Millennials Optimistic About The Future, Concerned About Education

Millennials, particularly those in the U.S, and even more particularly U.S. Hispanics, have a bright view of the future, and it’s even brighter than their views from a year ago. 

According to telecommunications company Telefonica’s second Global Millennial Survey, 43% of U.S. Millennials are “very optimistic” about their future, compared with 35% who said the same last year. Among U.S. Hispanic Millennials, optimism rates were even higher, with 58% saying they del the country’s best days were ahead of it, compared with 49% of non-Hispanic Millennials. 

“I think a lot of people see the future with more optimism now,” Alfredo Timermans, CEO of Telefonica Internacional USA, tells Marketing Daily. “[U.S. Millennials] are happy with their lives, and they see that in other places they would have less opportunity than they have here.”



Part of the reason for the optimism is a connection to technology. According to the survey, 83% of U.S. Millennials believe they’re on the cutting edge of technology, with 79% owning smartphones and 56% owning tablets (up from 70% and 37%, respectively, in last year’s survey). Though they use this technology mostly for entertainment and socializing, many Millennials believe these devices have transformed their access to news and current events (47%) as well as education and research (46%). When choosing technology providers, a third of Millennials (34%) said a commitment to sustainability and social impact is a very important factor.

“They think technology is an attractive industry, and they know about about gadgets and technology apart from [traditional] education,” Timermans says. 

Despite increased optimism, more than a quarter (26%) of U.S. Millennials think the economy is the most important issue facing the country today, with more than three-quarters (77%) saying they felt the gap between rich and poor is expanding. The keys to domestic growth, according to the Millennials, are equal opportunities for all (32%) and a strong education system (28%). Specifically when it comes to education, two-thirds (66%) of Millennials believe the system needs to be more affordable.

Longer-term, U.S. Millennials consider having a well-paying job is a greater personal accomplishment (46%) than getting married (14%) within the next 10 years, though getting married is more important to U.S. Millennials than their global counterparts (14% vs 9%, respectively). 

Nearly a fifth (17%) believe healthcare and medicine are the most important fields of study to ensure future success, followed by computer science and programming (16%) and business (14%). Humanities-related fields such as foreign language, literature and history, were viewed as significantly less important.

For its second Global Millennial Survey, Telefonica queried more than 6,700 people in 18 countries with quantitative interviews, including 1,000 in the United States (half of whom are Hispanic).

"Hispanic girls with smartphone" photo from Shutterstock.

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