Threats, Opportunities, and Careers
Gen Z (born between 1994-2014) is now the single largest population segment and comprises 26% of the total media audience. But perhaps more relevant than the increased viewership they represent is the dramatic shift in the way they view the world when compared to previous generations. As mentioned in our first blog post about Generation Z, we surveyed 500 Gen Z members (18-24), from across the United States, to understand just what they think about the state of the world, and their place in it, as they emerge into full adulthood.
In this third installment of our Gen Z Revealed series, we look at how this demographic cohort envisions the many threats, opportunities, and careers they predict are waiting for them in the decades to come—and speculate how those attitudes might shape their actions.
They find smartphone advances more exciting than a cure for cancer
When we asked our survey participants what the most exciting advancements they’ll see in their lifetime, not surprisingly, the answers returned were solidly founded in the technologies receiving the most press coverage and making the most public progress today. They’re enamored with the idea of self-driving cars, but yawn at the prospect of advances in AI and VR technologies. And they either generally don’t believe space travel will actually happen much in their lifetimes, or they are thoroughly indifferent to any impending increase or advances in pursuing the endeavor.
What do you see as being the most exciting advancement that you’ll see in your lifetime?
*’Other’ responses accounted for 38% of valid responses
They have big, long-term concerns
When asked to weigh in on future threats, the rankings seem to reflect a long-term perspective, being most concerned with those issues representing the greatest complexity and broadest global impacts. Furthest down are politics, the most current administration and, finally, guns.
What do you see as being the biggest threat that you’ll see in your lifetime?
*’Other’ responses accounted for 53% of valid responses
They may be foregoing passions for practicality
When asked about what fields represented their ideal careers and upon what areas they are concentrating their studies, there’s almost an inverse correlation between the two. They seem to emotionally gravitate to technology, medicine, and the arts but are choosing, arguably, more practical fields of study in other sciences and business. This could be due to a perception of where available jobs may be in the future or that they represent more desirable income levels.
Compared to Millennials, they find joys closer to home
Millennials have earned a reputation for valuing larger-than-life experiences above all. Generation Z seems to be flipping that notion on its head. Our survey revealed a generation that places the most value on personal growth and spending time with family and, relegating Instagram-worthy experiences like travel and attending cultural events to the bottom of their list.
What does this shift in priorities mean for the future of social media? Stay tuned, because next week we’ll uncover how Gen Z feels about what, where and how they plan to share.