Home >Money >Personal Finance >High-earning millennials expect greatest rise in incomes

It is accepted wisdom that the young want much more than just monetary compensation for their work. And, if modern workplaces are unable to offer them meaningful roles, millennials and GenZ employees are likely to quit. However, data from the latest round of the YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey shows that pre-millennial workers value non-monetary aspects of their jobs the most..

Post-millennials (or adults belonging to Gen Z) are most likely to value money over anything else as they step into entry-level jobs. Millennial preferences are somewhere in between those of pre-millennials (or adults 40 and above) and post-millennials, the data shows. Overall, the younger generations are more likely to opt for a job that pays well while foregoing other job-aspects at the beginning of their career.

It is worth noting that across generations, respondents placed a high value on the non-monetary components of a job profile. But the relative proportion was highest among pre-millennials. Across generations, most aspired for ‘application of mind’ and ‘work-life balance’. As much as 85% of pre-millennials were willing to trade a high-paying job for one that challenges their mind, while 75% of post-millennials were willing to make the same choice. Among millennials, 80% wanted this too.

The survey shows that compared to the other age-groups, more pre-millennials (36 percent) wanted to work as independent professionals. A large chunk of millennials and post-millennials also have similar aspirations. But among the younger lot, the aspiration to work in a technology firm or startup is higher. The attraction for a tech or startup job was highest among post-millennials from small towns and non-metro cities.

The YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey was conducted online between 12 March and 2 April and covered a sample of 10,005 respondents across 184 towns and cities. Of these, 4,957 were millennials, 2,983 post-millennials and 2,065 pre-millennials.

Millennials refer to those who have attained adulthood in the early 21st century and grew up at a time when the world became digitally connected. Here, millennials refers to those born between 1981 and 1996 (aged 24-39 years now). Those born after 1996 (aged 23 years or below) are referred to as the post-millennials or Gen Z. The rest (40 years and above) have been classified as pre-millennials. The survey was conducted jointly by Mint, the Indian arm of the global market research firm YouGov, and the Delhi-based think tank, CPR (Centre for Policy Research) to gauge the aspirations and attitudes of India’s digital natives.

Among millennials, one in three men aspired for a job in tech companies or startups. Among women, the attraction for such firms is relatively lower. Female respondents revealed a stronger preference for working as professionals, with 31 percent of all women respondents wanting to work independently or run their own firm. More women than men said they wanted a job in the social or development sector.

On being asked about their income expectations over the next five years, a majority of working millennials earning upto Rs. 50,000 per month said they expected a modest increase. In stark contrast, a large majority of those earning over Rs. 100,000 a month expected their income to rise by more than 50 percent by 2025.

Only 40 percent of those earning below Rs. 50,000 expected their incomes to rise by 50 percent over the next five years. Those earning less than 25,000 currently had the least expectations of salary increases over the medium term. If the expectations of the respondents turn out to be true, this would mean widening inequalities in the coming years.

Most millennials don’t seem to be planning on early retirement, contrary to popular wisdom. Most want to retire in the conventional age-band of 50-60 years. Overall, one-fourth of working millennials said they want to retire by the age of 50. The question posed to the respondents defined ‘retirement’ as the time when one would have the financial security to stop working.

Among those working in the social sector, a relatively larger proportion said they wanted to retire early (by 50). But the social sector also has a larger set of people who don’t intend to (or can’t) retire at all. For respondents employed in the public and private sector, close to 70 percent said they would like to retire by the age of 60.

This is the first of a five-part data journalism series on the aspirations and attitudes of India’s digital natives.

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