Generation Y Makes Its Own Career Rules

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Popular culture is inspiring Generation Y students to become bold, innovative entrepreneurs, says Robert Bloch, the director of Champlain College's Bring Your Own Business Program in Burlington, Vt.

A growing number of young people — think college graduates — want to work for themselves rather than a "regular" company. And 18- to 24-year-olds are starting their own businesses at a faster rate than 35- to 44-year-olds.

A Gallup poll of high schools students finds that 70 percent want to start their own companies.

And most colleges and universities in this country now offer classes on entrepreneurship — often, these are very popular courses.

"Today's students have grown up with entrepreneurs being celebrated — whether it's Bill Gates or the fellows at Google — as some of the greatest people in our society," Bloch said. "And this generation that's in their 20s now has had that all their lives."

Three twenty-something entrepreneurs tell us what inspired them to strike out on their own. They describe the joys and pains that come with forging their own professional paths at such young ages.

Then, Madeleine Brand talks with NPR's Adam Davidson about how Generation Y's entrepreneurial spirit is helping young people survive in a shrinking job market.



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