Students likely to become contingent workers in future

Changing economy challenges traditional notions of employment and job security.

Lucas Weaver, Writer

The typical 9-to-5 job does not reflect how much of the American work force makes a living today. Pursuing one’s own passion has become the focus of millennials. A study done by Intuit predicts that 40 percent of the American workforce will be independent contractors by 2020. Two factors are responsible for many individuals being associated with this “gig economy:” the ability to pursue one’s passion and to make ends meet. If these factors can be combined then the typical 9-to-5 past generations made their living on becomes less and less attractive.

Pros and cons

As college students in the age of the gig economy, there is a great deal of freedom offered. It grants the opportunity to be your own boss, manage your own time and explore other work methods. There are downsides to this gig economy, though, such as a lack of safety nets when it comes to job security. Finding independent contractors who are properly trained and suited for the job is another obstacle for future employers. All of the responsibilities of running a business, branding and marketing fall upon the owner. Being sick means a loss of income and making decisions about the future based on financial stability becomes far more difficult.

It is important for college students to become equipped with various skills, which will help them succeed. The gig economy takes the pressure off of simply making money and instead puts a person’s own happiness first. The constantly developing digital platform allows for greater connections to be made in real time and for even more services to be provided. Being able to offer a service and market yourself digitally is absolutely crucial for being successful in today’s economy. Even traditional jobholders need to be able to manage their careers digitally as work is being reshaped.

Outside the norm

There is a wonderful satisfaction in creating a business and making it profitable. The famous phrase, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” is being taken to heart by many. The time and effort that is taken to make your passion into a successful business is very appealing. Working as an independent contractor does not make one less hardworking. The typical American work day does not dictate the amount of effort put into a job. Millions of people go to work every day and give a half-hearted effort. This new freedom being discovered by millennials allows for a pursuit of one’s passion while providing an income. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and hard work to step outside of the norms of the work force and pave one’s own way. The gig economy allows for a purpose to be found in one’s work and the accomplishment of goals.

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