Generations Timeline and research on Generation Z - Student Research Foundation

Members of Generation Z Feel Tech Anxiety before Starting their Careers

Findings from Deloitte’s “Generation Z Enters the Workforce” Research . . .

In this and upcoming blog posts, we will take a close look at how members of Generation Z are preparing for their careers. Each of our posts about Gen Z will focus on one research study.

Today’s post presents findings from “Generation Z enters the workforce,” a Deloitte study of 4,000 members of Gen Z. In the survey, Deloitte researchers Carolyn O. Boyle, Josefin Atack and Kelly Monahan discovered that many members of Gen Z share these attitudes as they contemplate starting their professional lives:

  • 92 percent of Gen Z members report that they are concerned about the “generational gap” that is being caused by the rapid development of new technologies.
  • 37 percent responded that they worry that technology is limiting their ability to cultivate strong interpersonal relationships and skills.
  • Many respondents expressed concern about a diminishing ability to acquire “tacit knowledge,” which is knowledge that can only be passed down to younger employees from older, more experienced workers. In general, tacit knowledge cannot be transferred by digital means, only passed from person to person. And Gen Z workers are concerned that they will be so busy mastering technology that there will be no time for that knowledge transfer to take place.

Student Research Foundation Conclusion: Lifelong Learning Is Essential

There was a time when recent college graduates would take their first jobs and expect to be enrolled in comprehensive training programs. While many companies still offer training on job-specific skills, the demands posed by the new world of technology that the Deloitte study describes are more extreme; in order to stay current and competitive, younger workers will need to seek ongoing learning opportunities if they are to remain up-to date on technical skills.

One example is high-level computer security training. Most companies today need employees who are trained in the latest security protocols but cannot be expected to supply comprehensive training to all their employees, only to IT employees. Additional training is required for students who take on IT responsibilities.

One Solution: Cultivate a Hunger for Tech Learning before and During College

Students who start acquiring strong STEM skills early are most likely to be prepared for the new world of work. Another factor? Early STEM training cultivates the expectation that technical skills are essential to succeed in many careers.

It’s another indication that strong STEM training is not something that can be delayed until students enter college, or even until they enter high school. Technical skills are not a “nice to have,” but a “need to have” in today’s world of work. And the earlier that expectation is established, the more successful students will be in their professional lives.

We Invite You to Explore All Your Career and College Options . . .

Participate in the National Career & College Pathway Study to gain new insights about making educational decisions that align with your interests, passions, and aptitudes.  Students who complete the study will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.

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