Three Job Market Problems Facing Millennials
Millennials are growing up.
This year, the millennial generation is defined by someone aged 20-36. That means almost all millennials are in the age range for full-time employment eligibility in the workforce.
What kind of job market have we created for this generation and what does the future hold?
Here are three facts about millennials that don’t bode well.
- THEY ARE LIVING AT HOME. AS ADULTS.
In 2014, according to the Pew Research Center, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were more likely to be living in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner in their own household.
- THEY EARN 20 PERCENT LESS THAN THEIR PARENTS.
A study from the non-profit organization Young Invincibles indicates 24-36 year olds today earn a median income of $40,581. This is about $10,000 less than their parents made at the same age, adjusted for inflation.
- THE AVERAGE STUDENT DEBT BURDEN HAS DOUBLED WITHIN THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION.
The College Investor, a financial website, reports an average of $37,172 in student debt for the Class of 2016 upon graduation, compared to $18,721 for the class of 2003.
You don’t have to be a math whiz to know if average debt is increasing while average salary is decreasing, well…Houston, we have a problem.
On August 23, 2016, Inc. Magazine ran a story called “College Students: In the Real World, Your Degree Is Worthless”. The article makes the point that “A college degree shows that you can learn. To get an entry-level job, you need to show that you know how to apply things you learn.”
Furthermore, students aren’t always determining potential return on investment (ROI).
Is there a move towards skills-based training with validations like certifications? Consider what LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in November, 2016:
“Historically here, there’s been a tremendous amount of weight that’s been given to four-year university degrees and not nearly enough weight in my opinion is given to vocational training facilities and vocational training certifications,” he said. “We would do much better if we stopped ensuring that everyone had to have a four-year degree to get certain types of jobs and started being open to the fact that there’s a much broader array of talents and skills and perspectives and experiences that people can be successful.”
It is then worth examining the low, median, and high salary ranges for each desired occupation? This is information that is readily available at onetonline.org, an employment website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Seek answers to the following questions:
Is the occupation growing?
Are incomes rising?
Is there potential to grow into higher levels within the occupation?
Information Technology is a field where the importance of certifications is clear. In the “CompTIA HR Perception of IT Training and Certification Study: 2015”:
95% of employers agree that IT certifications provide a baseline set of knowledge for certain IT positions;
92% said IT certified individuals receive higher starting salaries than those without IT certifications;
90% agree IT-certified individuals are more likely to be promoted than those without IT certifications.
Are college graduates worthless? Generally speaking, no. There are fields and positions that require them and there can be benefit in the learning process of earning a degree.
But, as the importance of skills-based certifications grows in fields like Information Technology, it is at least worthwhile to heed the advice of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and open your mind to other learning opportunities including vocational training.