As I read through the links about students not understanding probability and statistics, I thought back to my high school and college education. I remember some probability in high school but not mush, and I took math every year. I was not math genius, but did ok. In college I had to take a statistics class, and everything went well for the first 1/2 of the class then I hit a wall snd had to get lots of help. I remember thinking research was probably not for me, if only because of the statistical analysis. It would appear there are options on the web, and if you can enter all your data onto a online stats analyzer you may be able to get help with all that math.
Networking has always been important, but with the ability to use technology to network, it has been made easier. Sites like LinkedIn walk you through the process of getting you professional person out to the world. Once you get linked to a few people it can really grow. Using facebook, and youtube or internet forums can work as well, but you have to be careful to be professional with these sites.
Even though technology has created some new ways of networking, good old face to face talking to colleagues is still important. I highly recommend being part of you national and state associations for your profession and attend meetings. You will meet and get to know a lot of professional peers by being involved with your association.
Seams to me that they are very similar. They look a little different and Linked in is set up to be a little more professional. It would appear that if you want an online way to connect with other professionals Linked in is they way to go. Linked in asks you lots of questions and gives you the chance to share things that you may not have thought to share, creating a complete profile of who you are professionally.