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This study is being conducted as a survey to accumulate the academic and job preferences across the youth segment in terms of educative development factors (higher school students, university students and employed individuals). There are no defined variables, rather the focus is on social, economic and psychological factors that guide the decisions of an aspiring millennial in Karachi’s educational and employment institutions. The study is divided among three age ranges that mark the decision making process with age ranges delegated among survey teams.
Our group is tasked with the age range of 25-30 which is atypical of graduated students seeking employment, actively studying postgraduates, part-time employed student, full-time employee, or pursuing self-employment as entrepreneur. Our aim lies in gathering an insight into what millennials expect from a job depending on their educational qualifications, job market awareness, career mentorship and post-employment satisfaction. This information can be divulged through designed questionnaires. The purpose of this study lies in accumulating consumer behavior of the millennial target segment regarding how they make decisions for career planning, how they perceive market conditions in the job environment and adapt to such market changes by developing/adjusting their credentials, how well-informed are these decisions and how far do these career choices satiate the consumer’s expectations. This requires an in-depth analysis on the average Karachite millennial lifestyle preferences, demographics, cultural conservatism, gender stereotyped perceptions on career paths and conformist attitude influencers from preceding generations. This psyche based data on the sample respondents can be accumulated by means of focus groups that will give voice to career selections both agreeable and taboo with respect to the respondent’s family backgrounds.
The Pakistani population has swelled to a staggering 64% for those aged below 30 while a growing 29% lies in the 15-29 age group, forming a huge market segment of potential consumers for innovative products and services, most importantly the educational and career market. This 64% of the youth, termed Millennials, are a somewhat tricky generation to retain on conventional career paths for the average Pakistani graduate and job seeker. The previous Pakistani generation (baby boomers) were more content with conventional career paths aimed at stability and a reasonable rate of return for the average bread winner but with the advent of technology, global media reach and self-awareness, the desires of the emergent generation y have evolved from stable to risk-taking and require intense research in order to identify what attracts them and adheres them loyally to a consumable career brand. However the dilemma faced by our aspiring millennials is the lack of mentorship and career counselling programs during their higher education years in institutions, which leads them to haphazard decision paths in determining where their career strengths lie. But an even graver issue may be the fact that personality traits of millennials affect their career choices which can be attributed to a void in researched millennial academic consumer behavior in Pakistan. This also relates to cultural and traditional values that may influence a student’s decision or preference in a career path.
A research conducted in Bangladesh using a random sample of business undergraduates concluded that career choices are indeed affected by personality traits, hence stressing the need for our educational marketing to survey the traits of our own youth in order to determine their academic aspirations, barriers and motivators to career selection. Another essential concern attached to this need for research is the correct utilization of our youth segment to boost our human capital and to sustain it as a resource in the long run. Pakistani millennials, in particular, happen to be the restless kind that seek beyond monetary gains while deviating from traditionalist work ethics to focus on rising above their cultural restraints in choosing a career.
Too often it has been identified that developed countries tend to launch enticing immigration policies to attract able human capital from developing countries (Pakistan) that do not have the suitable infrastructure for career development and retention strategies, hence leading to an overall unsatisfied employee/citizen willing to immigrate to better job opportunities abroad, which only serves to leech a developing nation into socioeconomic turmoil. This is an unethical but legal conduct that developed nations exercise that not only harms the interests of the immigrant producing nation but also of the native economy as it creates native unemployment leading to another cycle of job immigration.
Furthermore, on a political scale, public interests and sentiments ought to be taken care of when it comes to providing secure, meaningful jobs and career options for citizens. It needs no reminding of the embarrassing occasion when former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani casually condoned immigration during an interview with CNN that sparked outrage across the already frustrated youth potential of Pakistan. Keeping these facts in mind, it becomes imperative that Pakistan has a case of untapped youth potential and not sufficient guided means to allow the youth to pursue a well-informed successful career path that is in the best interests for this country’s future. This only makes it more evident how ill-informed our youth may be when it comes to marketing academic awareness, career choices, and understanding what the millennial student and job seeker actually wants.
In order to identify what academia and employment options to market to any derived sub-segment in the millennial career aspiring market, there needs to be a thorough understanding regarding what drives a millennial consumer’s decision towards the purchase of a final product or service. Considering that education is itself a widely differentiated institutional product with requisite career paths, there ought to be a high involvement guided decision making based on active learning about the educational market. High involvement decision making takes into account high risks and high price with complete awareness of the return in purchased outcomes, which can be attributes of critical career selection owing to it being a high risk choice in a developing nation.
The benefits of researching Pakistani millennial consumer behavior in career preferences could assist in better target segments for career trends and better guidance and initiation of mentorship programs in high schools and universities. However, the question of the usefulness of this data depends on the transparency of the respondents and focus groups.
Accordingly, the preferred career fields opted for by Pakistani citizens (rural and urban) was a majority 42.27% in agriculture, followed by a 15.49% in mining and manufacturing in stark contrast to ranges of 0.02% to 7.31% for career/employment paths towards telecom, scientific, administrative, educational, touristy, real estate, construction, recreational, etc, (Population, Labour Force and Employment Survey of Pakistan, 2015-16), which speaks volumes about the state of our human capital. And a major reason for the contrasting employment rates by industry this could be related to trial-and-error decisional choices of the youth which leave them out of the spot for pursuing a specialized job.
Millennials as a ‘Tricky’ Generation: Every generation has not just come into existence without a range of external causes that breeds a new set of generic personality and social traits into them so they may adapt to the ever changing global environment. Generational behavior is actually based on parenting, technology and economics of a geographic region across time periods. Meaning that characteristics of a particular generation from a country of a boosting economy and that from an under developed nation would be different at the same time. However since the 20th century, generational behavior is pretty much generalizable owing to the global homogeneity of economics brought on by technology and communications. The silent generation (1945 and before) was of an industrious, progressive, and innovative nature until the Great Depression, the market crashes and human losses from revolutionized warfare during WWII resulted in a cautious and hardworking Baby Boomer generation (1946-1964) that went with the philosophy of creating a better and “easier” future for their children, which was the Generation X, that had significant influence on the shape of global economy we see today. However, the Baby Boomer philosophy may have created the psyche of ‘entitlement’ among Generation Y, also known as Millennials.
Millennials are different from previous generations because they have grown up in an era of advance technological convenience that has made them self-reliant and less committed to adulthood milestones such as marriage, kids, and a stable stream of income. Additionally, generational experts are confounded over the nature of millennials because at one point they can be lethargic, non-conformist and narcissistic, while on the other hand they are driven to innovate and hardworking multitasking individuals. But all arguments aside, these millennials are indeed fundamentally very different than the previous generations in a way that warrants research into their needs because in global economics, this generation is a viable workforce waiting to be tapped in just the right way.
Millennials & the Workplace: The shift in gender roles across developing careers paths and the dawn of women empowerment school of thought has resulted in more ambitious women aspiring for top job ranks and significant earnings which has come in conflict with the stereotyped male as the major income earner in households in generations preceding millennials. Furthermore, an interesting thing to note with regards to organizational work place policies and the traditionalist concept of job security, the downsizing trend that took the global corporations by rage during the 1990s to early 2000s as a means to level organizational hierarchy for better operations and reduced company costs, has damaged the employee-employer relationship of job loyalty.
Hence millennials are an outrageous reason for high employee turnover rates because they consider their needs first to the needs of their place of employment to reach their career objectives as lucratively as possible. Additionally, millennials expect not only a static career behind a desk or in the field, they desire continuous career development and satisfaction to compete for the work experience without any expectations of job security.
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