The Young and the Wired

The young and the wired. It's the demographic online advertisers salivate over. Now there's a clear snapshot of just who these people born between 1979 and 2001 are.

The Harris Poll has recently released results from its latest survey, a survey of a group they call "Generation 2001," and one thing is abundantly clear - Gen2001 is more connected than any previous generation.

"This is the first generation that can stake full claim to the Internet - they're virtually 100% connected," said Deanna L. Tillisch, director of the Generation 2001 study for Northwestern Mutual, which commissioned the Harris Poll. "Gen2001 students are ready to work, with resumes in hand, and have significant entrepreneurial drive. They have to-do lists and are confident they will achieve their goals," she added.

This particular study, which looked at today's college seniors, found that 99% of Gen2001 uses the Internet, and 90% of Gen2001 send and receive email on a daily, or frequent basis. Interestingly, four out of five students polled turn on their computers as their main news source, followed distantly by television, radio, magazines and newspapers.

Furthermore, the Internet usage of Generation 2001 students has nearly doubles since they were freshmen, from an average 6 to 11 hours a week, the poll found.

Additionally, more than half (54%) of Gen2001 has visited Monster.com, the career planning website, looking to start their careers. This lends credence to the find that 60% of the students plan to enter the work force right after graduation. Almost 80% of the students polled have already prepared a resume, begun their job search, or both. Most expect their first job out of college to be in their future career field. The report also says that 64% expect that their job will come before their family in the future if they want to advance.

Some study findings seem as a bit surprising, especially those involving new technology. Results show that 75% of those polled never use a palm pilot, or any other type of PDA, 33% never use a cell phone, and that same number never uses any sort of instant messaging service. More than three quarters of those polled, 76%, however, have used, and still use Napster, or other file sharing devices.

While the Internet is certainly a medium of choice for Gen2001, these numbers show that widespread use of PDA's and cell phones seem to still be a few years away.

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