November 2: Business Prof’s Research on Millennial Generation Makes Headlines
U of G business professor Sean Lyons appears today in the Globe and Mail and in Maclean’s magazine online. The articles discuss the results of his three-year study on career and wage expectations of “millennial students” born in 1980 or later.
The study by Lyons, Linda Schweitzer of Carleton University and Eddy Ng of Dalhousie University was released this week on the researchers’ website.
The study looked at 3,000 Canadians who were working or seeking employment. The researchers found that millennial students expect average first-year salaries of $48,860 for men and $42,060 for women. Those figures match actual earnings of current university graduates.
But asked what salary they expect after five years, women said they expect to make an average of $67,766 and men $84,868. That would require salaries to increase by between 12 per cent and nearly 15 per cent a year, compared to the actual average increase of three per cent.
Millennials also believe that six-figure incomes are normal, although only about four per cent of Canadians earn more than $100,000.
They also consider it acceptable to change jobs often, citing reasons such as time off for travel and family time.
Lyons says parents, teachers and employers perpetuate students’ misperceptions about opportunities and high salaries after graduation.
The complete findings are available online.
Lyons studies workplace demographics, especially the challenges of managing diverse employees varying from twentysomethings to seniors. People are especially interested in the millennial generation, he says.
In an article in U of G’s Portico magazine in 2008 – the year he joined the College of Management and Economics – Lyons said: “I knew this was going to happen because, as a professor, I’ve seen some of these same changes in the classroom in terms of attitude and values. I knew this tsunami was going to eventually hit the workplace.”