Millennial Bashing Should End Now. Here’s Why [infographic]

After over a decade of millennial bashing being in vogue, many young people have learned to ignore the criticism, or at least take it in stride. After all, millennials have bigger things on their minds than the opinions of elder generations. The real challenges that millennials face do not lie in how they appear to elder generations. Instead they are faced with crippling student loan debt, abysmal job markets, political unrest, stagnating wages, and an unstable world economy.

Over the last fifteen years, student debt owed by American households tripled from $340 billion in 2001 to $1.3 trillion. Young Americans suffer from a negative net worth as a result, already putting them at a disadvantage when entering adulthood. This reality alone is one that Boomers and Gen Xers can scarcely imagine. It may have been possible at one point to work over the summer to pay for the following semester of college, but that time has long gone. Millennials live in a world where a college degree is practically a necessity, not a luxury. Even the type of degree they earn can have enormous impacts on their future and the future of their families.

Unemployment rates by educational demographics tell a very different story today than they did 50 years ago; those with high school diploma face 4.6% unemployment, while those with a bachelor’s degree face 2.5%. Understanding the competitive job market, millennials are more likely than any generation before them to pursue career-focused education. The 1970 school year saw Education and History as the most popular choices of major, whereas when we fast forward to the 2015 school year Business and health profession related programs topped the charts. In 2018, simply having a college degree isn’t enough and millennials are focused on their career from day one.

Post-college the challenges continue. After spending tens of thousands of dollars, dedicating time, effort, and wracked with student loan debt, millennials are looking for jobs. It’s here that criticisms of job-hopping begin. While it’s true that millennials are not likely to stay in the same job or position for very long, they don’t job hop any more than Gen Xers did at the same age. The difference lies in the reasons for seeking different employment opportunities. Over 40% of millennials expect to leave their current job within two years, but not for the reasons of laziness or greed, reasons that older generations suggest.

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Pouring their heart and soul into getting the most out of their education, millennials expect the same dedication from others in the workplace, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Of those expecting to leave their jobs within the next two years, some of the most common reasons cited were “my company doesn’t care about innovation/ societal improvement and only cares about profit.” Once they are able to settle into a position that fulfills them, millennials show themselves to be hard workers and are among the least likely of employee demographics to take vacation time. Not wanting to appear replaceable, millennials respect their role in a business, understanding how lucky they are to be in that position.

Moving out, buying a house, and starting a family is perhaps the most revered life-milestone of older generations, and yet doesn’t stand out as a priority, or even a possibility, for many millennials. The source of a large percent of criticism, the fact that millennials are “delaying” their “responsibility” of starting a family seems to particularly poke at the nerves of Boomers. Labeled as lazy, selfish, and myriad of other nasty names, millennials’ reasoning for approaching this area slowly is simply a matter of necessity. Solidifying a career is top priority after college; after all, how can one support a family without a stable income? Employment doesn’t come as easy to young people as it used to. In 2015, it costs an estimated average of over $230,000 to raise a child from birth to age 17. Millennials value the time they spend with family, understanding that the moments are fleeting and won’t last forever. Pulled in every direction by responsibilities, young parents’ goal is to raise a happy and healthy family on their own terms and in their own timeline, rather than having children to appease grandparents.

In spite of all the negativity, millennials believe they have what it takes to succeed in a world of challenges and criticism. In fact, almost 80% of young people around around the world expect their lives to get better over the next five years. Take a look at this infographic for a deeper glimpse into the lives of millennials, the economical and social challenges they face, and how they are using positivity, ingenuity, and dedication to improve the world for everyone.

The Real Reasons Millennials are Struggling - infographic

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