Although the public has the impression that most young people nowadays are not strong enough and are too dependent, a survey by the Taiwan Grassroots Foundation found the nation’s youth to be strong, independent and confident, despite adverse socioeconomic conditions and a lack of support from government policies.
“Although most people think young people are weak-willed and dependent on their parents, we’re glad that our survey found otherwise,” foundation chairwoman Lin Liang-o (林良娥) said at a press conference to release the poll results.
“It’s especially exciting to find that, although most of the respondents are aware that social conditions are horrible, they are still confident about themselves and their future,” Lin said.
The survey was conducted among randomly selected people between the ages of 20 and 40 from Jan. 3 to Jan. 20, with more than 1,000 valid samples.
The foundation’s poll center director, Chen Sung-po (陳松柏), said that contrary to popular belief, as many as 73.8 percent of the respondents said they were economically independent, and among those who said they are economically independent, 60.6 percent said they gave part of their income to their families.
In addition, while more than 90 percent of the respondents said that they were employed, about 40 percent of these employees said they planned to start their own business in the future, Chen said.
“When we divide the respondents into different age groups — 20 to 24, 25 to 29, 30 to 34 and 35 to 40 — and ask them whether they feel confident about themselves and their career perspective, surprisingly, in all age groups, more than 60 percent of respondents said they were confident about themselves and their future,” Chen said.
However, being economically independent and confident does not mean that the nation’s young people live under promising conditions; in fact, it is just the opposite, Chen said.
Citing survey results, Chen added that, while 60 percent of the respondents had expected to receive a salary of at least NT$30,000 (US$1,012) a month in their first full-time job, only about 50 percent of them actually receive such salaries.
Facing low wages, as many as 70 percent of the respondents said that they would still consider a salary under NT$30,000 a month “acceptable,” Chen said.
In addition, respondents are not confident about the usefulness of what they learned in school, with only 9.3 percent saying that their educational background helped them in their jobs.
Asked what they thought was most important at work, 31.8 percent said “foreign language fluency,” 27.5 percent answered “personal connections” and 22.2 percent said professional certifications.
Interpreting the survey results, Hsing Wu University director of research and development Chung Chih-ming (鍾志明) said he was happy to see the nation’s youth were self-confident and willing to develop skills to improve their job performance.
“I think we should then turn to the government and ask it to help create a better environment for young people,” he added.