Millennials, (people between 18-35), have been called many things: The Slacker Generation. Generation "Why?" The "Lost" Generation.

Unfortunately, they're also saddled with the most debt of any group than ever before. According to New York Federal Reserve Board data, educational debt for people under 30 has increased from about $13,000 to $21,000 since 2005. That's more than $1 trillion total.

With the average annual wage of a Millennial hovering somewhere around $26,000 (yes, even in California), an entire generation is set to be stuck living paycheck to paycheck in crippling debt for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, despite a penchant for hipster fare like avocado toast and rainbow bagels, they seem to be relatively frugal with spending.

However, those who feel their jobs may eventually pan out are in for another blow. Entry-level jobs are being automated at a rate faster than ever before, and salaries for mid-level jobs are facing a downward trend. Interestingly, managerial and creative jobs are the hardest to automate, and that is where crafty Millennials are finding the most opportunity.

According to a recent worldwide study, robotics and artificial intelligence are seen as the next big technology trend, followed by the internet of things and machine learning.Here are a few tips to keep you ahead of the game:

1. Barter.

Money can be a scarce commodity, especially among the underemployed, but that doesn't mean you have to live without your avocado toast and Netflix. Real skills are always in need. If you can determine what your skills are and put a value on them, you'll be able to trade with another person.

When bartering, ensure you still have a contract so you know what you're giving and receiving from both parties. No matter what happens to the economy, learning this will help you survive the roughest patches.

2. Keep learning.

According to the same global study, 79 percent of Millennials believe technology is creating more jobs than it is destroying. Their outlook is fairly optimistic, despite warnings from Bill Gates, Elon Musk and others. However, these jobs are all being created with technology components, which will require more than a basic level of tech savvy.

More than ever, the degree you chose may inform the job you are able to have. If your college degree required no math, science, or computer skills, try taking some online coursework from websites like Coursera, Pluralsight, or Udemy to increase your arsenal.

3. Get creative.

All the studies keep pointing to the hardest jobs to be replaced being ones that require high thinking skill or creative manual work. Jobs such as doctors, lawyers, writers, painters will continue to be performed by humans, with the aid of mechanical workers.

If you have the desire for one of these jobs, great. Otherwise, the best path for Millennials may be to create your own. Entrepreneurs have the ingenuity to create new and exciting ways to coexist with our robot overlords.

With just a little hard work, you'll find a way to get your avocado toast fix and keep your brain occupied for years.

Published on: Aug 31, 2017
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