Millennials Embrace Autodidacticism And Alternate Career Paths

It’s college admissions season, when high schoolers across the country anxiously await a letter from their first-choice universities. But with ever higher cost of college and constant headlines of the number of grads who are out of work and saddled with debt, some Millennials are questioning the age-old path of going from high school to college to work.

They see their heroes, including Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, as examples of wildly successful people who never earned a degree. And yet another successful entrepreneur, Peter Thiel, is not only encouraging bright young minds to consider a career without college, he’s offering fellowship money for students who skip advanced schooling to get to work instead. With some of the smartest people they know telling them they don’t need college, Millennials feel emboldened to explore alternate career paths.

Another reason they’re brave enough to skip college is because they have another significant source of knowledge where they can learn whatever they need to know: the Internet. It’s easier than ever for a person to become an “autodidactic” — a person who teaches themselves — much like another Millennial hero, Sean Parker. It’s like the classic scene from “Good Will Hunting” when Will shows up a Harvard student as he tells him that he’ll eventually realize he “dropped $150,000 on an education he could have gotten for $1.50 in late charges at the public library,” only for Millennials, there are no late fees and little need to make trips to libraries.

For Millennials who see the Internet as access to the collective knowledge of the human race and who believe they can learn and excel at almost anything simply by spending some dedicated hours online, what’s the point of going to college? The value could come from the interaction with…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: Q: Is there anything you have cut out of your life (or something you’d like to cut out) just because it takes up too much time? What is it? A: “School takes up a lot of time. I'm learning stuff that I can't use in real life.” –Female, 22, NY

Over the weekend, news that nude photos of several actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence, had been released thanks to a hacker set the internet ablaze. But the reactions to the photos, including this trending BuzzFeed post suggesting that readers “not [be] scandalized at all,” reflect our predictions of the end of scandal as we know it for Millennials. A group that has grown up accustomed to having digital skeletons in their closets is increasingly reacting to “scandals” from leaked photos to drunken arrests with a resounding, “Whatever.” (BuzzFeed)

Paramount is tapping into the social anonymity trend to promote the upcoming Men, Women & Children, and attract young consumersThe trailer directs viewers to Whisper, where they’re being invited to share secrets under the hashtag #MWC and the movie’s tag will be featured as the Whisper of the day. The film follows a group of teens and their parents, focusing on the ways their online lives change their offline relationships. (Mashable)

Urban Outfitter’s disappointing sales point to an “obvious loss of cultural clout” with young consumers, and could be traced back to several PR “disasters,” including tee shirts printed with offensive designs, several products that were deemed derogatory to Native Americans, and the company president’s donations to conservative Rick Santorum, all of which do not appeal to liberal minded and politically correct Millennials. The brand has also lost its fashion clout and has more competition from affordable brands like Forever 21 and H&M. (Adweek)

New research by Eventbrite claims that one in five Millennials attended a music festival in the past year, and that festivals are “one of young Americans’ favorite pastimes.” The study scanned social media conversations from the last year and found that South by Southwest was the most-discussed festival, and EDM fests made up eight of the top 25 most talked about events. Ypulse’s own bi-weekly survey found that 31% of 14-29-year-olds planned to go to a music festival in 2013. (Quartz)

Millennials have a different approach to buying food than previous generations, and they are changing the way that grocery shopping is done. These foodies are more likely to plan their shopping around a specific recipe they’re planning to cook, to buy ingredients the same day they’re preparing a meal, and look for minimally processed and locally grown food and beverages. Their preferences put pressure on big-box stores and traditional groceries who need to adapt to attract the new generation of shopper. (Washington Post)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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