Millennials have unrealistic salary expectations as career advances, study finds

November 10, 2011

In a new Canadian study, surveyed pre-career Millennial students (those born between 1980 and 1992) revealed having very high pay expectations as they advance in their careers. Their average expected first-year salaries were reasonable ($48,860 for men, $42,060 for women) compared to what they could actually expect to make at the beginning of their careers ($43,119 for men, $35,926 for women). After 5 years, Millennial men and women expect to make an average of $84,868 and $67,766, respectively. To achieve this average, men and women would need to grow their salaries by 14.8% and 12.8% a year, respectively. Given that salary increases in Canada were below 3% annually in 2010 and 2011, "this is extremely optimistic," the report states. At the height of their careers, Millennial men and women believe they will reach $171,036 and $125,664, respectively. If that were the case, "it would put them in that top one per cent of earners that the Occupy people hate so much," says one of the report's authors. The report advises employers to have open and transparent conversations with current and potential employees to ensure Millennials know what to expect and when to expect it. Maclean's On Campus | Read the report