For major brands, reaching and selling to Gen Y has been a subject of much focus and debate.

But for all of Gen Y's impact on the marketing world, its impact on the workforce is arguably even more significant.

For many employers, this group remains an enigma. Depending on who you ask, members of Gen Y, also commonly referred to as millennials, are either fast-learning, tech-savvy youngsters eager to devote themselves to meaningful opportunities or entitled brats who feel they should be running a company before they've worked a single day in the trenches.

But as a growing percentage of individuals who are in Gen Y enter the workforce, where are they really going and what are they really doing?

According to a study conducted by compensation software and data provider PayScale, the highest percentage (47%) of Gen Yers are working for companies with fewer than 100 employees; less than a quarter (23%) are at companies employing more than 1,500 people, something that jives with other studies that have looked at the type of companies millennials are most likely to join.

When it comes to industry, the best employers for Gen Yers are, perhaps not surprisingly, in tech. In looking at factors like pay, flexibility and job satisfaction across the companies it tracks, PayScale found that Qualcomm, Google, Medtronic, Intel and Microsoft -- all of which are in technology -- are the top five companies for members of Gen Y.

That companies in technology-oriented markets have warmed up to Gen Yers more rapidly than companies in other markets makes a lot of sense when one considers that, while many Gen Yers in the United States are unemployed or in jobs that don't require the college degrees they've earned, PayScale found that "the most common Gen Y job skills center around online marketing and social media" and degrees related to science and entrepreneurship are commonplace.

Obviously, there aren't enough jobs in tech to employ every tech-savvy or entrepreneurial millennial, so a big question is how companies in other industries will seek to maximize the impact of Gen Y in their workforces. Although some of the concerns around Gen Yers may be warranted, with this group set to comprise nearly half of all workers in the U.S. by 2020, it's safe to say that this is no longer a question of if, but rather how and how fast.

Patricio Robles

Published 22 August, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2647 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (1)


Sean Royer

I love reading articles like this. I would have to agree that there is a divide in those are willing to work hard and those who are expecting a hand out or a strong sense of entitlement right out of the gates.

As the CEO of a marketing and technology firm we resemble this growing trend. Social media calls for marketing and moderately tech-savvy individuals. Understanding the core essence of using social media is a different story.

The questions that I wonder after reading this post is one that deals with collegiate entities. How will these institutes adapt to the new trend in their teachings? We are seeing a growing trend in more social media classes being taught and more analytics classes being offered; but how will this transcend into other disciplines such as science, teaching and so-on?

Great post!

Twitter: royersm87

almost 6 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.