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Is Your Company Ready to Employ the Digital Generation?

What today's teens expect out of technology and the workforce

HPE Matter | HPE

Today’s ambitious and digital-native teens are about to take the world by storm. But is your company ready for this generation to enter the workforce?

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79 percent of teens said they would like to lead a company.

HPE recently commissioned a survey among teens about their expectations around technology.

Here, we gathered HPE execs and other technology leaders to discuss the findings.

[Also on Longitudes: Technology: Disruption and Debate]

One of the most surprising findings was that 79 percent of teens said they would like to lead a company. And among those, they said they’d be ready to do so by age 29. Do you think the technology available today has helped shape this ambition?

“Millennials are a ‘I want it now’ culture. The patience that Generation X or Y had, Millennials don’t seem to have. I think the combination of that, plus the cheaper costs of technology today along with this generation’s entrepreneurial spirit and level of academic intellect, has created this current culture of small startups. They are popping up all over the place.” –Scott Spradley, CIO at HPE

“Years ago you needed a lot more resources to start a company or to go build something. Now, if I’m 15 and want to make an iPhone app, I can go to YouTube, learn how to do it and put the app out on the market all for free. You can literally start anything for zero dollars, and technology has allowed that. It is incredibly valuable.” –Chris Bergman, Founder & CEO of ChoreMonster

“I really believe teens today have access to more information and more learning opportunities than anybody has ever had in the history of mankind. If you want to learn something, look it up, figure it out, get results. And the result is an intellectual level that has no limitation.” –Mahesh Shah, VP & GM, HPE’s M&A & Divestitures Technology Services

“It shows that we still have dreamers.” –Dan Rivera, product marketing manager for Aruba’s K-12 business

[Also on Longitudes: Supply Chains in a Digital Age]

It’s clear from the survey results that teens expect to work from anywhere in their future jobs. What does that mean for enterprises?

“People don’t want to go to work every day, they want to have the freedom to work from anywhere. If they are just as productive from home or elsewhere, then why even come in to work?” –Alan Ni, head of vertical marketing at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

“If a company isn’t mobile-focused, it’s missing out on two generations of users.” –Bergman

“Wireless technology in schools lets students work in all different areas—their dorm room, library or other facilities. While in the world of academia, kids have the ability to work anywhere, and when they enter the workforce, they will expect the same accommodation.” –Ni

“You need to set up secure connections at any location where there is an anytime, anywhere learning ability so students on or off campus can get together and still have access to all the resources they need.” –Rivera

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Teens today have access to more information and more learning opportunities.

“Thinking about the workplace of the future, old-style conference calls are not acceptable to this generation. They want to use what’s current now. Today’s workforce wants technology that’s efficient, high quality and stable—not what was good in the past 15 years.” –Spradley

This online survey of a representative sample of 557 U.S. teenagers ages 13-17 was commissioned by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in March 2016. goldbrown2

This article first appeared on HPE Matter and was republished with permission.

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