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New study published by workforce expert ManpowerGroup: Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, U.S. Millennials are focused on learning the technical and personal skills to ensure long-term career security. They prioritize pay and purpose.

Asked about their career goals in the study with total 19,000 participants worldwide, 28 per cent say making a positive contribution is a priority, followed closely by earning a lot of money (26 %) and working with great people (19 %). They are looking for work they believe in and learning the skills to build a “career for me,” as Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent at ManpowerGroup, stated: “Millennials want employment security and see traditional managerial paths as less appealing than learning technical and personal skills. Loyalty is a two way street. To cultivate the next generation of leaders, employers need to show Millennials how taking on managerial roles aligns with their long-term career goals and will help make them more employable in the future.”

Further study results

Being the boss is a low priority for American Millennials: Just 17 per cent of them rank aspiring to leadership roles as a top career priority. This figure includes: managing others (4 %), getting to the top of an organization (4 %) and owning my own company (9 %). All three ranked at the bottom of American Millennials' list of career priorities in almost all 19 countries in the global research except Mexico, where their entrepreneurial drive put “owning my own company” at the top of the list (31 %).

American men aspire to leadership more than women: In 24 of 25 countries men consider reaching leadership roles – managing others, getting to the top of an organization and owning their own company – to be a higher career priority than women. The United States has the largest gender gap at ten per cent. France is the only country where men and women aspire to leadership roles equally.

American Millennials are eager to learn individual skills, just not management: Nearly two-thirds (61 %) of Millennials want to develop their technical, personal or IT/technology skills in the next year, while just 39 per cent want to improve people management or leadership skills. For Millennials globally, skills are the new currency: four out of five would change jobs for a role with the same pay and more skills training opportunities.

American Millennials are pleased but not satisfied with management: Three-quarters are pleased with how they are being managed; however, most American Millennials rank their own people management style more positively than that of their managers when it comes to: listening (77 % for Millennials versus 51% for managers), offering feedback (65 % for Millennials versus 45 % for managers), and giving encouragement (67 % for Millennials versus 53 % for managers).

Source: ManpowerGroup