As millennials finish their university education, the market rejects them from specialized positions and end they up using their engineering degree to pour coffee just to make their rent.
The crisis of a model
Our parents told us this tried and true formula was the key to happiness:
WORK HARD AT COLLEGE = GET YOUR DEGREE = GET THE BEST JOB
They weren’t trying to deceive us. They really believed it was true - and it might have been for them, but times have changed and the marketplace with them. Nowadays businesses need more from their employees than a degree. They want experience and expertise in many areas. It reflects, for example on Canada’s numbers of unemployment and underemployment of college graduates in ages 15-24. Jobs have changed, and these days they’re more about the know-how than the college education you have to back it up. The world is more a place of fast action, than it is about premeditation and planning.
Educational system crisis
Does career design and content need to be revised to better suit today’s world? This is a very important question that lies beneath the broken dreams of many youngsters. They work hard at college, yet they come out empty handed, saddled with debt, only for the system to reject them for not suiting its needs. Furthermore, is today’s college content matching the outside world? Ontario’s Society of Professional Engineers presented an article about how to cope with the crisis that breaks the cycle from the classroom to the workplace, because they are worried such an educational path will be no longer relevant.
This being said, the career choice of many youngsters is often based in the benefits of a stable job, a good paycheck and a prosperous future. While university teaches you way more than just career content (reading comprehension, being tested under pressure, critical thinking) this isn’t nearly enough. What most jobs require is experience. They need to contract someone who can get things done right from day one. This is when the equation starts to fade and models collide: focus on getting your college degree, or work while at college to get experience before meeting the world? It seems that option B is the best one to go for today. Companies seem to go for the ninja employees who can solve more than one thing at a time, and have experience in doing extra tasks, maybe knowledge on digital platforms, design and any other YouTube-learnt abilities.
Internet’s role in our lives
College has stopped being the only formational choice for people entering the workforce today. The internet has created a paradigm shift that many people consider to be as big as the industrial revolution. Such is the thought of modern influencer Gary Vaynerchuk, who states it is happening around us right now. We might just be standing on the verge of a new world that has new needs, and depends on the development of a brand new workforce for brand new tasks. Can the old paradigm fulfil these needs? In part, perhaps: we still need mechanics, technicians and engineers for a lot of jobs. But we also need digital marketing experts and developers more than ever. Which is the correct university to be on-time with the latest updates? The internet itself. Plus, it is completely free of charge.
The Millennials: overachieving multitaskers or the distracted lazy?
Right in the eye of the storm we have Millennials. They have often been described as a generation of lazy, distracted people who can’t seem to focus, or be productive. There are many takes on it; for example, Simon Sinek is an influencer, a modern YouTube philosopher who takes on the relationship between millennials and the workplace. He speaks of how companies need to guide them to their path, and look after their needs while developing their self-esteem and skills. This 7M+ viewed video explains his thoughts.
This side of the Millennials is one of the most overlooked in this kind of discussion, but is something to take into account. Millennials are decidedly overachievers. There are many examples of hard working young people with a bright future, and companies being run by young men and women in their early thirties. The key to it is still internet. Millennials understand it better than anyone, and are ahead of future generations because they have the exact age needed to take real action over new market niches. Does this mean everyone should be an entrepreneur, and go and build their own online empire? Of course not, but it does mean relating your interests and education towards web possibilities is a must. Here is where many people get confused - Millennials work on the internet and can make a living out of it; they are not wasting time in front of the screen, they’re learning for the world to come.
Every generation has a percentage, large or small, of lazy people who just don’t want to do anything. The most important thing when judging laziness is to think about what the term means across the decades. Just like Einstein said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” And he was absolutely right. Laziness and education go hand in hand. People are bombarded from all directions, and we are all sold on how cool it is to be connected all the time - so how can we expect traditional education to remain compelling? Maybe it is a generation of unmotivated people, not laziness. Trying to make them fit into a model that is no longer applicable is a very good way to have them reject it completely, and think it is their fault.
The Millennial side hustle is a true effort many people have to go for, and is the result of thinking about the new world from an old paradigm. Millennials should not believe they are not good enough for today’s working world just because they think the marketplace still works the old way, and don’t trust their own thoughts and abilities. Millennials have the responsibility to lead the world to the next step, and that is done by doing, not waiting. Whenever they hope the old paradigm will provide them with a window to their future, they are missing out on the open door in front of them. Opportunities for brand new ideas are millions and there are millions more to come. We live in a very fertile age for new beginnings. The “generational flaw” Millennials are thought to have is the same all their predecessors had in the eyes of older people; the marketplace is changing, and education should catch up on it, as well as job offers and the way we think the future will come.
Should youngsters not go to college, then? Of course not, college is an amazing tool in many ways. But it should be complemented with internet-oriented knowledge. This means a bigger effort and working harder, but such is the burden of being the generation in charge of making the transition to a web-based reality.
Now is your chance to express out your feeling regarding the current system. Do you feel it to be an appropriate one, or do you feel changes need to be brought in? Let us know in the comments below.