Generation Y Woefully Unprepared For Job Market, Survey Finds

Are millennials to blame for their jobs woes?

Everyone knows it's terrible out there for young Americans, aka Generation Y or the millennials, who are just entering the workforce.

While the national unemployment rate has slid below 8 percent the past two months, the official tally for Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 was 12 percent in October. And when you factor in the 1.7 million young adults who are not being counted (as they've taken themselves out of the labor force, presumably after giving up), the actual unemployment rate for the age bracket rate rises to 16.6 percent, according to General Opportunity, a nonprofit youth employment organization.

So what's the cause of the pronounced and prolonged crisis among the members of America's newest generation to enter the workforce? The economy itself? Perhaps that's not the only factor, according to the Student Career Development study conducted by Millennial Branding, a Generation Y research firm, along with

The survey reveals a generation composed of students who are "not aggressively preparing for their post-college careers," according to the study. After compiling responses to a questionnaire about employment from over 200 students from across the country, an across-the-board trend of low engagement in career planning was revealed. Only 29 percent of the students have received career and job help from their universities, while only 22 percent belong to a professional development or industry-related group.

More: 10 Millennial Generation Trends For 2012

The survey delved into the extent of Gen Y's lack of preparation. Among the findings:
  • Less than half have had an internship in college (40 percent), although 85 percent understand that having an internship is vital to launching a career.
  • Despite all of Gen Y's social media savvy, only 1 in 3 have a presence on LinkedIn -- the site that recruiters and human resources officers rely on to post jobs and find candidates. In contrast, 95 percent have a Facebook profile.

"College students are missing out on a very valuable resource by not leveraging LinkedIn," says Dean Tsouvalas, editor-in-chief at "Internship opportunities, and the ability to network alumni or gain incredible insight into a company, are all there, waiting for students to take advantage."

Any discussion about the troubled job prospects for millennials must of course also make mention of their debt problems. The average student, according to Forbes, already carries $12,700 in credit-card and other kinds of debt. And nationwide, tuition debt just recently passed the $1 trillion mark.

What are the effects of all these struggles? A cultural shift, say observers and commentators. Millennials have been widely noted for their optimism, but according to a recent Rutgers study, just 14 percent of recent college graduates think they'll be able to do better than their parents financially.

"I'm hoping that the millennial generation doesn't set its sights on homeownership as a benchmark of economic stability," sociologist Katherine Newman told Newsweek this summer, "because it's going to be out of reach for so many of them."

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I went to a fast food joint and ordered some food and my order came to 7.13 and I gave the girl a 20.00 By mistake she entered 10.00 instead of 20.00 as payment and the register gave the change for a 10.00 She had to find a calculator to figure the change for a 20.00 Now that is a real indicator of our educational system. I was in disbelief she could not figure that out.

May 29 2013 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dickbambam's comment

Oh and It's like 12.87 right? 13 bucks to make the difference from 20, and then 87 to make the difference between 13 cents the next whole dollar?

Mind many people in America cant even read.

"In the United States, according to Business magazine, an estimated 15 million functionally illiterate adults held jobs at the beginning of the 21st century. The American Council of Life Insurers reported that 75% of the Fortune 500 companies provide some level of remedial training for their workers. All over the U.S.A. 30 million (14% of adults) are unable to perform simple and everyday literacy activities.[5]"

As expected, it's worse in some countries, much worse but it's 15%+ in many developed countries.

MIND YOU "Functional Illiteracy" is not TOTAL illiteracy though.

October 01 2013 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a surprise! Colleges have no plan to teach students to be jobs ready in an interconnected global economy. Courses such as branding oneself, sales, communications including public speaking, methods of advocacy, clarity in writing, + public relations, international economics, world affairs, foreign cultures, should be required courses, not electives, assuming these courses are even offered. Oh, by the way, with supply exceeding demand, who would you hire? An Asian graduate who has studied harder, works harder, does not question authority, will have strong proprietary interest or for the most part, our enititled, naive grads. Blame goes mostly to our government and university system or are they one in the same? Entitled with no accountability! Most parents have no clue how challenging and competitve the world job market is.

January 01 2013 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fastraxbw's comment

My wife is a Spanish teacher and her exchange students ran circles around the American kids and they had to learn English and Spanish

May 29 2013 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Colleges are also not giving students a sense of reality. I am a recruiter and most graduates (I am young myself) have the mentality of making $50,000+ upon graduation. Not true. College Professors and Career Counselors feed students information about national wage averages, what benefits to expect and that if they receive this piece of paper stating they are a business management major, then voila! You're a business professional. Not true. Colleges/Career Counselors are to blame. Not Gen Y and not their parents.

November 13 2012 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Cory's comment

When did they start doing this?

October 01 2013 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Of course they are. Kids today are not taught to be able to think for themselves, critical though, or to be able to anyalyze things at all. They are barely taught minimal anything, and they take little or no initiative to get things done. And most of them are not willing to work toward any kind of goal, even if can be met in an hour or two. Who would want to hire anyone like that? Welcome to the age of 'no child left behind', which should better be known as the dumbing down of America, or sinking to the least common denominator. In order to make everyone feel good, no one demands any more from anyone than the worst student can accomplish, resulting in no one really learning anything at all.

November 13 2012 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

American colleges are a waste of time. They charge an arm and a leg, give you a bunch of coursework that is irrelevant, have professors that don't care jack for the future of their students, and as typical Americans are there for their own selfish gains/reasons with egos to show for. Then you have employers that think they are perfect and demand perfect employees...just like a typical average american demands a perfect government, a perfect body, a perfect look, a perfect spouse. Perfection does not exit. Just like any relationship where you have to give and take some, believe it or not employers have to do the same. For those of you that think that all the foreign students want to come here to we must be is a rude surprise: they don't know any better. Just like most of them dont know that universal health is not covered here, or that there is a huge debt crisis, they don't know the reality of America and its system yet. I am a foreigner and I went to school overseas and here....and it sucks here. I am not sending my kids to school here at all.

November 13 2012 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to laupan111's comment
Matt Capozzi

Your comment is basically null and void. You blatantly stereotype all colleges and all teachers as worthless and uncaring. Have the decency not to do this.
You also speak as if you're not an American and choose to stereotype Americans as all arrogant and selfish. Again - this just shows that you don't know what you're talking about.
If you have studied the universal healthcare overseas or in Canada, please tell me why their system is better? Anyone with money comes to America for treatment.
It doesn't seem like you read our constitution and the principles this country was founded upon - free market capitalism where individuals have the right to seek out success - not get it handed to them. We work for what we have in america and thats why we innovate more than any country with socialist programs like universal healthcare.
And if students are coming here and don't understand all of this, who's fault is that?

November 13 2012 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Without question Gen Y in general has about as much common sense as a rock.Just look at what they accept as entertainment.That should be a big enough clue.

November 13 2012 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stannsac3's comment
Matt Capozzi

Who raised this generation?

November 13 2012 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

And to know that 60% of this age group went along with Obama's economic strategy. This proves that the future will be very interesting. Wish the dollar would atleast keep it's value for those who have provided for themselves.

November 13 2012 at 11:56 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jeffprice8's comment
Ol Bob

We are now a socialist country, more lax-stayers than tax-payers, and run by facts-slayers.

November 13 2012 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt Capozzi

Since the 1970's through dems and republicans the rich have been getting rich and the poor been getting poorer, it was the previous generations disasterous social security plan that is heling destroy our country. When it was introduced 3 people paid in for every one collecting, now those numbers are reversed. Is anyone in office (the previous generation) helping to change that? IS anyone in office trying to stop illegals from getting free health care in emergency rooms which is costing medicare and hospitals billions? No they aren't.

November 13 2012 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My son, a gen y (25 yr old), is a supervisor of his department. He says the problem with this age group is that they have no work ethic. They call in sick at the drop of a dime, show up late, complain about job responsibiities. they would gladly train people and give them the skills if they would only come with a desire to work.

November 13 2012 at 11:34 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Holly's comment
Matt Capozzi

I'll ask you the same question I ask so many, who raised them to be this way? Society, parents and tv? All three are a product of the previous generation(s). It's a true statement that you wrote up there, but it needs to start with the parents and we need to change our education system - memorization is pointless in an era when everything can be searched on our cell phones. These changes need to happen and they aren't because politicians from the previous generation(s) are not listening.

November 13 2012 at 1:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Matt Capozzi's comment

I'll agree with that.

October 01 2013 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

You can have all the Education in the world behind you but if you do not have a needed or sellable skill you are not going to find a decent job. Luck has nothing to do with it anymore, planning does.

November 13 2012 at 11:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to arenadood's comment
Matt Capozzi

I think what you're referring to is oppurtunity and once people have that oppurtunity they need the work ethic is prove themselves. They also need to have a certain level of adaptability to learn the job and succeed. Education helps, but a four year degree in many cases only shows me that this person can at least follow through on a long term task,

November 13 2012 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fortunately, there IS no job market for generation Y. So, no worries.

November 13 2012 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim's comment

Oh people have to die off some time.

October 01 2013 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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