Gen-Y in the workplace: Tech firms and typical salaries [infographic]

Gen-Y in the workplace: Tech firms and typical salaries [infographic]

Summary: What can Generation Y expect from today's workplace?

TOPICS: Tech Industry

The 19 to 30 age group, otherwise known as Gen-Y, have entered the workplace in a volatile economic environment, and often struggle to find full-time work.

For those that manage to secure a job, where do they work, in what industries, and how much can they expect to earn?

A study released today by compensation data and software maker PayScale has shed some interesting light on these questions. The results were based on a survey sample of 500,000 Generation Y workers, however as not all questions were answered by all participants some values are based on a subset of the sample -- at a minimum of 75,000 workers.

The survey results were collected through July 2011 - July 2012.

The research suggests that many Gen-Y workers are not employed in large numbers inside America's biggest companies. Instead, by preference or opportunity, 47 percent of those within the workforce find themselves in firms with under 100 members of staff. Only 23 percent are hired within large companies of over 1500 workers.

"This report confirms that Gen-Y is an entrepreneurial group, highly versed in social media, and prefers freedom and flexibility over big corporate policies," said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research and management consulting firm. "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."

Potentially this is the case, although the research does not state whether this trend in working conditions is a choice or simply 'taking what's available' at the time. Considering that the average time with an employer is slated at two years in the report, perhaps it may be the latter rather than the stereotypical demand for flexibility and disinclination to work for a large firm.

The report also says:

  • The degree is losing value. Over 63 percent of Gen-Y workers have a degree, but the most commonly reported jobs that this age group fall in to do not necessarily require one. The Gen-Y are also more likely to hold positions as clothing sales reps, mobile phone sales reps, and retail floor workers than other generations.
  • The "best" companies -- which report the highest levels of job satisfaction, "meaningfulness" and flexibility are in tech firms. Qualcomm, Google and Medtronic took the top spots.
  • The most commonly reported job skills by Gen-Y focus on marketing and social media. In the U.S., the most common self-reported skills were Tableau Software proficiency, blogging, SEO, press writing and PCR analysis.

"Millenials are arming themselves with skills and educational training focused in technology and social media, two areas with great growth potential," said Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale. "However, the shaky economy has forced many of them into a world of underemployment nonetheless."

For more information, view the infographic below:

gen y infographic job prospects

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Fun Fact...?

    "Most Gen-Y employees have an MBA than no higher-education at all."

    What is this based on, and what do you consider "higher education?" If you're saying more Gen-Y employees have an MBA than those that don't even have a high-school diploma, that might make sense (both for the fact that a very small percentage fail to graduate high school these days, and those that do would find it very difficult to become employees of any kind).

    If you're saying more Gen-Y employees have an MBA than those that have *only* finished high school (higher education is what happens *after* high school, where I come from), I would seriously doubt that - unless you're really liberal on what you call an MBA.
    • Higher-education is a term that refers to non-mandatory schooling.

      And honestly, MBAs are given out like candy. My aunt, who's never held a job for more than two years, has an MBA that she got by attending online college and her graduating class was ridiculously massive. Doesn't mean they're successful in the work force at all, but actually getting a Master's in Business is horrifyingly easy.
  • Degree's are the new MCSE

    It's all paper, a lot of the young workers I interact with have basic professional skills. They need to learn how to balance their social life with their professional one and disengage from technology.
  • 3.2% have No Degree or HS Degree, 96.8% College Educated

    Let me be the first to call BS on these numbers. It's just not possible.
  • sounds like...

    sounds like this "study" wasn't done very scientifically... and also like it was just a survey with no information verification. What degrees are accredited.. which are fake accredited... who knows if they lie in the survey? There is no way to verify any of the information collected is accurate, making the whole study worthless.
  • Great stuff, Charlie

    Your graphic reminds me of what Wired magazine calls Infoporn. That is a high complement. Condense as much really pertinent information into a visually stimulating format. You have achieved that. Thank you.

    As an aging baby boomer I had a completely different experience in my 20's. I think we had it better than you. I think we screwed it up. Sorry.
    Info Dave
  • Wow, I'm really glad I went into dentistry

    I didn't realize that most people my age were making so little. I guess that extra 4 years of school and $400k in student loans turned out to be worth it.
  • Forest Through the Trees

    Gen-Yers, myself included, do gravitate toward social media; but that's just the manifestation of a deeper phenomenon. Gen-Yers gravitate toward the management of intangible assets like trust, reputation, credibility, and brand, rather than tangible assets, like inventories.

    Whether they do so out of instinct or choice is to be debated, but one thing is for sure: If the dollar values on the jobs, as listed above, are to raise to the level of petroleum engineer or systems architect, those who ply in the industries of influence will need standards -- akin to a chemist's periodic table -- before we're taken more seriously. It's why I've spent my entire career in the entrepreneurial pursuit of ordering the elements of influence at an atomic level. Social media strategists, marketing managers and comms pros would be wise to take note.

    John Koval
    Client Services Director, Playmaker Systems