Are Millennials Prepared for the Workplace?

Millennials playing foosball

“So, just how prepared are they to jump-start their professional careers?”

It’s a question that comes up a lot when we talk about the Millennial generation.

And rightfully so: as it stands, Millennials are considered to be extremely underprepared according to a study put out last year by Bentley University, which attempted to measure the preparedness of the Millennial generation as they make their way into their professional careers.

According to the study, 62% of all respondents–comprised of business decision-makers, corporate recruiters, parents of Millennials, and even high school and college students from the Millennial generation–believed that this group of individuals lacks the proper skills and characteristics essential to success in a workplace environment or their professional career.

What It Means to Be Prepared

According to the study, one of the major problems regarding preparedness could be the result of the striking differences between how companies and the Millennials define being prepared. The study found that 23% of business decision-makers and 18% of corporate recruiters defined preparedness mainly by an individual’s work ethic, compared to that of 7% of high school students and 9% of college students from the Millennial generation.

Conversely, 19% of the high school students and 15% of the college students surveyed defined preparedness as adaptability, having a good attitude, being respectful, and maturity, compared to just 4% of business decision-makers and 7% of corporate recruiters who believed the same.

Overall, however, one thing most respondents (about 77%) agreed on was that a college degree does plays an essential role in career preparedness.

Who’s to Blame?

In regards to who should shoulder the blame for this lack of preparedness, responses fell all across the board.

  • 51% of business decision-makers gave the business community a “C” or lower when it came to preparing Millennials for their job, and about 43% of corporate recruiters agreed.
  • On the other hand, 35% of business leaders blamed recent college graduates they’ve hired, given them a “C” or lower in preparedness.

Interestingly enough, the majority (about 60%) of those surveyed from the Millennial generation held themselves accountable for their lack of preparedness, with only 42% blaming colleges or universities, 31% their professors, and 13% businesses.

The Takeaway

While the numbers are discouraging, we think that the last thing employers should do is give up on the Millennial generation.  Sure, Millennials do seem (according to this survey) to lack the preparedness of their older counterparts, but at least a majority of them have a keen sense of self-awareness that they themselves are to blame.

Millennials are also well-known for their desire to succeed and push themselves beyond the mold, which is definitely an admirable quality to have, especially in the workplace.

Millennials aren’t going away anytime soon, so before you decide to throw in the towel on this generation, we think you should really give them a good chance to prove themselves, as well as take initiative to help them. Tomorrow, we’ll help you do just that, when we go further into a few tips on how you can help prepare them for success.

Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images via Business Insider