Millennials crave financial stability, career development

Millennials are one of the fastest-growing segments of the workforce – this year, millennials are projected to surpass the baby boomer generation as the nation’s largest living generation, according to Census Bureau statistics.

And while they’re often portrayed as job-hopping, entitled employees, millennials are, in fact, very hard-working, says Jay Titus, senior director, academic services for EdAssist, a provider of tuition assistance programs for employers. “They are willing to work for their advancement, as long as they feel their employer is invested in them in the right way,” he says.

One of the ways millennials want their employers to invest in them is through career development. When asked to pick between two similar jobs, nearly 60% would pick the job with strong potential over one with regular pay raises, according to a survey from EdAssist. Moreover, 58% of millennials expect employers to provide them with learning opportunities relevant to their jobs.

Also see: 4 steps to a successful tuition assistance program

“They’re a group that is very focused on growing within the organization,” says Titus. “They don’t expect anything to be handed to them but at the same time, they want to make sure they have opportunities and find the right employer that is going to be investing in them.”

If career development is one benefit attracting and retaining millennials, another is financial security. Often viewed as a generation looking for instant gratification, the survey data show millennials are motivated to achieve long-term financial well-being, with 70% already focused on retirement goals.

“They’re very concerned about financial well-being, in terms of future planning,” says Titus, in part because student loans are such a huge financial burden on new graduates. When asked about what they expect from their employers, one-in-three millennials say they expect their employer to help repay existing student loans, while half expect financial support in paying for further education.

Also see: Why employers should care about student loan debt

“The mindset of millennials is they want to have it all. They want to have long term stability, they want to be able to fund retirement, but they want to grow,” says Titus. “They’re a group that is very focused on growing within the organization.”

When asked what would make them stay longer than planned at any given job, 53% of millennials say it would be learning new things or having access to learning or professional development opportunities. Eighty-three percent, meanwhile, say they would prefer to work for one company for a long time, while 51% of millennials working today say they imagine they will stay at their current jobs for four years or longer.

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