March 10, 2015
“Millennials’ Weak Skills Threaten America’s Competitiveness Princeton, N.J. (Feb. 17, 2015) Despite having the highest levels of educational attainment of any previous generation, America’s millennials, on average, demonstrate weak skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments compared to their international peers.”
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) reported the status of Millennials (16-34 years of age) readiness for the future. Millennials were thought to be the smartest of previous generations. This was found to be flawed and an early prediction. “Recent research reveals an apparent paradox for U.S. millennials (born after 1980, ages 16–34): while they may be on track to be our most educated generation ever, they consistently score below many of their international peers in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. Equally troubling is that these findings represent a decrease in literacy and numeracy skills when compared to results from previous years of U.S. adult surveys.”
Goldman Sachs research in “Millennials The Coming of Age” that this demographic of U.S. citizens have lower test results but yet, social media savvy. I respond, the challenge is creating critical analytically astute citizens able to process big data downloads that Millennials receive everyday. This lack of conversion is evident in workplace production that companies have been facing. The Big Data avalanche or storm means that the speed of data and information when received has to processed for good-to-fair-to-bad information sometime quickly. I contend this demographic has been impacted by the immediacy to get questions answered quickly using cell phones and search as the default rather than using analytical skills as the everyday standard. Further, social media savvy can result in stunting social interaction which is required in teams and problem solving.
The report revealed that many Millennials chose to remain at home. Sorry parents they never leave could be the new reality. This is so different from previous generations seeking independence to source their dreams. The long–term impact of these decisions will be born out in our economy and their children’s children.
The research also indicates that they are waiting on marriage. In 2010 the average age of marriage was 30 and in 1973, 23. Their focus on career is prolonging commitments and changing the idea on relationships. “The percentage of young people married and living on their own has dropped by more than 50% since the 1960s.”
The new thoughts and values on relationships will effect purchasing habits. As Millennials hold off from buying assets they too will effect the economy. “Millennials have been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music and luxury goods. Instead, they’re turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership, giving rise to what’s being called a “sharing economy.” They will impact the economy, businesses, government and infrastructural sustainability. The economy is driven on tax bases and requires assets to be purchased to sustain the current economy. This means a new model for GDP and economy must be developed for nation building and/or a change-to-compromise in Millennials model of commerce is required.
Millennials are a new challenge that was undervalued and overlooked at the impact of changing social models. The domino effect will be staggering as the role of nation, economy and citizenry are considered. The importance of structure is what drives a nation with changing models new models are required for sustainable growth. There is a need to consider sustainable applications to balance new thinking against old paradigms.