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As THE professional social network, LinkedIn continues to surge with new members and opportunities. And while it’s expected that copycat sites will keep popping up to try and capitalize on LinkedIn’s career social networking model, the experts at Goldman Sachs are predicting only more success for LinkedIn.

Per this Business Insider article, Goldman Sachs has slapped a BUY label on LinkedIn stock, upping price target to $135/share and suggesting that the stock offers a 47% upside!! Per the article:

  • Goldman’s own proprietary checks are showing strong enterprise adoption. Recruiters love the product, which is cheaper than competitive offerings.
  • The new offerings like Today, Groups, and Mobile are showing strong user engagement.
  • The ‘Hiring Solutions’ business — which is 50% of LinkedIn revenue — grew 156% in 2011. That unit will grow at an average growth rate of 45% over the next five years.
  • At the end of 2011, LinkedIn had 145 million registered members, up 60% year over year.
  • That number is now over 150 million, just as of the end of February.
  • International growth is particularly strong, and the opportunity is still huge, with just 4% penetration into the global professional workforce.
  • Meanwhile, LinkedIn is gobbling up share. All of the competition (CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, etc.) are either losing or stalling in the market share of Career Services.

NOW, it’s not my place to tell you to go buy stock with LinkedIn. But I will tell you that you should invest your career in LinkedIn by getting an account (if you haven’t already) and truly using it. Connect with others. Share your thoughts through valuable status updates that show off your insights and prove you’re an expert in your field. Take advantage of the career tools mentioned above.

If you’ve been using LinkedIn for a while, I’d love to hear what YOU have found most valuable about it…