Millennials’ Wish List for Higher Ed


by Ryan Alleman on Monday, February 9th, 2015.

Kids around the world are writing their wish lists for Santa. Millennials are creating wish lists, too, but they’re less focused on toys and more on their future. Higher education plays a huge part in that.

By 2020, millennials are expected to take over 50 percent of the workforce. This generation has high ambitions and tremendous potential, and they’re looking to higher education institutions to help prepare them for this future role. But that requires teaching millennials on their terms, matching their technological savvy, hyperconnectivity, and need for mobility.

This can pose a challenge to higher learning institutions that have been around for several decades and rely on aging networks and technology. This has spurred a drastic investment in updating campus infrastructures to help attract and retain millennial students. But what do millennials expect from universities and colleges?

Here’s a quick list:

1. Cloud-Based Unified Communication

Unified Communications (UC) delivered via the Cloud are quickly becoming the standard for the modern office, and universities are following suit. In both environments, millennials expect to have access to voicemail, email, chat, presence monitoring, and voice and video conferencing. Many providers deliver these services via a single, cohesive platform, like Jive’s suite of UV services, Jive Cloud.

2. Real-Time Access to Administrators, Faculty, and Each Other

Millennial students expect to have more of a voice in their education track. They want real-time mentoring, collaboration, and access to learning resources anytime, anywhere. A UC platform gives them that, enabling them to smoothly move between voice, data, and video communications. This could involve connecting with members of a study group spread across multiple campus locations, chatting with an instructor on the fly, or participating in a classroom discussion while off-campus.

 3. Collaboration Outside the Classroom

Millennials don’t like to be tied down, and technology has only reinforced that tendency. Approximately 50 percent of them say they don’t need a physical classroom, and 39 percent believe education will become more virtual in the future. Naturally, they expect learning to extend beyond the walls of a classroom and for a university to take in more than its campus grounds. A UC platform delivers on-the-go access to instructors, learning resources, and peer-to-peer collaboration from anywhere with an available Internet connection.

4. Mobility Options

Higher Education institutions that embrace a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) philosophy to their communications will make friends among the millennial ranks. Mobile devices are deeply entwined with the millennial identity (83% admit they have slept with their cell phone on or next to their bed). Fortunately, UC platforms integrate seamlessly across multiple devices and operating systems.

Don’t disappoint your hopeful millennial students with the technological equivalent of a bag of coal. Unified Communications is the gift that keeps on giving, enhancing communications while trimming budgets and maintenance costs.

This holiday season, give your students the gift of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), video conferencing, chat/IM, and other UC offerings. To find out how, check out our website, or reach out to our education team. Call 888-960-0087, or email them at higherEd@jive.com.


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