Eight in 10 Gen Z’ers feel hopeful about finding meaningful work and addressing global challenges in 2030, and seven in 10 Gen Z’ers feel positive about the impact globalization, automation, and new work norms will have on their experience in the workforce, says a new study.
If businesses are to thrive, and education systems are to successfully prepare young people to adapt and flourish in the future of work, then it is of crucial importance for leaders to understand Gen Z’s ambitions and expectations, says the report by EY and JA Worldwide (JA).
Born between 1977 and 2007, Gen Z is the first generation to have been born entirely in the internet age, with high mobile phone penetration.
“Coming of age amidst a climate emergency and a global pandemic, Gen Z has not only been more digitally connected than any preceding generation during their formative years, but also more aware of environmental issues, more likely to advocate on behalf of others, and more optimistic about the opportunities presented by an ever-changing world,” said Sandeep Kohli, partner and talent leader, EY India.
Five in 10 respondents feel their education has successfully prepared them to succeed in 2030. Gen Z’ers are also confident in communication and collaboration, with seven in 10 respondents stating they know how to listen and work with others, solve problems, participate and voice their ideas. Further, 77% of respondents rated environmental literacy and career development as the most important subjects in their education, and 75% of students wish to continue virtual education in some form after the pandemic.
The survey explores the attitudes and beliefs that drive nearly 6,000 Gen Z survey respondents across more than 17 countries. It also delves into their hopes and expectations for the future, particularly focusing on 2030, and the extent to which they feel their education is preparing them for that year.
Respondents ranked the opportunity to generate original thought and ideas as the #1 trait of an ideal career. Overall, 53% of survey respondents hope to be running their own businesses in ten years; this aspiration is more common among those already in the workforce, with 65% of Gen Z workers stating a desire to own a business in ten years. This group said they are increasingly seeking out careers that are both intellectually and socially stimulating, with the most attractive opportunities being those that engage them in original thought and involve daily interaction with a diverse group of people.
“These findings suggest that Gen Z will likely seek dynamic, challenging, and meaningful careers that see them solving community problems by working collaboratively across borders,” said Kohli.
With emerging technologies changing everything around us as well as the way we work, the adoption of technology is a must to thrive in the future. According to the survey, ‘using technology’ ranked highest amongst confidence rankings, i.e., 81%-100% of Gen Z’ers feel confident in using technology.