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

“The issue I am most passionate about is jobs/unemployment, because I need a job.”

—Female, 24, OH

Half of all 13-17-year-olds are on Snapchat, according to Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker—so what are they really doing on there? One BuzzFeed writer observed his 13-year-old sister to find out how to “Snapchat like the teens,” and learned that the “app is [her] life.” She wakes up every morning to respond to about 40 incoming snaps with selfies, which she can do in under a minute. Responding is crucial, streaks (responding every day without a break) are “the MOST important thing,” filters are “VERY big,” and “EVERYONE looks at Cosmo on Discover.” When asked about her dad’s reaction to her incessant snapping she answered: “Parents don’t understand. It’s about being there in the moment.” (BuzzFeed

The Tab, a student-targeted site with articles on campus life and local stories, is not ready to let go of their 2.5 million monthly readers preparing to graduate—so they’ve expanded. The Tab National is targeting for 20-somethings, and describes itself as as “the Vice for people who don’t think that Uber or pop-up markets are necessarily a bad thing.” The Tab’s top-tier U.S. and U.K. university sites have captivated advertisers, who are guaranteed that their sponsored posts will get at least 25,000 page views—more than half of brand stories on the site are getting 50,000. (Digiday

You may have heard that Twitter is reworking their timeline algorithm, but what does that mean for brands? The new layout will use an algorithm to showcase the most relevant tweets, and “collated tweets from brands, athletes, politicians and other public figures will appear at the top of the timeline” so users won’t miss any trending conversations. For brands this means well-thought out content will still be key as “[t]he algorithm will likely favor content with higher engagement.” It could also mean more exposure: “organic posts [will] have the ability to drive enormous engagement and cause a buzz.” (The Drum

According to Pew’s new data, Millennial Democrats are far more likely than older generations and their Republican peers to get their political updates through social media, with 74% who are very likely going to participate in their state’s primary or caucus saying they learned about the election through a social site, compared to 50% of Millennial Republicans. Millennial Democrats are also the most likely to identify themselves as liberal: in 2015, half (49%) labeled themselves as liberals, compared to 41% of Gen X, 40%(of Boomer, and 35% of Silent Democrats. (Pew Research Center)

Luxury menswear brand John Varavatos’s shoppable, touchable video ad powered by Cinematique prompted eight times more Facebook engagement than standard videos. Viewers can click or tap clothing like as the video plays, and at the end of the ad are shown the collection they chose, leading to product pages on the website. According to recent data, 33% of fashion video are considered mainly “brand-building,” and only 16% of brands use shoppable videos. But that could shift as more marketers adjust to consumers’ video-consumption behaviors. (WWDDigiday)

Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

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