What is the Millennial Generation?

Roughly the same size as the baby boomer generation, the millennial generation of about 78 million represents an echo of that baby boom. They are a demographic whose lives center around advanced technology which will also shape their working lives. This generation is likely to have several changes in jobs or careers during their working years.

While known as Generation Y and the “echo boomers” much of this age group prefers to be known as the name that they gave to themselves: the millennial generation. This group is usually defined as those born from about 1980 until the end of the century. They come of age in the new 21st century and this is how they take their name. Many in the millennial generation also want to distinguish themselves clearly from Generation X.

The millennial generation is often called the echo boomers because they are also the product of a baby boom. While there is disagreement about exactly how many years to include as part of this generation, the millennials will number somewhere between 76 million and 80 million which makes them the same size as the baby boomers if not slightly larger. Like the baby boomers, a group this large cannot help but have a major impact on all phases of life in America.

So, who pays attention to the Millennial Generation?

While the baby boomers were the product of postwar prosperity and the Cold War and the Space Race, the millennial generation is the product of a more uncertain economy and the age of computers and digital technology. Baby boomers had to adapt to rapidly progressing technologies and adopt them while this newer generation was immersed in the computer age essentially from birth. They do not really know a world without cell phones and personal computers and the internet.

This millennial or Y generation is more likely to come from a family with a working mother and to come from a divorced family. Rapidly changing technologies also mean that many jobs become obsolete and continuing education and retraining is absolutely essential. While their parents and grandparents usually expected to keep a job for decades if not their entire career, this is no longer the case.

Not only is the millennial generation more likely to change jobs several times in their working lives, they are likely to change the whole direction of their careers to find a fit in an increasingly tight job market. A college degree is no longer a guarantee of a quick hire and a good paying position and underemployment as well as unemployment is a serious concern for this demographic.

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