LinkedIn by the Numbers – Searching by Title and Clearance

LinkedIn_Why_Join_LinkedIn2 from www.linkedin.comEver wonder how many executives are on LinkedIn?

How about accountants, software engineers, “Big 4” employees, or people with TS/SCI clearances? 

Well I did. So I decided to run a number of searches for common titles in information technology, finance and accounting, recruiting and human resources, business development, social media, and administrative support and publish the results for the world to see.  I also searched for “Big 4” employees, people that mention specific security clearances, and executives of all types to see how many results would be returned, and I broke the results down by global/U.S. totals.


Unless otherwise noted, I searched specifically for current titles while using LinkedIn’s advanced search interface. When I created the searches below, I was not trying to be totally exhaustive – I chose to target a sample of some of the most common titles. 

Total LinkedIn Users

First, let’s take a snapshot of how many LinkedIn profiles exists at the time of this post:

Total U.S. Profiles: 21,688,563

It’s a simple little trick to find that number – just choose Location: Located in or near, and leave the zip code field blank and you can effectively search all U.S. profiles.


Unfortunately, you can’t accomplish the same thing to search for total global profiles. I tried leaving all search fields blank and hitting “search” – but I only got results from my network – this is what LinkedIn told me:


Entering a keyword would defeat the purpose of finding all profiles, so for now, we’ll have to settle for Linkedin’s published figure of 40,000,000+ total LinkedIn users.

And now, on to the searches and their results…

Information Technology

“software engineer”  – 308,044 total, 145,966 U.S.

(“software engineer” OR programmer OR developer) (Java OR J2EE) – 91,973 total, 38,299 U.S.

  • Note – I entered (Java OR J2EE) into the keyword search field

(“software engineer” OR programmer OR developer) (.net OR C#) – 67,998 total, 30,299 U.S.

  • Note – I entered (.net OR C#) into the keyword search field

(“business analyst” OR “systems analyst” OR “system analyst”) – 244,648 total, 141,732 U.S.

“network engineer”- 51,952 total, 34,239 U.S.

(“system administrator” OR “systems administrator” OR “network administrator”) – 99,009 total, 60, 254 U.S.

(DBA OR “database administrator” OR “database engineer”) – 60,366 total, 34,253 U.S.

Managers and Executives

(“project manager” OR “program manager”) – 772, 971 total, 407,119 U.S.

Director – 2,855,521 total, 1,692,267

(VP OR “Vice President”) -1,037,629 total, 854,173 U.S.

President NOT Vice – 609,212 total, 533,114 U.S.

(CEO OR “chief exective officer”) – 383,643 total, 230,706

  • Note – there seem to be a great many CEO’s of very small companies on LinkedIn, which may explain why the search results are so high.

(CFO OR “chief financial officer”) – 96,044 total, 62,515 U.S.

All of the above titles combined: (“project manager” OR “program manager” OR director OR VP OR “Vice President” OR president OR CEO OR “chief exective officer” OR CFO OR “chief financial officer”) – 5,582,237 total, 3,645,896 U.S.

It’s easy to see why executive search professionals love LinkedIn!

Finance and Accounting

(accountant OR accounting) – 250,310 total, 168,021 U.S.

controller – 160,667 total, 74,975 U.S.

financial analyst – 70,099 total, 52,266 U.S.

(audit OR auditor OR auditing) – 115,408 total, 60,988 U.S.

Big 4

As current employer:

(Pricewaterhousecoopers OR Pricewaterhouse OR “Price Waterhouse” OR deloitte OR “Ernst & Young” OR “Ernst&Young” OR “Ernst and Young” OR “KPMG”) – 207,475 total, 76,987 U.S.

As current or past employer: 458,167 total, 197,072 U.S.

Business Development

(Sales OR “account manager” OR “account executive” OR “business development”) – 2,326,236 total, 1,426,562 U.S.

It looks like leveraging LinkedIn for business development isn’t a secret.

Human Resources and Recruiting

(recruiter OR recruiting OR recruitment) – 208,719 total, 132,981 U.S.

(HR OR “human resources”) – 430,988 total, 213,905 U.S.

(sourcer OR sourcing) (recruit OR recruiting OR recruitment OR recruiter OR staffing) NOT purchasing – 2,392 total, 1,577 U.S.

  • Note – I entered (sourcer OR sourcing) in the current title field and (recruit OR recruiting OR recruitment OR recruiter OR staffing) NOT purchasing in the keyword field to reduce false positive results. I thought about targeting industry as well, but many sourcers do not select “staffing and recruiting” as their industry, instead choosing the industry of their employer (e.g., Medical Devices, etc.).

Administrative and Executive Support

(“administrative assistant” OR “executive assistant”) – 188,454 total, 160,103 U.S.


Engineer – 1,575,828 total, 829,201 U.S.

(“mechanical engineer” OR “electrical engineer”) – 45,194 total, 30,412 U.S.

“RF Engineer” – 5,641 total, 3,246 U.S. 

(“system engineer” OR “systems engineer”) – 128,508 total, 75.734 U.S.

Six Sigma Black Belts

“Six sigma” (“black belt” OR blackbelt) –  40,445 total, 27,184 U.S.

Security Clearances

Secret: secret (security OR clearance) NOT (recruiter OR recruiting) – 17,462 total, 16,066 U.S.

  • Note – I would not typically search for (security or clearance) because not all people with a Secret clearance will also mention those terms, but without searching for any titles or skills, “secret” pulls too many false positives, including “Victoria’s Secret,” etc.

Top Secret: (“Top Secret” OR “TS/SBI” OR “TS/SSBI”) NOT (recruiter OR recruiting) – 9,191 total, 8,503 U.S.

  • Note – I experimented with searching for TS as well, but found it pulled many false positives. Also, there are many people who do list a Top Secret clearance, but never mention “clearance,” which is why I excluded the (security OR clearance) from this search.

TS/SCI: (“Top Secret” OR TS OR “TS/SCI”) (SCI OR Compartmented) NOT (recruiter OR recruiting) – 4,132 total, 3,995 U.S.

  • Note: LinkedIn pulls the same results for “TS SCI” and “TS/SCI”

Top Secret with Polygraph: (“Top Secret” OR “TS/SBI” OR “TS/SSBI” OR “TS/SCI”) (poly OR polygraph) NOT (recruiter OR recruiting) – 763 total, 751 U.S.

It is worth mentioning that I am sure that many people who are on LinkedIn and actually DO have security clearances do not always explicitly mention their clearance, so of course – this search exercise can only find those who do. 

Social Media

I searched for the term “social media” mentioned in the current title: 4,213 total, 3,041 U.S.

Then I searched for “community manager” in the current title and social media in the keywords: 446 total, 269 U.S.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found the results as interesting as I did – were you surprised by any of the findings? 
Let me know if you would like me to publish the search results for any other title or skillset.