How GenZ Is Preparing For College And Careers (infographic)

GenZ has inherited one of the worst sets of circumstances in many generations when it comes to their ability to achieve financial stability. The cost of living is way up and wages haven’t changed in decades to compensate. The cost of education is higher than ever and it’s more necessary for financial stability than ever before. Jobs with high wages and high hours are dwindling, while jobs with low wages and low hours are becoming more commonplace. This generation knows it has challenges to face and it’s ready to face them head-on.

More than 90% of GenZ students have chosen their majors based on job availability despite the fact that the jobs market appears to be stronger than ever before. In December of 2019 145,000 new jobs were created, and by January of 2020 the unemployment rate in the United States had fallen to 3.5% - one of the lowest rates in decades.

Unfortunately the majority of jobs created over the last several decades have been service jobs in industries like hospitality, healthcare, and retail. Because of this shift, the overall effect on the economy is equivalent to the loss of 3.1 jobs between 1990 and 2018. In this same time period the wage gap has grown 5.3 times, and today nearly half of all working Americans are living on $18,000 a year or less.

Because of this shift, 82% of GenZ students believe that college is their best shot at life. They know that a traditional college path is likely to leave them saddled with crushing lifelong student loan debt. That’s why they are skipping summer jobs and instead using that time to study, giving them an advantage for any academic scholarships that come their way.

Nearly half already have taken high school courses for college credit, shortening the time they will expect to spend earning a college degree. They are concerned about getting a college degree as efficiently as possible and entering the workforce as prepared as possible, and in order to set themselves up for the greatest possibility of success they are focusing their time on volunteering and their studies instead of working part time.

GenZ is on track to become not only the most educated generation of all time, but also the most entrepreneurial. 92% of them plan to work for six employers or less in their working adult lives, and an astounding 60% plan to start a business one day. Before choosing a major, they carefully consider trends in the job market as well as the salaries associated with those positions. 44% have already started researching and working toward a career path before their senior year of college.

These students want to get their money’s worth, and they are willing to do whatever they can to make it work. After spending their summers in school, working on college credits in high school, and even packing their schedules with extra study and related activities that might make them better candidates, some will still find themselves locked into a life in the service economy. Even with all this preparation, only two in three GenZ students are confident they will receive a job offer soon after graduation. The rest are preparing as best they can anyway but lack the confidence to see a positive outcome for their efforts.

Is GenZ ready to face the difficulties in their careers and their lives that lie ahead? Learn more about what these smart, plucky kids are planning for their futures from the infographic below. Maybe GenZ will be the generation that gets us all back on track.

GenZ recognizes that the economy is tough and that while unemployment is low, high wage high hour jobs have been replaced with low wage low hour jobs. This infographic outlines how GenZ plans to make education the stepping stone toward a more financially secure future.

Read next: Can You Really Be Successful Without A College Degree? (infographic)
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