Don’t worry about the future of work—the Millennials have it covered!

Work is changing – what we do, how we do it, and who does it. The Boomers defined it, the Xers followed it, and Milliennials are disrupting it.

Milliennials are disrupting how we work.

The biggest work culture transition in a century is occurring right now. We are moving from the traditional, employer-based economy to the emerging economy of individuals designing their own work, creating their own jobs, and taking responsibility for their own economic security.

They are disrupting the types of jobs and the number of jobs.

Jobs are changing…By 2020, there will be 20 million NEW jobs plus 30 million replacement jobs. This represents a 14% growth in jobs, quite a substantial difference from the 6% historic pace. A handful of sectors will make up 50% of the growth- health care, construction, professional / business services, and social assistance.

They are disrupting performance and innovation.

The driver careers for the economy are high skill areas that require advanced training. There is a correlation between higher education and economic growth. Skill area growth is tied to levels of education achieved by the workforce. High skills will not be enough. Workers need to display behaviors that promote innovation, collaboration, adaptability, leadership, and synthesis.

High skill is more than just a degree. It is how you learn, what you learn, and how you apply it– the more multidisciplinary the better.

So the question is… Do we have enough talent with the requisite skills and behaviors to meet the demand?

With my Human Resources and Executive Search background, I am quite familiar with the job market and talent pipeline. I was concerned with supply versus demand and with colleges properly preparing its students to fill the gap.

My daughter is a high school senior and is on her journey of choosing a university. In her search, we were fortunate to have visited some of the best universities and participated in tours hosted by some of the brightest and passionate students. One visit after another (close to 20 university visits), I left each in awe of the brilliant minds who displayed passion, ambition, innovative thinking, and social consciousness. They are learning how to be continuously challenged and curious where double majors seem to be the norm often with unlikely couplings such as biomedical engineering and dance OR pre-med with art history.

Given the strong correlation between higher education and economic growth, some experts have been bold enough to claim that the growth of the U.S. economy through 2020 and beyond will be tied directly to the level of education achieved by its workforce.

Having heard these students and getting a glimpse of how they learn, I am not worried. These students will shape the future of work because they have to and they are well equipped to do so.

The current university students continue to define the millennial generation. They have the numbers to make an impact and are learning the critical skills. They are learning to be curious, incorporating social consciousness, challenging the status quo, collaborating and sharing ideas, using their entire brain—left and right, etc.

The future of work is changing with much of it unknown, but it is an exciting time to witness the disruption and see what these great minds have in store!

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