[By Schintelle Harte]

Remember when #HowToConfuseAMillennial, a cute attempt by baby boomers and generation X-ers at throwing shade, was trending on Twitter two months ago? Well, it backfired, and millennials fought back, quickly changing the direction of the conversation to education, jobs and economics. Let’s get into a few specifics, shall we?

CBC’s Doc Zone Generation Jobless (2013) illustrates the perilous reality confronted by many millennials who find themselves overeducated and underemployed in a competitive job market. Some key takeaways include:

  1. Pursuing higher education, especially post-grad, can sometimes make young people less employable, as many employers aren’t willing to provide fair compensation based on skills and or education.
  2. Millennials are competing for jobs against a boomer generation that is delaying their retirement.
  3. “Canada has no national strategy matching education and training to jobs,” meaning that many graduates are being funneled into an overpopulated workplace with very little hands on experience, creating less and less opportunity, resulting in Canada having one of the highest underemployment rates in all of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations.
  4. We are headed toward a future where jobs continue to be replaced by technology, temporary, contract and project based employment schemes.

What does this all equate to? Young people with degrees who end up in low-skilled positions and more often than not, pointless debt. Senior Economist of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Armine Yalnizyan, said it best: “We are sidelining a very large group of people on whom we’re going to be very reliant on in the next 20 years.”

So, if I’m keeping track here:

  • Tell us we can be whatever we set our minds to as kids and to follow our dreams
  • Encourage us to invest our time and money in post-secondary education in order to achieve future success
  • Offer us little to no employment opportunity once we graduate
  • Push us into a job market that won’t hire us due to our ‘lack’ of experience
  • Compare us to the ‘hardworking’ generations that came before us

And finally,

  • Create a condescending hashtag on Twitter that attempts to belittle our entire existence in 140 characters or less, while feigning ignorance to your generation’s less than stellar record in housing, economics, education and more, over the past few years.

Mission accomplished, you’ve successfully confused this millennial. Oh, the irony.

(Photo by University of Denver via Flickr)