What drives you most can ultimately determine your success. And, according to a paper highlighted by The British Psychology Society, millennials pursuing higher education in the U.S. are more motivated than previous generations by making money.
Researchers from San Diego State University came to the conclusion after assessing surveys of incoming college freshman conducted between 1971 and 2014.
Over eight million students in total, including millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers, were asked about their reasons for enrolling in school. They had to answer how much they valued outcomes like "to be able to get a better job," "to be able to make more money," "to learn more about things that interest me" and "to prepare myself for graduate or professional school."
About 71 percent of millennials said they felt making money was important, in contrast to only 55 percent of boomers who felt the same. Meanwhile, 68 percent of millennials said general education was important, versus 69 percent of boomers.
The researchers then looked at the answers "corrected for relative centrality," which allowed them to "see how the reasons have changed relative to the general tendency of students to say their reasons were important." This was necessary because millennials were more likely than the previous generations to list all the choices as important reasons for going to school.
When they crunched the numbers, the researchers found a 7 percent decrease in how much millennials value education compared to boomers.
What this indicates, researchers conclude, is that the quest for knowledge has been supplanted by more concrete motivations, like a paycheck.