Generation Y workers are not employed in large numbers at some of the biggest companies as they say they prefer small employers, finds a recent study by PayScale Inc., a provider of compensation data and software, and Millennial Branding, a Generation Y research and management consulting company.
About half (47 percent) of respondents are employed at companies with fewer than 100 employees, and 30 percent of respondents work at companies with 100 to 1,500 employees. Only 23 percent of respondents are employed at companies with more than 1,500 employees.
Respondents say they prefer smaller employers because they typically allow for greater flexibility, the chance to embrace their entrepreneurial ambitions, and the opportunity to use social networks in the workplace without strict corporate guidelines.
However, large technology companies are also desirable among respondents as they are usually dedicated to innovation, salaries are higher, and workplace programs and culture are more flexible.
“This report confirms that Gen Y is an entrepreneurial group, highly versed in social media and prefers freedom and flexibility over big corporate policies,” says Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding. “While they are the future corporate leaders and change-makers, they are suffering in this economy by having to work in retail jobs over professional ones. A bachelor’s degree can no longer be traded in for a job.”
The study also reveals that more than 63 percent of respondents hold bachelor's degrees, though most of the commonly reported jobs for respondents don’t always require college degrees. Respondents often report being employed as a merchandise displayer, clothing sales representative and cell phone sales representative. According to study administrators, this is a strong indicator of underemployment in the country.
Respondents’ job skills most often focus on online marketing and social media with the most commonly reported skills being tableau software, blogging, social media optimization, press releases and polymerase chain reaction analysis. The college majors respondents are most likely to choose include neuroscience, bioengineering, entrepreneurial studies.
“Millenials are arming themselves with skills and educational training focused in technology and social media, two areas with great growth potential,” says Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale. “However, the shaky economy has forced many of them into a world of underemployment nonetheless.”