What jobs do millennials seek and what are their expectations?

January 24, 2019 5:52 pm


Millennials – those born between January 1983 and December 1984 – have become a key part of the workforce in both emerging and developed markets. By 2020, they are expected to make up 35 percent of the global workforce, matching the contribution being made by their predecessors – Gen X. It is important to note that the career choices this generation makes now, will in turn, eventually shape the global economy. For instance, the 2019 World Economic Forum at Davos – the largest annual gathering of global leaders – has recruited six leaders – all millennials – as co-chairs to join Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in shaping the discussion.

The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, which took into account the views of 10,455 millennials across 36 countries, found that this generation is apprehensive about the future. The development of robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought about a slew of jobs that millennials were not trained for growing up. However, this generation is also one that has learnt to adapt quickly and constantly due to alterations in the nature of work, economic upheavals, digitization and rampant changes in the political landscape across the globe.

A survey conducted by the Manpower Group, which gathered the perspectives of 19,000 millennials across 25 countries, showed that millennials are upbeat about their careers, despite faster-changing business cycles and a constant demand for new skills. The survey found that 62 percent of millennials are confident of finding a new job that is equivalent or better than their current one, if they lose their jobs.

“The Baby Boomers and Gen Xers want stability and growth over a period of time, whereas the millennials are hyper active, quick and eager to grow also coupled with a sense of entitlement. They demand quick transitions and move swiftly from one organization to the other for several reasons including financial gain, quicker progress in positions and status,” said Injeel Moti, Managing Director, Catch Communications.

Career choices

There’s a growing trend among millennials to look for jobs online. This generation has become so adept at adapting that they often apply to jobs with career growth prospects rather than picking something purely within their area of expertise. More than 39 percent of millennials strongly agree that they learned something new in the past 30 days at work, a Gallup poll states.

Millennials have also started moving away from more traditional job offerings such as tailors, carpentry and are looking for jobs that provide them a sustainable work-life balance or financial freedom, or both.

Here are the five jobs that millennials seek the most:

  • Web and Software Developers

    As the first generation of people who were raised with smartphones, cloud technology and other IoT gadgets as part of their everyday lives, it comes as no surprise that millennials have picked web development and software development as careers. It helps that the job not only pays well, but also has been a profession in high demand around the globe. The job, sometimes, also makes room for people to work remotely or from home. Adding to its allure is the fact that coders always have the option to go “independent” and start a venture of their own — and there are plenty of investors waiting for the next great idea. The job is also perfect for “the creative introvert” – who don’t necessarily have to have face-to-face conversations to excel at their jobs.
  • Analysts and statisticians

    There seems to be a secret tryst between millennials and data. Whether it is collecting data or analyzing it, this is something that millennials seem to be good at! Also, here’s an interesting statistic – the number of jobs for statisticians is expected to grow much faster than the job market as a whole thanks to the increasing availability of data required for financial, market-related and scientific insights. Here’s an interesting statistic – the median statistician earned more than $80,000 a year in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – and things have only gotten better for them.
  •  Emergency response teams and paramedics

    Among the millennials who are quick on their feet and find joy in physical activity, this is the “coolest” job to pick up. It gives them the opportunity to pocket a decent salary while appeasing their need to help people. With advancements in technology, better transportation facilities, and stronger legislation, the job has also become a lot more streamlined. The chances of saving a life have highly increased with timely response. One of the main reasons its great to become a paramedic is also that unlike becoming a doctor, one doesn’t necessarily need a degree to be a paramedic!
  • Advertising, PR and Media Specialists
    In a day and age of extremely high media consumption – it comes as no surprise that millennials have developed an inclination to be a part of the mass media cogwheel. People across the globe are spending more time than ever before on their computers, tablets and mobile screens browsing text, pictures, videos and graphics. This also means that there is an increasing demand for videos, TV shows, and the advertisements that support their revenue.
  • Bartenders
    One of the biggest trends in the job market is to become a bartender. No kidding! For every millennial who has ever wanted to travel, meet a lot of interesting people, and pamper the extrovert in them, this is the dream job. The growing trend is to do something different, something creative. The sheer number of high-end bars and restaurants that are looking to stand out from the rest coupled with the growing variety of cocktails have helped bartending become a well-respected craft again

What are their expectations?

The millennial generation has long been viewed as a generation of high attrition. This, however, is beginning to change as the millennial workforce has grown older. The 23- to 35-year-old workforce is now willing to lend loyalty in exchange for stability and career growth.

Financial stability and a positive workplace culture are the two foremost expectations that millennials have from their employers.

“Many millennials have started to have families and having good salary has increased in importance over the past 5-10 years.  However, they still place considerable importance on having: challenging and interesting work; a high degree of autonomy; and, a good work – life balance,” said Cliff Oswick, Chair in Organization Theory and Course Director for the Dubai Executive MBA Programme at Cass Business School.

Management teams in global organizations are also beginning to realize that they need to align their work culture and motivations to match the priorities of the millennial generation – which is slowly, but surely, starting to take the helm. A simplistic focus on profit is now shifting to a focus on innovation, diversity, inclusion and merit-based incentives.

“Millennials want to work for organizations, irrespective of industrial sector, that act ethically and make some form of contribution to society. Within the workplace, they value diversity, sustainability and collegiality,” said Cliff Oswick, Course Director for the Dubai Executive MBA Programme at Cass Business School.

As indicated in multiple surveys, millennials also bring out their best when they are not tied down to strict hours or locations. Loyalty and productivity are said to increase when millennials are trusted with a certain amount of flexibility.

“Both working with and interviewing millennials, I have observed that they look for opportunities that allow them to have immense flexibility; having a job is part of their day but they have various other things and interests that they are pursuing … and require for their employers to offer flexibility to be able to carry on with various functions they are invested in,” said Injeel Moti, Managing Director, Catch Communications.

They also value purpose – millennials are more likely to settle for a job with a slightly lower pay if they derive a sense of meaning from their jobs. This is a generation that has seen its elders make a lot of sacrifices to pay the bills and they are attempting to find a way to pay the bills while enjoying their job. This is why another key expectation from millennials is a good manager – one who comes across as more of a mentor or coach than a boss.

The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey also found that millennials expect to have a working environment that permits for them to learn on the job. Millennials are adaptable and are open to exploring new avenues that are outside their knowledge and skill sets. Although they are apprehensive about the fourth industrial revolution, very few make the effort to get back into an academic environment to gain specific knowledge required in the job market. This is a generation that gives organizations the ability to mold them into specific roles multiple times over.

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Anup Oommen
By Anup Oommen
Anup Oommen is a Business Editor at MediaQuest Corp. He has been a journalist for the last eight years and has extensive insight and expertise in international relations, macroeconomics, sports and financial news.



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