Meet the Next Wave of Workers: Gen Z
Gen Z is the generation after millennials. This generation was born during the period from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. Many members of this post-millennial generation are still in high school and college. However, some have begun to enter the workforce. Because great numbers of workers from this generation will soon be arriving into the corporate world, it is a good idea for companies to try to understand this generation. Here are some things to consider about Generation Z.
Unlike many generations that have come before them, Generation Z grew up during times of great uncertainty. Their formative years occurred as the United States was entering two very serious wars, followed by the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression in 2008.
So, although Gen Z may be very young still, they are no strangers to difficult times and uncertainty.
It is no surprise then that 40% of Gen Z members in one survey said that work/life balance and job security are the two most important goals for their careers. So, there is a good chance that Gen Z will prioritize stable jobs more than other types of employment.
Generation Z grew up even more ingrained with technology than millennials, and that is saying a lot. Many millennials spent the first decade, or so, of their lives without using the internet much, or having access to cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. However, most members of Generation Z are likely to have been around technology practically from birth.
This means that they may have the capacity to be even more tech-savvy than millennials. Or, at least, technology is likely to have been more intertwined in their lives as they grew up.
Generation Z will have to pay more for a college education than any generation before it. This is because the cost of a college degree has gone up 1,120 percent in the last 35 years. So, naturally, student debt is a major concern for Generation Z. The average college graduate in 2015 owes $35,000 in student loan debt. This makes it the class with the largest student loan debts in history.
As generation Z graduates college, the average student loan debt per graduate is likely to increase due to rising tuition fees and other costs. So, Generation Z will likely be the largest student loan debtors in history. Due to this fact, there may be opportunities for employers to market to Generation Z by offering student loan repayment assistance.
The post-millennial generation is likely going to be very intelligent and very capable. But student loan debt will present strong financial challenges to them. It is yet to be determined exactly how the job market will accommodate the generation following millennials.