Puppet Arts. Blacksmithing. Auctioneering. Theme Park Engineering. These sound like some pretty cool, unexpected hobbies you might be surprised to learn that a new friend is into. But what if you met this new friend in a college class and they told you that it was actually their major? It turns out that, depending on the university, that could certainly be the case!
A few weeks ago, I told you about the available options Millennials have when it comes to the workforce due to this generation’s increased connectivity. Hopefully, you learned some tips and tricks to attract and retain Millennials, making you their ultimate choice as an employer. But it’s important to know that Millennials’ myriad of choices begin before they’ve even applied to work at your company. Fresh out of high school, Millennials all over the U.S. are facing some decisions regarding their future careers.
Today’s Millennial workers are more likely than ever to have a bachelor’s degree. In 2016, 42% of young Millennial workers in metropolitan areas held a bachelor’s degree, up from 34% of Generation X workers of the same age in 2000. One huge decision many Millennials face is in what field they will earn this degree. Even with advice and guidance from family, friends, and counselors, it can be difficult to strike that balance between finding something you love and something that will help you avoid the unemployment line. No college student dreams of eating Ramen noodles forever!
Search the internet for ‘best college majors’ and you’ll find countless articles listing majors with top earning potential. While this is great, it isn’t taking into account what we already know about Millennials: when faced with the choice, we will almost always choose passion and the ability to make an impact over a higher salary. In my college years, I knew several people that put in loads of extra effort to create their own major, often something that they were especially passionate about. It was worth the extra work and time to be able to study something that was personally meaningful.
Millennials are making their mark on education just as they have on the workforce. We see a different type of student, one more focused on making meaningful contributions rather than completing assignments correctly. In the information age, time spent learning about something we’re not interested in is time wasted. It’s easy to pull out our smart phone and read all about Pythagorean’s theorem or the Industrial Revolution. But it’s a welcome challenge to be able to add something to the conversation and the motivation to do that is derived from being personally invested.
What does this mean for your business? Millennials don’t often follow a straight career path, but they welcome twists and turns that take them to a place they want to be. So, maybe you aren’t exactly looking to hire a Bakery Scientist. But it’s important to consider things like the individual, their past experience, and ways that those skills could translate to your industry. You just might be surprised by their ingenuity, passion, and drive!
Now, it’s your turn to choose! Pretend to be a Millennial and set out on your career path by following the adventure below.