Cisco Gen-Y study: Mobile devices valued more than higher salaries

New research reveals that Generation Y employees prefer device freedom over higher pay, and they would rather lose their wallets than their smartphones.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Last month, Cisco released the first chapter of its three-part Connected World Report. In that installment, one of the most shocking (and rather sad) findings was that nearly half of college students prefer Internet to friends and dating.

The next chapter out today all focus on Generation Y and their mobile devices, and how those two factors related to the Internet, workforce culture, and companies’ competitive advantages.

The biggest revelation this time around must be that approximately one in three college students and young employees under the age of 30 (33 percent) would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer.

Additionally, more choices regarding mobile networking, bringing personal devices to work, and the blending of personal and work lifestyles (most likely most easily accomplished by social media) are increasingly important in determining which companies will land the next wave of the best industry talent.

Here are some of the more surprising highlights from the survey, by the numbers:

  • 40 percent of college students and 45 percent of young employees would accept a lower-paying job if it had more flexibility on device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
  • 64 percent of college students would ask about social media usage policies during job interviews, and one in four overall (24 percent) said it will be a key factor in determining whether or not to accept an offer.
  • 41 percent of young professionals said their companies marketed a flexible device and social media policy to recruit and attract them.
  • More than half of college students globally (56 percent) replied that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept the job offer or would join and find a way to get around it anyway.
  • 29 percent of college students believe that once they begin working, it will be their right –- not just a privilege –- to be able to work remotely with a flexible schedule.

Thus, the major takeaway is that it's not all about the money anymore for Millenials (generally agreed upon people between the ages of 18 and 32), but rather an expectation of a more flexible, relaxed workplace culture as well as perks.

For reference, the Cisco Connected World Report is based upon the responses of more than 2,800 college students and young professionals in 14 countries.


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