As society embraces new innovations and technologies, higher education institutions must also learn how to keep up. The future of our economy lies in the hands of students who must be prepared to enter into today’s globally competitive workforce.
The millennial generation, like every generation before them, will inevitably change the business world, but how they do so begins pre-graduation.
New college graduates are entering the workforce having never known a world without computers, cell phones, email or instant communication. They have been brought up in a fast-paced, instant world that is always moving and changing.
They are also accustomed to working in teams and want to make friends with people at work. These young employees work well with diverse coworkers. They are used to working in groups and teams. In contrast to the lone ranger attitude of earlier generations, millennials actually believe a team can accomplish more and better—they’ve experienced team success.
However, students are scrambling to assess the professional landscape and prepare before they enter it. Many underestimate the power of professional connections, prioritizing their grade point average instead. This leads to students with misconceptions of their employ-ability out of college.
Because of this, young people are facing a far more arduous path from college to professional life than any generation in decades. The U.S. Department of Labor shares that nearly half of working college graduates are “underemployed.” And according to The Economic Policy Institute, “The weak labor market has been, and continues to be, very tough on young workers: At 16.2 percent, the March 2013 unemployment rate of workers under age 25 was slightly over twice as high as the national average.”
By 2015 the majority of the United States work force will be in their twenties. Hiring new, young talent just out of college is challenging some established practices of management and changing today’s corporateculture. For corporations, understanding how to successfully develop and manage these young workers will determine their future success.
With the shift of the younger employment force from Generation X to Generation Y, companies are finding that there are different approaches and work habits that need to be incorporated into the existing culture. With companies now having different generational mentalities and priorities, the corporate world is facing challenges it has never had to deal with before.
Both educators and employers have crucial roles in preparing the current wave of new workers to build a successful foundation for tomorrow’s economy.