“In the next five to ten years, Generation Y will completely dominate the workforce the way that Baby Boomers once did,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer at CompTIA.
As they enter the workforce with more technological skills than any other prior age group, employers are forced to re-evaluate how they hire, train, and equip current and future workforces, according to the new study, Generational Research on Technology and its Impact in the Workplace.
Thibodeaux adds, “Generation Y has been raised in technology and they consider their aptitude for tech as a value that they bring to the table when seeking a job.”
In fact, based on a recent survey by CompTIA, two-thirds of Generation Y respondents estimated their technology skills were “cutting edge” or “upper tier.”
With such “superior” skills, it’s no wonder Generation Y’s expectations for tech in the workplace is considered “quite high.”
“An employer’s tech ‘savvy-ness’ is very high on their checklist on whether to take a job or not,” said Thibodeaux.
In their assessment of their employers, however, about only half of respondents described their employer as either “cutting edge” or in the “upper tier” in their use of technology, while 42 percent put their companies somewhere in the middle of the adoption curve.
As for mobile and social media adoption, 75 percent of Generation Y workers have used a smartphone, tablet, laptop and GPS systems for work purposes in the last year, and almost all consider social media a work tool versus Baby Boomers who see it as a personal tool.
Thibodeaux notes that its factors like these that “may require employers to adapt to Generation Y’s expectations.”
Adapting to a younger workforce, however, means extending into areas of training not commonly used, such as e-learning. According to CompTIA, e-learning is especially appealing to Generation Y workers because it allows them to learn and interact with the technology when they see fit, as well as not be forced into interrupting workflow for training.
This hands-on learning, however, also carries into technical support in the workplace.
“They often will try to troubleshoot the problem first on their own end,” said Thibodeaux. “That’s different than older workers who want to hand off problems and get it back when it’s finished.”
The study was based on a survey of 700 respondents in an office environment from different age groups in a variety of industries.