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The Millennial Generation: Are Higher Education and the Workforce Ready for Them?


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Title: The Millennial Generation: Are Higher Education and the Workforce Ready for Them?

The Millennial GenerationAre Higher Education
and the Workforce Ready for Them?
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Center for Applied Research
  • Bobbie Fields
  • Terri Manning
  • Cheryl Roberts

A Study Funded by the Workforce Development Board
Some Say More Numerous
  • As the Baby Boomers begin to swell to the ranks
    of 50 somethings, look for a bulge at the other
    end of the spectrum -The Millennials.
  • The Millennials are almost as large as the baby
    boom -some say larger- depending on how you
    measure them.
  • Demographers vary on exactly when the millennial
    cohort begins and ends.

The Echo Boom/Millennials
  • Much is expected of the children born between
    1982 and 2000, a cohort variously called

Echo Boom
Generation Y
Net Generation
Demographic Explanations for the Echo Boom
  • The Baby Boomers had a bounty of babies
  • -Choosing to become older parents in the 1980s
  • Gen X moms reverted back to the earlier birth-age
  • The echo boom can be compared to the original
    baby boom in that most generations were having
  • The baby boom is attributed to economic and
    military crises that caused GIs to delay having
    their babies, whereas a cultural upheaval caused
    the Boomers to delay having their (Millennial)

Demographic Explanations (cont.)
  • In 1989 29 percent of the 4. 4 million live
    births were to women aged 30 and older.
  • Birth rates among some age groups continued
    rising after baby boomlet peaked in 1990
  • From 1981 to 1997 the fertility rate of women
    aged 45-49 rose by 88.

Demographic Trends
  • Millennials have older parents - average age of
    mothers at birth at an all time high of 27 in
  • Smaller families
  • More firstborns - only children will comprise
    about 10 of population
  • More parental education 1 in 4 has at least one
    parent with a college degree
  • Kids born in the late 90s are the first in
    American history whose mothers are better
    educated than their fathers by a small margin

Demographic Trends Diversity
  • Millennials have become the most racially and
    ethnically diverse generation in US History.
  • Nearly 35 of Millennials are nonwhite or Latino.
  • Latinos of all backgrounds are the largest
    minority group (16) followed by blacks (14)
    making this the first generation in US history in
    which blacks are no longer the largest of all
    racial and ethnic minorities.

Ethnically Diverse
  • This generation has been plugged in
    since they were babies.
  • They grew up with educational software and
    computer games.
  • They think technology should be free.
  • They want and expect services 24/7.
  • They do not live in an 8-5 world.
  • They all have cell phones and
    expect to be in contact 24/7.

Safety Issues
  • The Safest Generation
  • This generation was buckled up in car seats, wore
    bike helmets, elbow and knee pads when skating
    and were the inspiration for Baby of Board
  • The Well-Being of U.S. Teens
  • Mortality Rate for US teens aged 15-19 declined
    from 1960 to 1997
  • -Teens are having fewer accidents than Boomers

Each generation is shaped by the events and
culture into which it is born
Each generation approaches life stages in
different ways
  • Each generation is not a linear extension of the
    one before

When Generations Collide
  • Suggests that a fundamental challenge that
    American businesses face is the generational
    collision, leading to hiring challenges,
    skyrocketing turnover rates, communication
    conundrums, plummeting morale caused by
    generational conflicts in the workplace.
  • For Example- Generational issues influence how we
    would want to handle company policies and
    procedures. Unless all the generations are
    included in the discussion, some people may be
    treated unfairly. Its important to know that
    youre being responsive and fair to everyones
  • Today there are four distinct generations
    glaring at one another from
    across the conference table, and
    the potential for conflict and
    confusion has never been greater.

The Veterans 1922-1943
Core Values Dedication Hard Work Conformity Law
and Order Patience Delayed Reward Duty Before
Pleasure Adherence to Rules Honor
Important Events Lindbergh Completes First
Transatlantic Flight Stock Market
Crashes Depression The New Deal Social
Security Pearl Harbor FDR Dies Korean War
Cultural Memorabilia
Kewpie Dolls, Mickey Mouse, Flash Gordon, Radio,
Wheaties, Tarzan, Jukeboxes, Blondie, The Lone
Ranger, McCarthy
The Baby Boomers 1943-1960
Core Values Optimism Team Orientation Personal
Gratification Health and Wellness Personal
Growth Youth Work Involvement
Important Events Rosa Parks First Nuclear Power
Plant The Civil Rights Act Cuban Missile
Crisis John Glen Martin Luther King Leads March
on Washington, D.C. President John Kennedy
Assassinated National Organization for Women
Founded Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy
Cultural Memorabilia
The Ed Sullivan Show, Fallout Shelters, Poodle
Skirts and Pop Beads, Slinkies, TV Dinners, Hula
Hoops,The Peace Sign, Laugh In
The Gen Xers 1960-1982
Core Values Dedication Hard Work Conformity Law
and Order Patience Delayed reward Duty before
pleasure Adherence to rules Honor
Important Events Womens Liberation
Protests Watergate Scandal Energy Crisis
Begins Tandy and Apple Market PCs Mass Suicide in
Jonestown Three Mile Island US Corporations begin
Massive Layoffs Iran Hostage Crisis John Lennon
Shot and Killed Ronald Reagan Inaugurated Challeng
er Disaster Exxon Valdez Oil Tanker Spill Rodney
King Beatings Videotaped
Cultural Memorabilia
The Brady Bunch, Pet Rocks, Platform Shoes,
The Simpsons, Dynasty, ET, Cabbage Patch Dolls
Millennials-What Are The Defining Moments?
In the Virginia statewide poll of 655 members of
Class 2000, events that made the biggest impact
or impression on the class of 2000 (Millennials)
  • Columbine
  • War in Kosovo
  • Oklahoma City Bombing
  • Princess Dianas Death
  • Clinton Impeachment Trial
  • OJ Simpson Trial
  • Rodney King Riots
  • Lewinsky Scandal
  • Fall of Berlin Wall
  • McGuire-Sosa Homer Derby

Important Economic Events
  • ? The Millennial childhood coincides with the
    most monumental financial boom in history
  • - Unemployment and inflation rates fell to
    historical lows not seen since the early 1960s
  • ? Millennials have the best-educated moms in US
  • ? Millennials wish their parents were not so
    stressed out about work

Buying Power
  • Their combined disposable income will be

302 Billion
The election crisis of 2000 produced strong
feelings about the need for political reform
  • Believe there should be a uniform and consistent
    method to count votes
  • They are confident and civic minded and will use
    their confidence to influence society in largely
    positive ways
  • Concerned with the political leadership
  • Agreed that their vote matters
  • Millennials will vote more

Millennials Want to Learn
  • With technology
  • With each other
  • Online
  • In their time
  • In their place
  • Doing things that matter

Source Achievement and the 21st Century Learner
Teen Views of School
School work is meaningful
Courses are interesting
School will be important in later life
Source The Condition of Education 2002, National
Center for Education Statistics
How are Millennials doing in school?
  • Teachers report that students are doing better
  • The largest gains have been in math and science
    for ages 9 and 13
  • Millennials have corrected a late 80s decline in
    writing proficiency
  • Reading scores show modest gains through the 90s

Parental Care in the Millennial era
  • Todays typical family is spending more not less
    time with kids
  • Smaller families means more time with each child
  • Fathers are spending more time with children
  • Less housework is being done
  • There is a strong connection between the social
    lives of parents and kids

Think it is cool to be smart
Get along with their parents
Share their parents values
Source Millennials Rising the Next Great
  • Diversity prevails Millennial kids are used to a
    wide range of global viewpoints
  • Tolerant of cohabitation, single parenting and
    extended families different sexual orientations
  • Attitudes reflect an interest in and acceptance
    of diversity in all areas of life in the private
    realm and public arena
  • Belief the possibility exists for a black
    president in the next 20 years (50 of students
    in 2001 Lifestyle and Media Monitor) and 58
    percent think there will be a female president

Heres What Millennials See in the Adult World
  • Lifestyle fragmentation- they see a lot of
    splintering in politics, the media, sports, and
    fashions. They are interested in niche groups
    that focus on a race, sex, religion, ideology,
    occupation, or hobby.
  • Geographic fragmentation- edge cities,
    springing up around new work and shopping areas.
  • Racial and ethnic fragmentation-multi-culturalism
    has entirely displaced assimilation as a national
    goal. They are observing schools phasing out
    integration plans. School integration has begun
    to reverse.
  • Income fragmentation- Aware of the growing gap
    between rich and poor. The gap between those
    living in struggling families and those living in
    prospering families has widened. Growing income
    inequality is reflected in rich and poor school

Millennials In the Workplace
  • Diversity They will demand and expect that the
    workforce be diverse and will be attracted to
    companies that genuinely attract diverse groups
    of people from all over the world.

They will not limit diversity to just race,
ethnicity, or even gender, but will define and
expand the meaning of diversity by thinking
style, educational background, geographic
location, generation, lifestyle, avocation,
sexual orientation, work experience and more.
  • Most popular college majors
  • Medicine
  • Education/teaching
  • Business and marketing
  • Engineering
  • Law and politics
  • Computer science
  • Most sought after qualities in careers
  • Idealistic and committed co-workers
  • Responsibility
  • Independence
  • Creativity
  • Most common job trends
  • Seek security benefits
  • Stay with company that offers a challenge
  • Multi-taskers
  • Change Careers

Source Industry Week, March, 1998
True Multi-taskers
  • Millennials have lived programmed lives
    that make them true multi-taskers.
    They are already quite
    capable of learning several
    jobs simultaneously and performing
    them admirably.
  • Futurists predict that Millennials will change
    careers as many as ten times. That means
    retooling, recycling their skills and talents.
    Smart employers will recognize this and try to
    encourage Millennials to try out different
    careers within the same company.
  • With the right kind of challenge, opportunity,
    security, and benefit package, Millennials are
    likely to stay with the company.

Work Atmosphere
  • Millennials expect to work and have fun at the
    same timethey expect work to be fun?
  • They have witnessed their baby boom
  • parents coming home from stressed
  • jobs, exhausted, falling asleep at the
  • dinner table and dont want that for themselves
  • Employers need to instill a sense of play and fun
    in the work atmosphere. It helps morale and
    employees get to know each other better?

Flexible Schedules
  • Millennials are the most scheduled generation
    ever and successful employers will have to find
    ways to offer flexible scheduling
  • Employers have learned from the booming service
    sector, where Millennials are working while in
    school, that flex scheduling is needed if you
    want to retain Millennials and get them to show
    up for work

Challenging Millennials
  • In the eyes of the Millennials, the opportunity
    to pursue parallel careers might be the
    characteristic that attracts them to the company.
  • Changing jobs is something that Millennials will
    see as a natural process and part of their daily
    schedules. They might work in accounting 3 days
    a week and marketing the other 2.
  • The challenge in retaining them will be in
    challenging them and providing learning,
    direction, stimulation and the ability to be

Communication is Key
  • Millennials have expectations that the
    information they want will be provided in a
    timely, fast efficient manner
  • Communication, suggestions, feedback- positive
    and negative- need to travel in both directions
    for Millennials.

Baby Boomer Parents Have Been Their Biggest
  • Millennials expect and need praise
  • Will mistake silence for disapproval
  • Millennials expect feedback

Orienting Millennials
  • It needs to be communicated to them how their
    work fits into the future scheme of the company.
  • Training Millennials with their multitasking
    skills and technological savvy will push training
    to new levels of technology and fun at the same
  • Millennials will respond well to experiential
    learning where they are allowed to come up with
    their own solutions.

  • Possible contributions to the economy and society
  • The echo boom is 80 million people strong,
    displays a strong work ethic, and is
    technologically savvy
  • Millennials will create a new culture of work,
    characterized by more independence in the work
  • Many of them will become entrepreneurs

2004 Research Study
  • Central Piedmont Community Colleges Center for
    Applied Research was contracted to do this study
    by the Workforce Development Board.
  • Student Populations Selected (N1,521)
  • Millennials from UNC-Charlotte (N739)
  • Millennials from Central Piedmont Community
    College (N410)
  • Millennials from Johnson C. Smith University
  • Non-millennials (N194)
  • Data Collected January-March 2004
  • Focus Groups Were Conducted
  • An Online Survey Was Administered

Demographics of Millennials in Sample
  • White (n847)
  • Black/African American (n212)
  • Hispanic/Latino (n55)
  • Asian/Pacific Islander (n68)
  • Native American/Alaskan (n34)
  • Other (n62)

Age of Parents
  • Father Mean 49.3 Range 34-75
  • 47 were over 50
  • Mother Mean 46.6 Range 32-67
  • 29 were over 50

What Do You Look For in FacultyMillennials vs.
  • Percent Who Agree
  • Non-Mill. Millennials
  • Enthusiastic About the
    Course/Teaching 91.2 87.9
  • Are Fun To Be Around 70.1 81.4
  • Provide Intellectual
    75.3 68.0
  • Have Flexible Class Policies 55.2 62.8
  • Are Sensitive to Your Needs/
    48.5 63.7
  • Emphasize Preparing for Future
    63.9 57.4
  • Emphasize Living up to Moral
    Principles 44.6 38.
  • Are Likely to Talk About Politics 16.0 14.2
  • Are Strict/Hard Graders 10.3 4.9

Working in Teams
  • How do you feel about working in teams?
  • I like it 44.7
  • Have no feelings about it 25.9
  • I dont like it 29.4

Working in Teams
  • In the classroom, do you do the following? 1
  • 2 rarely
  • 3 sometimes
  • 4 often
  • Mean (sd)
  • Are given team grades on working
  • with others 2.62 (.89)
  • Write papers/do projects with others 2.41 (.79)
  • Study/do research in teams 2.35 (.80)

Comparing Yourself to People Your Parents Age..
  • When your generation is your parents age, will
    you take more (3), about the same (2) or less
    interest (1) in
  • Mean (sd)
  • New Technology 2.64 (.60)
  • Voting and Government 2.29 (.66)
  • Reading and the Arts 2.18 (.68)

What Will You Do After Graduating?
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Immediately get a job 48.9 42.7
  • Continue my education 30.3 34.1
  • Take some time off 2.1 4.5
  • Marry/start a family 2.7 5.5
  • Not sure 15.9 13.1

Careers They Plan to Pursue (most selected of 27
Career Field
  • How likely do you think it is that your first job
    out of college will be in your career field?
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Very Likely 48.7 39.4
  • Somewhat Likely 27.8 37.4
  • Not Likely/Not Sure 23.5 20.5

Salary Expectations
  • Realistically, what do you expect your starting
    salary will be when you begin working?
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • 15-20K 4.8 7.7
  • 21-30K 34.6 29.3
  • 31-40K 23.4 27.0
  • 41-50K 14.9 15.9
  • 50K 14.9 7.0
  • Not sure 5.9 12.5

Importance of Career Components
  • How important are the following components to
    your career? 1 not important
  • 2 somewhat important 3 very
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Being Respected on the Job 2.87 (.36)
    2.87 (.37)
  • Opportunity for Prof.
    Development 2.80
    (.42) 2.75 (.48)
  • Ability to Have an Impact on
    the World 2.61
    (.60) 2.55 (.61)
  • Access to Information and
    Expression of Personal
    Opinion 2.48 (.62) 2.49 (.61)
  • Having High Job Prestige 2.27 (.68) 2.42 (.66)

Importance of Career Components
  • How important are the following components to
    your career? 1 not important
  • 2 somewhat important 3 very
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Working with Inspiring Colleagues 2.35
    (.65) 2.41 (.65)
  • Geographic Location of Job 2.31 (.66)
    2.40 (.65)
  • Receive Guidance and Direction
    Supervisor 2.39
    (.62) 2.39 (.66)
  • Participating in Company Decisions 2.43
    (.60) 2.38 (.62)
  • Independence/Professional Autonomy 2.50 (.56)
    2.37 (.57)

Importance of Career Components
  • How important are the following components to
    your career? 1 not important
  • 2 somewhat important 3 very
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Using Creativity on the Job 2.39 (.62) 2.35
  • Lots of Responsibility 2.24 (.56) 2.24
  • Flexible Work Hours 2.20 (.61) 2.23
  • Dress Code Appropriate to
    Work Environment 1.95
    (.74) 2.07 (.72)

Importance of Job Benefits
  • How important are the following benefits?
  • 1 not important
  • 2 somewhat important 3 very
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Health Insurance 2.92 (.30) 2.90 (.33)
  • Salary Growth 2.92 (.31) 2.89 (.34)
  • Plans like 401K 2.80 (.47) 2.74 (.50)
  • Life Insurance 2.68 (.54) 2.76 (.49)
  • Bonuses 2.58 (.54) 2.64 (.54)
  • Employer-paid Retirement 2.59 (.58) 2.56 (.56)
  • Stock Options 2.29 (.71) 2.17 (.69)
  • Profit Sharing 2.20 (.64) 2.10 (.61)

Jobs in Lifetime
  • How many jobs do you think you will hold in your
  • 1-3 35.7
  • 4-6 41.5
  • 7-10 16.5
  • Over 10 6.2

  • How much do you worry about
  • 1 not at all
  • 2 occasionally
  • 3 frequently
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Future Plans 2.51 2.52
  • Transitioning to Life After College 1.85 2.40
  • Finding a Job to Fulfill your Goals
  • and Aspirations 2.45 2.39
  • Money to Travel/for Hobbies 2.39 2.38
  • Life After College 2.28 2.35
  • Financial Debt 2.45 2.25

  • How much do you worry about
  • 1 not at all
  • 2 occasionally
  • 3 frequently
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Home Ownership 2.31 2.23
  • Paying Monthly Bills 2.38 2.18
  • Finding a Job in Your Field 2.04 2.06
  • Relationships After College 1.85 2.05
  • Being Penalized for No Job
    Experience 1.93 1.98

Future Odds
  • How likely is it that someday you will
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • Indicating Very Likely
  • Work for yourself/own business 26.7 21.4
  • Have lifestyle you grew up with 63.2 63.3
  • How important will a two income household be in
    reaching your lifestyle goals?
  • Very Important 37.1 40.6
  • Somewhat Important 33.9 38.0
  • Not Very Important 20.4 15.2
  • Not At All Important 8.6 6.2

Quality of Life?
  • Rank order of items that contribute to a good
    quality of life
  • Non-mill. Millennials
  • ( ranking item in top 3 on a scale
    of 1-8) __
  • Having a secure future for
    my family 76.1 71.5
  • Time to enjoy family/children 65.8 68.7
  • Having family/children 64.1 63.2
  • Having a great job 62.1 60.4
  • Having good friends 58.1 55.2
  • Having plenty of money 51.1 45.5
  • Having plenty of free time 42.9 40.2

What Kind of Community Do you Intend to Live In?
  • Predominantly Urban, Mixed Housing Style 22.7
  • Suburban Community, Single Family Homes 40.1
  • Rural Area with Large Lots/Open Space 30.1
  • Other 7.1

  • Mostly important thing passed on to you by your
  • Education 13.9
  • Values 68.5
  • Work Ethic 15.9
  • Inheritances 1.5
  • What will be the most important thing you can
    pass on to your children?
  • Education 17.0
  • Values 73.8
  • Work Ethic 7.0
  • Inheritances 1.5

If Your Parents Leave You Money
  • What will you do with it?
  • Invest it 65.3
  • Use it for living expenses 25.2
  • Buy a big ticket item (home/car) 8.0
  • Use it for entertainment or
  • recreation, such as a vacation 1.5

Your Generation in the Future
  • Someday, your generation will be raising kids,
    running corporations and occupying high political
    office. When that day comes, which areas of
    American life will be better, the same or worse
    than today because of your generation?
  • 3 better
  • 2 same
  • 1 worse

Will be better, the same or worse than today
because of your generation?
  • 3 better
  • 2 same
  • 1 worse
  • Non-mill. Millennials Better
  • Technology 92.9 92.6
  • Race Relations 54.9 56.1
  • Economy 39.1 44.8
  • Schools 39.1 40.1
  • Arts/Culture 34.6 28.6

Will be better, the same or worse than today
because of your generation?
  • 3 better
  • 2 same
  • 1 worse
  • Non-mill. Millennials Better
  • Foreign Affairs 27.2 30.9
  • Government 22.0 26.1
  • Family Life 21.2 22.2
  • Religion 21.5 19.3
  • Crime/Public Order 13.0 14.9

  • The majority of millennials in this study were
    born to parents age 30 and older.
  • They like faculty who are sensitive, flexible and
    intellectually challenging.
  • They like working in teams but are not given a
    lot of opportunity to do so.
  • Their job expectations immediately out of college
    are not as high as previous generations.

  • Career components they felt were most important
    were being respected on the job, having the
    opportunity for professional development, having
    a job where they can make an impact on the world,
    having access to information, the expression of
    personal opinion and working with inspiring
  • They expect to have 4-6 jobs in their lifetime
  • They worry the most about future issues Future
    plans, finding a job to fulfill their goals and
    aspirations, money to travel and for hobbies,
    adjusting to life after college and paying back
    financial debt

  • They expect to someday acquire the lifestyle they
    grew up with
  • They expect to have a two-income family
  • Security and time for family are they two most
    important quality of life variables
  • Values are the most important thing passed on to
    them by their parents and the most important
    thing they will pass on to their children

  • When comparing their generation to their parents
    generation, they feel they will be able to
    improve technology and race relations.
  • When comparing their generation to their
    parents generation, they feel they will not be
    able to improve on religion, family life and
    crime and public order.