Millennials Defy Stereotypes, Look to Employers for Career Growth and Support, Udemy Research Finds

73% of Millennials Expect They Will Need Additional Training to Advance; Nearly Half Want More Learning and Development Help as They Strive to Stay Competitive

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Udemy, the global marketplace for learning and teaching online, today released the “Udemy in Depth: 2018 Millennials at Work Report,” which surveyed how millennials feel about their career prospects and their attitudes about work in the era of digital transformation. The new Udemy research shows that, contrary to stereotypes of lazy or entitled behavior, millennials are ready and willing to work hard in order to succeed in their careers. They’re looking to employers to meet them halfway by providing learning and development opportunities to help maintain their skills—but only 42% of survey respondents said they receive training from their current employers.

Millennials defy misconceptions at work
Millennials may be the largest generation in the workforce, but 86% of those surveyed feel undermined by negative stereotypes about their generation’s work ethic. More than half of millennials (51%) say the “lazy” stereotype is the one that bothers them the most, followed by “entitled” (36%), “self-centered” (35%) and “know-it-all” (34%). Contrary to popular belief, millennials are seeking job stability, with 43% expecting to have three to five jobs during their careers and 38% expecting to have only one or two. Additionally, they’re willing to do what it takes to make ends meet, with 43% currently having a side hustle for extra income and 20% anticipating they’ll need one in the future.

Millennials value purpose over perks
When it comes to motivating millennials at work, most are driven by purpose over perks, looking to employers for benefits tied to learning, development and flexibility.

  • 42% feel learning is the most important benefit an employer can provide—second only to healthcare.
  • Millennials care more about flexible work schedules (41%) than retirement savings (39%), generous vacation (38%), or office perks like snacks, meals, and parties (25%).
  • 44% say a flexible schedule is their ideal work arrangement.
  • 60% of millennials say they don’t feel they are compensated fairly for the work they do, and it worsens along gender lines, with 54% of women believing they’re compensated fairly, compared to 69% of men.

"For millennials, the future of work is focused on outcomes and output, not hours spent on the job," says millennial management expert Aaron Levy. "Work no longer happens on an assembly line, where we complete tasks, clock in and clock out. Today’s work is dynamic, it’s purpose-driven, and it requires adaptability. To support millennials in this environment, managers have to cultivate cultures of meaningful work, impactful connections, and personal growth."

Millennials thrive on learning and development
When it comes to the millennial mindset at work, 67% of millennials say there’s a gap between what they feel capable of doing and what employers believe they’re qualified for. To advance in their careers, 86% are confident in their ability to gain new skills and learn new technology to stay competitive. In turn, 73% expect they will need to pursue additional training or education to climb the ranks, with 55% saying employers should pay for it.

“There’s a clear message here for business leaders, and it’s that millennials are eager to work hard, but they want to do it on their terms,” says Shelley Osborne, Head of Learning and Development at Udemy. “If employers want millennial workers to be engaged and committed, they need to do their part too. That includes investing in millennials’ learning and development needs, treating everyone fairly, and giving people autonomy to define their own work routines.”

Udemy in Depth is an ongoing research series that delves into the most pressing topics of the evolving workforce. Research for the “Udemy in Depth: 2018 Millennials at Work Report” was conducted with over 1,000 U.S. adults ages 21-37 in May, 2018. The online survey fieldwork was provided by Toluna USA, a leading market research company. Complete survey methodology and detailed findings available upon request.

About Udemy
Udemy was founded in 2010 with the aim of improving lives through learning. Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where more than 20 million students learn from an extensive library of 65,000 courses taught by expert instructors in over 50 different languages. Whether learning for professional development or personal enrichment, students can master new skills through self-paced, on-demand courses, while instructors have a way to share their knowledge with the world. For companies, Udemy for Business offers subscription access to a collection of business-relevant courses as well as a simple platform to host and distribute their own content in one central place. Udemy is privately owned and headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Ireland, Turkey, and Brazil.


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