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Two Global Trends That Generation Y Can’t Afford to Overlook

In my opinion, the various effects of most of the global trends unfolding before our eyes will be fully materialized in about 20-25 years.  By that time, most members of Generation Y will be in the thick of their professional lives.  I thought appropriate to speculate on how some of those global trends will affect the professional lives of the members of Generation Y. In doing so, I am going to focus primarily on two of those global trends: the world’s growing middle class and the increased life expectancy of the world’s population.

English has been the preferred language for conducting business around the world for many years now. That had to do primarily with the fact that the United States had been the capital of the world economy for so long thanks in part to its large middle class. However, the U.S. middle class  has been steadily shrinking at the same time other regions of the world have witnessed their respective middle classes grow at a very fast clip. For instance, one can think of the so much talked about BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China.  Beyond the BRIC countries, you have countries like Indonesia and Turkey that are playing a growing role in this world economy.  It’s been reported in the news that more and more of the world’s largest corporations are setting up large operations (U.S. corporations included) in these new economic centers of the world to capitalize on the tremendous economic growth taking place there. As such, professionals with multilingual skills are more and more in demand now. In particular, professionals that are fluent in English and in either Portuguese or Mandarin are very sought after these days.  As more and more of these regions of the world cement their sphere of influence  on the world economy, you can expect a significant  increase in the demand of professionals that are fluent in English and any of the following languages: Mandarin, Portuguese, Indonesian, Arabic, Russian, etc…

Breakthrough in medical sciences and an ever expanding knowledge based society have made it possible for existing generations to live much longer and much healthier than their predecessors. This implies that many professionals will be able to remain in the workforce much longer than it was possible in previous decades. While this should be welcome as good news for every human being, it does have some serious implications. The fact that it is now possible for many individuals in their seventies and beyond to remain in the workforce while still being productive is going to make it more difficult for new college graduates entering the workforce to naturally rise the corporate ladder. If you are in your twenties or in your early thirties and you happen to live in a region of the world where the economy is not growing fast enough to warrant the need for companies to expand their operations, it is possible that you will experience little to no growth in your professional life and/or in your income.  When you take into account that the world is likely headed for years of inflationary pressure on food and commodity prices, for many people, a 9AM to 5PM job alone is not going to be enough to sustain a comfortable life. This means that today’s young professionals and their successors will benefit from tapping into their entrepreneurship and ingenuity skills if they want to meaningfully grow their income.

The world has been experiencing a variety of changes some of which are of socioeconomic nature while others have a demographic aspect. Irrespective of the manners in which these global trends manifest themselves, they are going to have long lasting impacts on the professional lives of members of Generation Y. I like to think of myself as somebody who maintains a positive outlook about life however I am also a realist. It is my humble belief that very challenging times lay ahead for those individuals that belong to Generation Y. I may be wrong in that regard however I find it hard to arrive at a different conclusion. Can you think of any other global trend(s) that will significantly affect the professional lives of the members of Generation Y? Or do you believe that the members of Generation Y won’t have it any more difficult than their predecessors had it? Whatever your thoughts may be, I will be happy to hear them. All you have to do is submit a comment.

Further reading:

  1. 10 Key Trends to Watch, Global Trends
  2. The world’s new growth frontier: Midsize cities in emerging markets, McKinsey Quarterly
  3. Top ten global trends that force us to rethink education, Education Futures

One Comment

  1. Comment by James Dome:

    I’m not much into reading, but somehow I got to read many articles in your webpage.

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