Facebook Access More Important Than Salary To Many Young Professionals

Facebook access important job searchEscrow, stock options and the status update.

Indeed, as the Facebook generation establishes itself in the American labor market, it appears that its members are bringing their digital sensibilities to bear. Cisco Systems has just released its second annual "Connected World Technology Report." And the study reveals a series of data points that speak to the centrality of digital and mobile technology, as well as social media, to the professional expectations and habits of Generation Y.

But among the most glaring conclusions are the following two: 40 percent of college students and 45 percent of young professionals would accept a lower-paying job if it had more access to social media; a third of respondents consider the Internet as important as air, water, food and shelter. (Generation Y is roughly defined as having been born after Generation X -- some sources put the Gen Y starting point as the late 1970s and its end point as late as the beginning of the 21st century.)

The poll was conducted in 14 countries among 1,400 college students aged 18 to 23 and 1,400 young professionals under the age of 30. Reacting to the findings, executives at Cisco admonished companies to see the survey as a clarion call for them to embrace all the latest technologies.

"The results in the 'Cisco Connected World Technology Report' demonstrate how companies need to acknowledge this fact in greater numbers, and respond accordingly -- for many industries, the status quo of previous work environments is becoming a thing of the past," says Sheila Jordan, VP for communication and collaboration IT at Cisco, according to a report on MarketWatch.

"In addition to the impact on business communications, the study provides proof that the next generation of employees and their technology demands will influence job decisions, hiring and a new age of work-life balance. How businesses address these demands will inevitably affect their competitive advantage and HR success. It is not just a technology trend anymore -- it's a business trend," adds Jordan.

Cisco, for its part, isn't just talking the talk. The telecommunications giant has recently announced changes to its mobile phone policy, perhaps to appease employees representing Generation Y. In taking note of the survey's finding that 70 percent of college students think company-issued devices should be allowed for personal use, Cisco has begun taking a serious look at a "bring your own device" policy, according to a report in Fast Company. A BYOD policy would allow employees to merge personal devices with professional ones. Such a move would be in keeping with the tenor of many other findings in the Cisco survey, which shows a blurring of the lines between the private and the professional. Other conclusions that fit that category include the finding that 7 out of 10 respondents are friends with a co-worker or boss on Facebook.

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