WA) – do not show up when I filter down to Western Australia, but are showing when locations are all, or filtered to Australia.

It’s possible that:

  • they are not identifying as “Western Australian”,
  • that location is an aspirational choice, or
  • their profession may not be one that is dependent on their physical location

With that in mind, the results for I retrieved for Western Australia may not be fully reflective of actual bodies in Western Australia who have a LinkedIn account.

This also means a scan of members by location is not comprehensive or completely reflective of the representation from that location on LinkedIn because, for a variety of reasons, individuals may be identifying with another location (e.g. a more general location) when creating/updating their LinkedIn profile.

3) Subjective selection of industry

There is significant room for interpretation between individuals at industry level. I noted in my searching that there were very subjective selections of industry by members rather than a standardised approach.

This is possibly due to:

  • Selective interpretation of the Industry, e.g. Program Development vs Software Development
    • Ambiguous definition available for it and/or
    • Lack of benchmarking prior to selecting that industry
  • Intended career goals and/or career focus, e.g.
    • Two researchers both in Exercise & Health Sciences area but one has selected their industry as “Research”, the other as “Health, Wellness and Fitness”
  • People working in the industry may identify with the industry of their employer (Higher Education) rather than their actual job function (Human Resources) when selecting their industry
  • People may be making aspirational choices about their industry (selecting the element of their current role that they wish to pursue further in a professional sense).

The latter got me thinking about a taxonomy for the industry people select on LinkedIn:clearly it is very subjective. For example:

  • I align myself with the Marketing and Advertising industry (I am most interested in working in Online/Digital), but a review of my peers show that some identify their industry as “Education Management”, or “Higher Education” and others “Marketing and Advertising”
  • A separate review of people in another equivalent position, revealed that they had separately identified their primary industries as “International Affairs”, “Marketing and Advertising” or “Higher Education”

This also means a scan of members by industry is not comprehensive or completely reflective of the representation from that industry on LinkedIn because, for a variety of reasons, individuals may be identifying with another industry when creating/updating their LinkedIn profile.

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3 Responses to “Quick Overview: What industries are on LinkedIn? [August 2013]”
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  1. […] looked at the general overview of industries on LinkedIn, I’ve decided to explore platforms allowing artists to connect and to build their profile […]

  2. […] retrieved for each of the 147 industries in the LinkedIn Advanced Search feature in my post general overview of industries on LinkedIn, I’ve decided to visualise this information to explore the ratios of LinkedIn profiles retrieved […]

  3. […] is an update of the Quick Overview: What industries are on LinkedIn?  post I did in August 2013, looking at how many profiles are retrieved for each of the 147 […]



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