New National Youth Career Interest Survey Reveals GenZ Career Choices, Workplace Preferences and More | Trade and Industry Development

New National Youth Career Interest Survey Reveals GenZ Career Choices, Workplace Preferences and More

Jun 17, 2024
Next Generation Workers Also Weigh In On AI, Workforce Training Needs, And World Issues 

There’s never been a more tumultuous time for young people to plan for and embark on their careers, and employers can benefit greatly from career insights from this data set. A new 2024 Career Interest Survey of 10,072 Gen Z students (born after 1997), conducted by National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), gives insights into what motivates an adventurous, civic-minded, concerned, vocal, tech-savvy, emerging workforce.  

More than 10,000 College and High School Survey Respondents from All 50 States Reveal These Highlights:  

·      More youth (59%) believe that AI will have a more negative than positive effect on society in the next ten years. More than half (55%) are extremely or very much concerned about AI’s impact on personal privacy and 62% are worried about job displacement.  

·      Student debt isn’t going away – but they don’t expect Mom and Dad to pay. One quarter of students expect to incur anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 in student debt, but just 14% said they expected family assistance as a component of how they’ll pay for college.  

·      Google, Amazon, and Apple made the list of top 10 preferred employers but healthcare/STEM remain biggest job targets. 

·      Nearly half (48%) of next-generation workers say the most important quality in an employer is clear communications skills. 

·      Young people want experience. More than nine out of 10 expect to participate in an internship and almost three quarters (70%) were interested in certification courses to prepare for what lies ahead. 

·      Two-thirds (66%) expect to live at home when they start their first job and three quarters (73%) plan to stay at home for one to two years.  

Other Key Findings  

Career Aspirations and Jobs 

·      The majority (63%) have concerns about pursuing passions as careers due to not making sufficient income.  

·      The top career fields of interest include medicine/health-related (24%), healthcare (22%), and engineering (18%).  

·      Gen Z has a strong interest in working in healthcare settings, with their top three preferred employers being St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Mayo Clinic, and Healthcare Service Corps.  

·      Google, Amazon, and Apple also made the top ten list of desired employers, coming in at 7, 8, and 9, respectively.  

Benefits & Compensation: 

·      Health benefits trump time-off and flexible work schedule as their most valued compensation benefits, with 72% saying health benefits, 25% work-life balance, and 61% saying flexible work schedule. 

Workplace and Employer Preferences 

·      Fair treatment of all employees continues to rank #1 of all workplace preferences (28% rank it first), followed by work life balance (25%), and corporate social responsibility (14%). 

·      67% say they expect employers to offer in-person training. 

·      Clear health and safety guidelines rank #1 regarding importance of working conditions, followed by easy commute and modern amenities of office spaces. 

Impact of Student Debt and Living  

·      Almost half (41%) believe that student loan debt has or will prevent them from pursuing their passions. 

·      Scholarships play a big role in financing college – students picked them as their #1 contributor to financing higher education.  

·      66% say they’ll live at home after college graduation to further be able to pay for student loans. 

World Issues 

·      Healthcare and health-related issues are the most important issue to Gen Z students, coinciding with their desire to work in healthcare settings. This is largely due to their own personal experiences with health-related issues.  

·      The economy, social justice and civil rights, and government corruption are the most important issues in deciding who young voters will choose for the 2024 Presidential Election.  

(Click to Expand)