Demonstrating the increasing role of the network in people’s lives, an international workforce study by Cisco revealed that one in three college students and young professionals considers the Internet to be as important as fundamental human resources like air, water, food and shelter.
The Cisco report also found that more than half of the study’s respondents say they could not live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives” – in some cases more integral than cars, dating, and partying.
These and numerous other findings provide insight into the mindset, expectations, and behavior of the world’s next generation of workers and how they will influence everything from business communications and mobile lifestyles to hiring, corporate security, and companies’ abilities to compete.
Dave Evans, chief futurist, Cisco: “The lifestyles of “prosumers’ – the blending of professionals and consumers in the workplace — their technology expectations, and their behavior toward information access is changing the nature of communications on a global basis. The findings in the Cisco Connected World Technology Report provide businesses with insights that will give them a competitive advantage when it comes to IT decisions and HR processes.”
Air, water, Internet: One of every three college students and employees surveyed globally (33%) believes the Internet is a fundamental resource for the human race – as important as air, water, food and shelter. About half (49% of college students and 47% of employees) believe it is “pretty close” to that level of importance. Combined, four of every five college students and young employees believe the Internet is vitally important as part of their daily life’s sustenance.
Life’s daily sustenance: More than half of the respondents (55% of college students and 62% of employees) said they could not live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives.”
The new way to get around: If forced to make a choice between one or the other, the majority of college students globally – about two of three (64%) – would choose an Internet connection instead of a car.
Importance of Mobile Devices: Two-thirds of students (66%) and more than half of employees (58%) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.”
Online interruption or disruption? College students reported constant online interruptions while doing projects or homework, such as instant messaging, social media updates and phone calls. In a given hour, more than four out of five (84%) college students said they are interrupted at least once. About one in five students (19%) said they are interrupted six times or more – an average of at least once every 10 minutes. One of 10 (12%) said they lose count how many times they are interrupted while they are trying to focus on a project.
The global study consists of two surveys – one involving college students, the other on young professionals in their 20s. Each survey includes 100 respondents from each of 14 countries, resulting in a pool of 2,800 respondents.
The complete report is available here.