Is the Millennial generation prepared for the workforce?
In the fall of 2013, that question was being asked more and more -- in the media, in corporate offices, in college classrooms, and by millennials themselves, many of whom, the stereotype suggested, were living in their parents’ basements while unsuccessfully looking for a job.
At Bentley University, officials were concerned. Not so much for the university’s own graduates, who continued to be highly sought by corporate recruiters. Rather, they were concerned for the higher education “industry” itself, for graduates who couldn’t find jobs, and for corporations who couldn’t find what they were looking for.
The Research Study
Thus was born Bentley’s PreparedU Project, a major initiative designed to shed light on these pressing issues through market research. PreparedU also became a popular national forum to discuss what needed to be done to provide students with both a quality education and market-driven preparation for successful careers. Since the PreparedU Project was launched with broadcasts on Bloomberg Radio in late 2013 and early 2014, it has increasingly engaged a variety of stakeholders, audiences whose views were captured in the responses of more than 3,000 individuals who participated in the initial market research study.
Top Line, Easy Digestible Findings
Findings from that study examined skills, traits, use of technology, workplace attitudes and expectations, opinions of executives about millennials and vice versa, and much more. Of special note were 16 practical solutions, endorsed by the research, that can bridge the so-called millennial skills gap. The role of higher education and the curricular options that can anchor new models of learning were among the most attractive options identified. In particular, greater fusion between theoretical and applied learning, along with greater collaboration and integration with corporations and other employers, were deemed most promising by research participants. All these findings are summarized in two reader-friendly formats: a short e-book and a white paper.
The study also took a close look at Women in Business, seeking a better understanding of the special barriers that have confronted women in the workforce and the ways in which millennial women might overcome them, with the cooperation and encouragement of educators and business executives of both genders. Again, those findings are summarized in two reader-friendly formats: a short e-book and a white paper.
In the fall of 2014, Bentley engaged in a second round of research to probe certain attitudes held by millennials about which there remained a high degree of speculation. A brief e-book is also available on those findings.
Hop On Board
In a world where the speed of change is accelerating and the impact of a global economy is felt more deeply every day, the role of millennials cannot be understated. Almost one million strong, millennials are transforming our economy and our society right now. That’s why we invite your interest and participation in the PreparedU Project, where you’ll find information of all types, including articles, opinions, videos, analysis, and more.