Making most of Facebook
While most of us are content with maintaining social connections, even the very casual ones, with Facebook and catching up on what friends have been up to, looking at their holiday photos or photos of their children, some have been using Facebook for study materials and getting jobs.
One such person is Mahsin Alam, a student of Rajshahi University. He has found Facebook to be helpful in finding study materials and planning his career path.
The networking site keeps him updated on the job market even though he lives in a remote place in northern part of Bangladesh.
Use of Facebook began in Bangladesh in 2006. Now the social networking site has 1.8 crore users in Bangladesh. Of them, most are young generation. The site has support for community groups with discussion boards, sharing links, videos and photos, and a public comment space, but it has hardly ever been used for productive purposes by many in Bangladesh.
It seems the time and the mindset of the youths have changed. Like Mahsin, thousands of jobseekers mostly from the country's public and private universities are very active in Facebook groups to keep them updated on job circulars and exchange study materials. The groups also facilitate contact between students of different universities.
The Daily Star learnt that different groups have created different platforms to render the services. One of the most popular groups is named “BCS: Our Goal” (Largest Job group of Bangladesh), which has about 2,00,000 followers. Groups like “Bangladesh Bank Exam Aid” have about 1,50,000, “Bank Our Goal” 1,00,000 followers and “Career Solutions” has more than 10,000 followers.
“It is very difficult for me to remain updated about what is going on in the job market as I am in a remote area of the country. But, now we don't feel any detachment because I get all the necessary information within moments from these groups,” Mahsin told The Daily Star.
Farzana Ahmed, a student of Khulna University, said the materials posted on these pages have been helpful for her studies. “It has really been easier for me to know the ideas of students of other universities through these Facebook groups,” she said.
Sohel Rana, a student of Dhaka University, said he prefers to follow these groups as he found these groups interesting. “I usually am on Facebook almost two to three hours a day. So, it is very useful for me to visit these career pages and find materials for academic and career purposes,” he added.
These pages are regularly updated with jobs-related posts which help the followers design their career paths. The followers collect all job circulars --both government and private -- and post those on their group's page from where everybody could see and use.
IT experts have hailed the move and said this type of platforms could be useful for students and teachers.
Mustafa Jabbar, former president of Bangladesh Computer Samity, hailed these groups and said Facebook is not only a platform for “like or comment”, it is a vibrant network.
“The guardians usually consider Facebook negatively, but this is not right always. By using these groups, there are scopes of giving assignments [by teachers] and exchange of study or job related documents,” Jabbar told The Daily Star.
He, however, cautioned the users about fraudsters.
AKM Fahim Mashroor, chief executive of bdjobs.com and former president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), also echoed Jabbar. He said the site can be useful in many ways, from getting updates on job circulars to exchange of study materials and marketing.
Mashroor also warned students about frauds.
PAGE ADMINS' SAY
Jafar Iqbal Gem, one of the three people who supervise the page “Bangladesh Bank Exam Aid”, said the followers could post any job circular or study materials on the group's page with the approval of the page administrators. Nothing controversial is allowed on the page, he said.
“We are very careful of posts that may create controversies or tarnish the image of anybody or any organisation. So, we filter every post,” he told The Daily Star.
Lipon Khandaker, a key person supervising the page “BCS: Our Goal” since 2014, said there was no way to do any unscrupulous business using the group's page as they are running the page strictly and transparently.