Just a note on Generation Y

Is anyone really surprised by this news?

A survey has revealed two thirds of West Australian graduate teachers plan to leave the profession within 10 years. (ABC News)

Now I have nothing against teachers. I am VERY grateful they have chosen the profession they are in. Very. Grateful.

To me, this story is just a beat-up by the Australian Education Union (who did the survey) to push teachers’ salaries up.

I would wager that most graduate teachers are in Generation Y.

Generation Y are known for changing jobs often:

…new job entrants are changing careers faster than college students change their majors, creating frustration for employers struggling to retain and recruit talented high-performers. (USA Today)

Generation Y consider five years a long time to stay with one employer:

Almost half of baby boomers believe they should stay in a job with the one employer for at least five years, but only a quarter of Gen Ys would consider such a long stay. (Herald Sun)

Generation Y want to keep their options open:

Four out of 10 respondents said they plan to stay at their job up to two years; only one in five foresees staying at his/her current job six years or longer. (SmartPros)

Is it any wonder then that two thirds of graduate teachers plan to leave the profession after ten years?

No. It isn’t.

Of course the Education Department aren’t let off the hook.

Generation Y are also known to be very demanding on employers, expecting new opportunities, training, and interesting work.

The department can’t just shove a Gen Y teacher into some outpost and expect them to stay there forever – or even more than a year. Certainly not without thinking about expanding that teacher’s horizons.

This is the commercial world we live in and the Education Department needs to think seriously about changing its practices to keep up with the times.

A recent APM Training Institute survey found most workers aged 18 to 29 expected travel opportunities, further training and social events as part of their employment packages.

It found many Gen Y workers also expected cash bonuses, health insurance and rostered days off. (Herald Sun)

That is the real story here. Long gone are the days where teaching was just a vocation.

Creative Commons License photo credit: ephotography