For graduating high school and college students, it is an exciting time. The next generation of young professionals always faces an unique set of challenges and opportunities, and the class of 2016 is no exception. These new grads join the ranks of a growing generational group, since millennials make up more than 27 percent of the U.S. population and 25 percent of the U.S. workforce. In the coming weeks and months, these numbers will continue to grow.
How much do you know about the class of 2016? Here are four important things to remember:
- The digital space is home to them. The term “digital native” is a common phrase used to describe this year’s tech-savvy graduates. Technology has shaped the way Millennials work, learn and communicate. Fortune calls technology “a way of life” for new graduates and the statement couldn’t be truer.
- They owe a record-breaking average in student loans. The average student graduating this year owes more than $37,000. The Interntional Business Times describes it as a major crisis, but new graduates are not letting the numbers stop their quest for education.
- This might be the most educated generation yet. According to the Pew Research Center, about 63 percent of Millennials are either college graduates or plan to graduate from college. Refinery 29 points out that education has become a priority and the numbers support that theory.
- The threats of underemployment or unemployment aren’t getting them down. It is true that underemployment and unemployment are lingering problems for young professionals. But the good news is that Fast Company says the job prospects for this year’s graduates “are better than any other class since 2009.”