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Continuing Higher Education Review, v72 p11-31 Fall 2008

In this article, the author focuses on three major generational groups in the US: Baby Boomers (born between 1943 and 1960), Generation Xers (born between 1961 and 1981), and Millennials (born between 1982 and 2003), examining what the preferences of each group are for continuing higher education and how market research can be employed, by generation, for programmatic and marketing planning by continuing higher education units. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of current literature about generational differences and apply that knowledge to the field of continuing higher education. The author describes the usefulness of employing a generational perspective, provides a description of generational characteristics for three living generations, develops hypotheses about generational differences relevant to the field, reviews results of a recent market research study that employed generational segmentation, and addresses lessons learned for continuing higher educators.

Descriptors: Higher Education, Continuing Education, Baby Boomers, Age Differences, Marketing, Age Groups, Personality Traits, Congruence (Psychology), Group Dynamics, Literature Reviews, Social Environment, Educational Attitudes, Cohort Analysis, Student Needs, Student Recruitment

University Professional & Continuing Education Association. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-659-3130; Fax: 202-785-0374; Web site:

Autor: Sandeen, Cathy


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