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: “This year, I’m planning on taking [my] wife and kid to the Philippines so he can experience his mother’s culture. His mother is Filipino while I am African American.” –Male, 32, CA

Over the last few years, airline flight safety videos have become marketing clips, with some going viral and brands getting more creative with their messages to stand out. Delta’s new in-flight safety clip is no exception, and they’re trying to speak young consumers’ language with a parade of internet guest stars. Meme celebs like Nyan Cat and Overly Attached Girlfriend make appearances in the “walk down Web culture memory lane” that has been viewed almost 2 million times in two days. (The Next Web)

The start and stop years of generations is hardly agreed upon, and many distinguish teens as a completely separate generation from Millennials—one that brands are paying more attention to. Tips for connecting with Gen Z (aka Plurals, Homelanders, iGen, or post-Millennials) include exposing your quirky side (or getting a little weird), having #NoFilter, and engaging with them on the social platforms they use. (Adweek)

Back in 2013, we told brands to prep for the future of e-commerce, including subscriptions beyond the beauty box—and we’ve been keeping track of the trend ever since. The founder of subscription box startup Carnivore Club has some thoughts on where the popular industry will go next. Expect even more niche product offerings, luxury services sold en-masse, and big retail brands joining in on the subscription model craze. (PSFK)

Nothing says summer like a baseball game—right? Maybe not for the next generation. The number of casual young players is dropping, and some Little Leagues are struggling to pull in players. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of seven to 17-year-olds participating in baseball fell 41% between 2002 and 2013. New preferences for other sports like lacrosse and soccer, and kids’ focusing on a single sport for the whole year, could be reasons behind the drop off. (WSJ)

The promposal trend, which we spotted last year, has only been growing and now brands are getting in on the public “will you go to prom with me” spectacles. MTV launched “Promposal Mania” last month, orchestrating promposal stunts with pop stars and broadcasting them on Snapchat and Periscope. Sour Patch Kids has asked teens to submit their promposal stories on social, and is hosting a prom for the winners of the competition. (The Drum)

Looking for a quick stat on young consumers to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated news items, and thousands of statistics on Millennials and teens drawn from our monthly national survey of the generation. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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