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Posts Tagged ‘Millennial Generation’

College is supposed to prepare you for your career and to lead a productive work life. In what ways do you feel most prepared for this challenge? In what ways do you feel least prepared?

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Writing skill is the fundamental core competency of the communication/public relations professional. Why? What will you do to improve your PR writing style and ability once you graduate?

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What are the most important skills/abilities necessary for success in the Public Relations career you envision as being perfect for you? How will you demonstrate to potential employers that you have those necessary skills/abilities? How will you continually improve your skills/abilities after you graduate?

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The helpful folks at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) have recently provided vital information for college graduates entering the work force. This is must-have information, for knowing what employers want in new hires should be part of every graduate’s career plan.

According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2013 Survey, the number one skill/quality employers seek in job candidates is “ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization.”

Here’s the NACE top ten in order:

  1. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization.
  2. Ability to work in a team structure.
  3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems.
  4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work.
  5. Ability to obtain and process information.
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data.
  7. Technical knowledge related to the job.
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs.
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports.
  10. Ability to sell or influence others (NACE, 2012)

This information is timely and relevant for me as well. For my doctoral dissertation,  I am currently formulating research on the influence of Web 2.0 technologies on Millennial Generation students’ interpersonal communication skills and abilities. My own research echos the NACE finding — employers want new hires who can communicate effectively face to face.

In fact, Numbers 1 and 10 go hand in hand. Successful employees need excellent interpersonal communication skills in order to sell and influence others. Book after book, study after study, all proclaim that employers want effective communicators, but these works often cite “written and oral communication skill” equally. However, the NACE study is clear: the ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization is critically important.

Why is there such sudden emphasis on face-to-face communication among employers? Could it be that there really is a deleterious effect of growing up digital, of being a heavy user of Web 2.0-enabled technologies? Could it be that college grads of today are less skilled (or less predisposed) to communicate effectively face to face?

I have been curious about such questions since I began my college teaching career in 2004.

By next spring, I hope to have clear answers to such questions once my mixed methods research is completed. I intend to study the phenomenon of Millennial Generation students’ interpersonal skills and abilities in considerable depth. I am excited about what I will learn.

But in the meantime, I hope all my students will pay attention to what NACE’s study found out.

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After careful and diligent scholarly examination, I think I have figured out once and for all the difference in my Baby Boomer generation and the young guns who follow us.  Here is the result of this highly academic contemplation:

When I was growing up, we called those most sensitive parts of the male anatomy the “family jewels”.

Younger generations now refer to the same as “junk”.

Enough said.

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Educators (including me) are beginning to be concerned over what “growing up digital” is doing to Millennial Generation students’ interpersonal, or face-to-face, communication skills and abilities.

Though sophisticated technology users, when measured by traditional developmental milestones, some view Millennials as less mature than
previous generations. According to research by Pardue and Morgan in 2008, Millennials often have difficulty communicating through traditional channels and do not like to read or write, all elements that will be required in a workplace that has four generational cohorts toiling away side by side.

My major research interest focuses on that aspect of Millennials and their relationship with Web 2.0 technologies – I seek to learn what exactly is the influence of Web 2.0 technologies on Millennials’ interpersonal communication skills and abilities?

If educators in communication/public relations are to effectively prepare Millennial undergraduates for successful careers, then Millennials’ interpersonal skills and abilities need attention, too.

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