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Who is considered a Millennial vs Gen Y?

October 10, 2016

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the annual America’s SBDC conference in Florida and one of the keynote speakers was Jason Dorsey, Millennials and Gen Y researcher. Jason’s gift is solving tough generational challenges for companies and leaders through unique research, results-based consulting, and his acclaimed keynote presentation. 

I would like to share some of the insights during his presentation, and you can find a lot more information directly in his website or like he would say “follow him on Instagram” to learn more about his research.


As business owners you might find yourself having millennial staff or even you being a millennial entrepreneur. Whichever the case is understanding generation research will give you a sense of understanding based on facts that you might not had put into perspective before.  But let’s clarify the most important question, who is considered a Millennial/Gen Y? Using the birth year range of 1977 to 1995, Gen Y consists of approximately 79.8 million people in the U.S. It is the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace and marketplace. (


Being a millennial myself and working with other generations, everything that Jason shared during his presentation made perfect sense and I clearly identify with many of his comments about Millennials (a.k.a Gen Y).  Three of the areas he mentioned that daunt on me and I hope will help you when dealing with millennials at the workplace or being one, were:


  • Gen Y is NOT tech-savvy. They are tech-dependent. They often don’t know how technology actually works, only that they can’t live without it.
  • Gen Y loves instant gratification. They are notorious for not being able to wait in line—especially when getting coffee!
  • Gen Y is known for having big expectations but not always knowing or valuing the steps involved to reach those expectations. Gen Y often has a feeling of entitlement.


But I think the best piece of information he shared was with the following statement: “we are witnessing a dislocation between the Gen Yers and Millennials who have their stuff together and those who are struggling to gain real-world traction.” He also mentioned that like anything in life it is of upmost importance to find specific ways to bridge the generations, so Gen Y and the other three generations of co-workers perform at the highest levels. It’s in every leader’s best interest to make the most of each generation.


Generations cannot be classified in a closed box. However, on the whole, those within a generation often exhibit surprisingly similar characteristics. These similarities allow leaders the opportunity to adapt to achieve greater results in less time, at less expense and with less risk.


“Business Tips” was written by Adriana Balcorta Havins, Business Development Specialist and Certified Business Advisor IV, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center.  For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact her at 


  • Adriana Balcorta-Havins Business Development Specialist, Certified Business Advisor II
    Adriana Balcorta-Havins Business Development Specialist, Certified Business Advisor II
    Adriana Balcorta-Havins Business Development Specialist, Certified Business Advisor II