Generation 2021

Annual Report

Looking back on 2021, our work to break down the systemic barriers to meaningful employment is more important than ever. Here’s what we achieved and learned last year.

Download the full report

A message from our CEO

Our impact to date:

16

countries

60,000+

graduates

There continues to be uncertainty and volatility in the world — the pandemic, conflict, climate change — and so we continue to be in service of the communities facing the greatest challenges.

In 2021, we spent a full year with most of our programs offered as fully online or blended (part in-person, part online), building on the shift we made in the wake of the pandemic. Despite this substantial change in our delivery method, we found that our learner outcomes in terms of graduation, job placement, job retention, and income are nearly identical to pre-pandemic outcomes.

We expanded our impact in terms of breadth, depth, and durability — the three types of metrics we follow. We had nearly 12,000 graduates and 7,000 employers in 2021, and we launched in Thailand and Chile, bringing our network to 16 countries. We achieved 75% job placement for our graduates at three months post program, and they achieved a 3-4X income increase. And we once again surveyed thousands of our alumni from 2-5 years ago, finding that 70% of them continue to afford their daily needs and 40% can save for the future.

Last year we released our first original research report, Meeting the World’s Midcareer Moment, which focused on the employment challenges faced by midcareer workers in seven countries (Brazil, India, Italy, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Our survey of thousands of employers, midcareer job seekers, and career switchers told a story of pervasive ageism biases and challenges for midcareer job seekers, and it has sparked many conversations amongst practitioners and in the media.

As we take a step back, reflect, and take stock of what we have achieved and learned in 2021, we are convinced that our work to break down systemic barriers to meaningful employment is more important than ever. The success we have had is due to our many partners who help support us in bringing our programs, innovations, and research to life, and the dedication of our graduates and our network of colleagues.

Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, we are energized by the goals that we want to accomplish yet humbled by the magnitude and complexity of the work ahead of us. We hope that you will join us in transforming education to employment systems around the world.

Mona Mourshed signature
Mona Mourshed, CEO

Impact

We focus on three kinds of metrics — breadth, depth, and durability.

Breadth

is the number of learners who graduate from our programs.

11,886

people served in 2021

Depth

is our graduate employment and income outcomes within three and six months of program completion.

77%

2021 job placement rate at 3 months

Durability

is how these employment and income outcomes last over time — we follow the financial and personal well-being of our alumni for up to five years after they graduate.

78%

of alumni say that Generation has improved their financial situation 2-5 years post-graduation

Research

In July 2021, we released our first original research, Meeting the World’s Midcareer Moment, which focused on the employment challenges faced by midcareer workers in seven countries (Brazil, India, Italy, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The survey drew 3,800 responses from employed & unemployed people, and 1,404 from hiring managers.

Job requirements have gone up

Long-term workforce trends, such as automation and digitization, have been expedited by the pandemic, prompting employers to increase their requirements for entry-level and intermediate roles. The barrier to getting a job is even higher for under-represented communities, as they undertake more interviews to secure a job than their peers and need to lower their expectations.

An unwarranted bias is at work

Hiring managers have a negative view of age 45+ job seekers, despite rating highly the performance of those whom they do hire. Only 15% of age 45+ applicants for entry/intermediate roles are rated by hiring managers as having a fit-for-purpose profile, yet these same managers rate 87% of their age 45+ employees as performing the same or better than their younger peers.

Training is key to midcareer success

Training is valued by employers and 45+ individuals who have successfully switched. But 45+ individuals with the greatest need for training are the most hesitant to pursue it. Although 74% of midcareers who successfully switched careers state that job-relevant training helped them secure their new role, 58% of age 45+ job seekers say they are not keen to pursue training.

Looking ahead

In 2022, we aim to serve 20,000 learners — doubling our 2021 reach — while maintaining high employment and well-being outcomes.

We couldn’t do it without the help of our funders, partners, employers, graduates, and colleagues.

Thank you for your continued support!

Meet our graduates

Video: Generation Stories from India, Mexico, and Hong Kong

Through their Generation experience, our graduates have transformed what’s possible for their families, their workplace, and their own lives.

Video: Generation Stories from Kenya, Spain, and USA

Around the world, our students have overcome enormous obstacles to find their career path through Generation.