Forrester's IT Forum 2006: GigaWorld on "The young professional requires a different work world"

The Techno-Savvy young worker wants work flexibility, challenging tasks and career development.


Millennials – the young generation born around the 1980s.

Utilizing phones, MP3 players, MyPlace gaming and more. We have 76million Millennials and 80million baby boomers are getting ready to retire. We think this might happen or some might stay longer. The Generation-X in the middle is only 46million. Hence not enough to cover the 80 million retiring baby boomers. Hence the Millennials will come up fairly quickly.


Very entrepreneurial and love materialistic things as well as family and social life. Hence the work life balance is important. I think this goes really well with how we work at Microsoft.

Most Millennials have traveled where as baby boomers have not, they spent a lot of their time working. They don’t mind where they work.


Millennials work and get the job done, but not between 9-5pm. They will get it done but not in the baby boomer time frame. They are more commitment based and they are more team oriented. They want the support of the work culture to work in teams. They get very frustrated with bureaucracy and they want to grow.

· Very easy bored and need stimuli.

· Sometimes over confident and do not mind speaking their mind as well as skeptical.

· Must add value

· Expect technology at work and technology that is easily customized

· Really dislike patronizing attitudes from older workers.

· Will hold 15 or more jobs during their career and willing to work anywhere.

· Always on, always connected with access to the right information.

Microsoft has a group of young people they work with every year called the Information worker of the future to get ideas on where they are headed and they implement the ideas.

            There is the youth who have been born into technology. The “accented veterans” are those who came to technology later in life 40s-50s.

Companies are missing the mark.


Emergent employers about 19% have made changes for the Millennials

Migrating employers 48% who are planning changes.

Traditional Employers 33% who have not begun.

Employers who choose not to change really hamper their ability to pick up on the new generation talent.


Millennials’ approach to learning

Ø want short bites of visual or audio information easily accessible

o Download to cell phone, smart phones, laptops, iPods, PDA etc.

Ø Demand for the JIT learning (Just in Time)

o Connected to the work they do

o Accessible from the work location or application

o Available anytime, any place


Statistically speaking:

Of those individuals who take an online course once a week or more 46% are 18-


Of those individuals who publish and maintain a blog once a week or more 54% are 18-34.


How do companies prepare for the new workforce

Ø Companies must compete harder to attract talent and work harder to retain it by providing

o Relevant training and development

o Rich experiences – So I think, Rich UI can help here, great thing XAML came along. J

o Flexibility

o Community

o Technology

o Instant results – this is why I enjoy CONSTANT Feedback, though I might not like it, I know it will help me grow and work better in teams, and hence I LOVE IT!


Blended work and learning environment essentials

Currently vendors are working on taking what’s on a desktop and transferring into handheld and it will adjust automatically….I think this is a great place for WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere) I think we will blend well with the growing workforce very nicely.


Business must make changes – more personalized work environment

Ø Provide a stream of varied project assignments that are meaningful and engaging

Ø Structure career paths with multiple options

Ø Support and encourage the use of multiple communication and work technologies

Ø Address the need for work/life balance as well as flexibility of location for work

Ø Mentor or provide executives exchanges between new professional workers and senior executives

Ø Provide learning on-demand

Ø Very personalized learning