Gen Z’s attitudes about future careers

Gen Z’s attitudes about future careers

New study from Universum details Gen Z’s attitudes about future careers

Stockholm, 2015-10-14 – Universum’s latest research report, Generation Z Grows Up, shows the next wave of digital natives are optimistic about the future and fascinated by entrepreneurship.

The global leader in employer branding, Universum surveyed approximately 50,000 young people (born between 1996 and 2000) across 46 countries about their future careers, fears about work, and attitudes about higher education, among many other topics – insights hiring companies can use to attract and retain the next generation of digital natives. A copy of the full public report, Generation Z Grows Up, is available online.


Gen Z has grown up with unparalleled access to information, as well as a near-effortless ability to interact with and influence others online. Gen Z’s comfort and facility with all things digital empowers them, giving them the sense that anything is possible. Now, global employers aiming to recruit and retain these young digital super-natives must study this newest generation’s ambitions and work styles.

Of particular interest is Gen Z’s optimism and deep interest in entrepreneurship. This is a generation that has come of age with start-up engines like Kickstarter and Indigogo, and witnessed everyday people becoming YouTube stars.  For this generation, anything seems possible. How will employers adjust to the starkly different ethos of Gen Z?

Among Universum’s top findings for employers:

  • Optimistic spirit: Sixty-five percent are hopeful about the future. How will employers support the optimism and creativity that runs through this generation?
  • Values at work: Nearly four in 10 fear they won’t find a job that matches their personality. This desire to be themselves and express their personality at work is critical for employers to heed.
  • University alternatives. Only 15 percent accept the idea of foregoing university outright, but 47 percent say they would “maybe” consider the notion of joining the workforce instead of pursuing college/university. Employers may rethink the employer/employee relationship, reaching out earlier and offering more on-the-job education than is typical today.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset. An impressive 55 percent say they are interested in starting their own company – a figure that’s even higher in emerging markets. How will large global organizations recruit and retain this start-up generation?
  • Social selectivity: Social media seems an easy way to reach Gen Z, but employers must proceed with care. Gen Z doesn’t like overt advertising from brands – 58 percent say they dislike it – but plenty of other engagement opportunities exist outside of advertising.

Generation Z Grows Up includes recommendations for employers based on global figures. More granular data (e.g. findings by gender, region, country and industry) are available for purchase.