Upbeat, Resourceful and Seeking Experiential Learning: How today’s youth approach employment

Upbeat, Resourceful and Seeking Experiential Learning: How today’s youth approach employment

yconic research conducted in Q1 2015 offers insights into youth’s views on employment and the workplace, including effective ways for organizations to engage them and develop their employment potential. A total of 1,385 youth from its market research panel (of over 500,000 youth panelists) completed the survey.

Youth Profile

Key Findings:

  • A significant number of students are currently employed part-time: high school students (48%), 1st/2nd year post secondary students (44%), 3rd/4th year students (49%) and post-grad students (40%).
  • Students are upbeat about their own employability - the majority of Canadian students think they have an advantage over others by having the right attitude (83%), sense of confidence (55%), language proficiency (54%), and the kinds of skills companies are looking for (51%).
  • The top ways students find out about employment opportunities are through family members (60%), personal networks (60%), online job boards (58%), company websites (56%) and general web searches (52%).
    • A third of students (33%) use social sites like Facebook and Twitter, and 37% use online classifieds like Kijiji and Craigslist
    • LinkedIn as an employment source increases with age, with those ages 25-34 most likely to use it (38%) vs. those ages 19-24 (23%)
  • Youth overwhelmingly say email is the most effective channel to communicate with and from potential employers (55% and 42% respectively) compared to other methods of communication.


Over 8 in 10 (84%) high school and post secondary students are highly interested in paid short-term internships or co-op programs that will help them learn skills related to their field of study. Students are also looking for mentors to coach and guide them (71%), job shadowing over a period of one or two days (58%) and two-week immersion type experiences (57%) to give them a feel for an organization. Today’s youth understand the importance of building networks beyond their regular circles, with 56% interested in connecting with professionals across the country or around the world.

Tags: Research, Experiential, Human Resources, Corporate Culture, Marketing Careers, Youth