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Gen Y: A new breed of student. Col McCowan Head, Careers & Employment Queensland University of Technology Givens with young people. Identity development Social-emotional development Adolescent / parent relationship Peer group relationships

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gen y a new breed of student

Gen Y: A new breed of student

Col McCowan

Head, Careers & Employment

Queensland University of Technology

givens with young people
Givens with young people
  • Identity development
  • Social-emotional development
  • Adolescent / parent relationship
  • Peer group relationships

But is there another layer??

  • Every 18/19 years
  • Common denominators
    • Physical
    • Psychological
    • Social
    • Economic
    • Experiences in formative years (eg Bhutan / war..)
  • Similarities but diverse
  • Reputations (eg Hippies in the 60’s)
  • Themes for market research…
five groupings
Five Groupings
  • - Veterans/Builders, 20/30/40’s (going/gone)
  • - Baby Boomers, 40/50/60’s (managers)
  • - Generation X, 60/70/80’s (staff + some students)
  • - Generation Y, 82/00’s (students)
  • - Generation Z, 01/19
gen y background
Gen Y - Background
  • Witness economic growth, no bad consequences
  • Central to family, treated as adults, value parents
  • Bred for success, need chance to achieve and shine
  • Parents want quality life for themselves as well as kids
  • Protect from consequences
  • Unchurched
  • Material things equal success
  • Without boundaries
    • Nothing to break away from
  • Not so much theory – need relevance
  • Self confident, optimistic
    • can seem arrogant or disrespectful
  • Quick decision makers
    • strawberry – chocolate
  • Interested in politics, but not to vote
  • Comfortable with both technology and tradition
  • Involve parents/grandparents
    • money trees!
  • High tech - High touch
characteristics cont
Characteristics (cont.)
  • Know they are customers and we need them
  • Like to be entertained
  • Multiple inputs
  • Short attention span
  • Concerned with self image
    • In line with fads
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Confirm chosen option
peter sheahan
Peter Sheahan
  • High acceptance of change/choices
  • Anything is possible
  • Flexibility
  • Respect honesty / integrity (consumers??)
hugh mackay
Hugh Mackay
  • Change is the only world they know
    • What else is there? Leave to last minute. Anything better?
    • Not necessarily disloyal
  • Mobile phone behaviour
  • Focus on lifestyle
  • Play precurser to socialisation / action

TV precurser to role models / entertainment

  • Get tribal identity from others, as extended family
  • Values vacuum - you work it out
  • MWTKs - fringe dwellers
student 29 yrs on gen y
Student (29 yrs) on Gen Y
  • Lack of awareness of & respect for needs of others
  • Unreasonable demands and expectations
  • Don’t take personal responsibility – blame others..
  • Cant wait for a lecturer to slip up
  • Derogatory comments based on superficial features
  • Arrogant, inflated egos, posturing, not genuine
  • Image obsession – either ‘in’ or ‘out’
  • Limited attention span, lack of focus
  • Poor organisational ability
my summary
My summary
  • Egocentric
  • High demand
  • Instant
  • Bomb
  • Life style
  • Image - cool
  • Consumer
  • Negotiation
  • Little consequence
  • Overload
learning working styles
Learning/Working Styles
  • Jigsaw- fit enough pieces together to get the pattern
  • Mosiac- put bits and pieces together to create own picture
  • Scaffolding– make the steps clear, discrete & achievable

(sort of contradictory)

kolb learning styles
Kolb Learning Styles

Kolb - four styles:

  • inside the square,
  • outside the square,
  • by doing,
  • by thinking.
  • Enthusiastic- get totally involved quickly and take risks
  • Imaginative- think before doing and have creative solutions
  • Logical- understand and plan before doing
  • Structured- get on and get done without distraction
choice as dynamic
Choice as Dynamic
  • ‘Choice is not an instantaneous or even short-term period of decision. It is a momentary external expression of the balance between a wide range of social, cultural and economic perceptions.
  • Its expression is unlikely to be identical to its expression as a choice tomorrow’

Hemsley-Brown and Foskett,

image and expectation
Image and Expectation
  • Contracted images from own expectations
  • Delegated images come from others’ perceptions
  • Derived images from media
  • All 3 important in shaping perceptual constructs
  • Reinforcement, protecting & expressing of self image
  • High expectations (over optimism)
    • Over-estimation of chance/success
    • Default to a much less ambitious choice
choice strategy
Choice Strategy
  • Not the culmination of a rational, reasoned process and once made will be revisited
  • Not necessarily a non-rational process but a choice of justification strategies
  • Rational within the confines of limited information, minimised effort and pressure to preserve self-image
  • Unstable, subject to change, modification and reversal over short or long periods
  • We must view this ‘instability’ not as a sign of failure but as integral to their choice making
multiple changers
Multiple Changers

UK Report Kidd & Wardman

research found that multiple changers

  • Only ever considered one option, or
  • Premature closure on decision due to
    • Poor research
    • Many unresearched options
    • Poor time management /close to deadline
eg choice of uni dest 2000
Eg. Choice of Uni (DEST, 2000)

Major factors in decision/choice making

Use only but any two of

  • Reputation
  • Convenience
  • Successful outcome
  • Entry Score (measure of quality)

but low knowledge of specific characteristics

  • How to cope with 600+ courses
mismatched expectations dest 2000
Mismatched Expectations(DEST 2000)
  • Consumer orientation
  • Oversell affects expectations & beliefs before
  • Competition removes obligation to be well informed
  • Few concrete expectations before arrive
  • First weeks crystallise - testing/shaping
  • Finding a place in a new peer group
  • Expectations not met
  • Study UCSD Career Service:
    • very important to deliver using latest technology:

informative, organised, current, effective, competent

    • but most important to deliver:

a friendly service

  • Not homogeneous as a group
  • High tech (latest, competent)
  • High touch (friendly, personalised)
  • Choices (cursory, image driven, too many,

without consequence)

  • Style (how, what)
  • Normalise (work with)
  • Negotiation (skilled)
  • Image (protecting)
  • Involve parents/grandparents
  • Consequences
  • Last minute
  • Negotiation
  • TV role models - active play
  • Teach decision making
  • Multi-modal approach
  • Present in bite-size chunks
  • Distract often