Cover: The Millennial Generation

The Millennial Generation

Implications for the Intelligence and Policy Communities

Published Jul 18, 2016

by Cortney Weinbaum, Richard S. Girven, Jenny Oberholtzer


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جيل الألفيّة: التداعيات على مجموعات الاستخبارات والسياسات

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Research Questions

  1. How will the intelligence community have to adapt to interact with millennials as clients, employees, and more?
  2. What areas require further research?

In 2015, for the first time, millennials outnumbered baby boomers as the largest generational segment of the U.S. population. This report describes how the intelligence community (IC) must engage millennials across multiple segments to succeed in the future: millennials as intelligence clients, employees, and partners and as members of the public. The authors explore how the perspectives and experiences of millennials falling into each segment are relevant to IC functions and missions. Millennials in each segment may perceive intelligence differently from previous generations, which may influence whether and how they partner and engage with the IC; such decisions will affect future intelligence missions. This report provides an understanding of areas in which intelligence agencies may benefit from further study.

Key Findings

Millennials' Expectations

  • Millennials' expectations of government and goals for their own careers are different from those of other generations.

Lack of Data Within the IC

  • The IC has not studied how millennials' perceptions of the intelligence community differ from those of other generations to understand how to engage this generation as clients, industry and research partners, and foreign partners.
  • The IC has not studied how the perspectives of millennials who have self-selected for IC service differ from those who have not to understand the appeal, or lack thereof, for intelligence career fields.

This research was conducted within the Intelligence Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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