Sometimes, the stereotypes are true. No generation has faced harsher stereotypes than millennials. And while Red Alert has defended young Americans from many baseless criticisms, a new study seems to prove one millennial stereotype to be real.
A poll from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) of young Americans ages 18-to-25 shows that almost no millennials want a career in construction — a high-paying industry. 64 percent of these millennials said they wouldn’t even consider working in construction if you paid them $100,000 or more.
74 percent of young adults know what career field they want to pursue, and of these millennials, just 3 percent want a career in construction trades. What’s more stunning is that of the 26 percent who don’t know what career they want, 63 percent of these undecided millennials said there was “no or little chance regardless of pay” that they would work in construction trades.
The most popular trades among these undecided millennials are business/management, technology/IT, medical, marketing, and media — none of which are hard labor-intensive. In fact, NAHB further questioned these undecided adults and asked them why they wouldn’t consider construction trades. Half of them said they wanted “a less physically-demanding job.” 32 percent said, “construction work is difficult.”
This aversion to hard work fulfills the millennial stereotype that they don’t want to work hard — and that is a reason why this generation is facing economic hardship. ‘Snowflakes aren’t willing to work for money,’ a grumpy older uncle would say in response to this news.
Now, of course, millennials face many challenges other modern generations have not. Graduating into a major recession, off-the-chart housing expenses, few starter jobs, and massive student loans have put young Americans at a disadvantage.
But, one way out of this tough predicament is to consider jobs that don’t require expensive college degrees that pay extremely well. Construction jobs would be an answer to countless millennials’ economic challenges, if these young adults were willing to consider it. Other data shows many hands-on trades would provide similar opportunities.
No one is above hard work, and millennials need an attitude adjustment. If you want to move out of your parents’ house, be willing to work any job that pays well and gives you life experience. Many of our grandparents and parents did it (heck, even I did labor-intense farm/construction work in college breaks). You can do it too.
But it’s not just on millennials. Our entire culture needs to break the stigma associated with hands-on trades. Parents need to consider raising their kids to respect this type of work and to present trades as a respectable career choice.