You’ve probably been reading up on millennials, also known as Gen Y, the generation that ranges between ages 20 and 35. Much has been written about their takeover of the workforce, and employers are just starting to get a feel for the impact of these young employees. Don’t get too comfortable, however, because waiting just behind them is Generation Z. These young people are slated to begin graduating from college at the close of this decade. Now is the time to start thinking about the ways in which they will impact engineering and IT.
The Similarities Between Generations Y and Z
Not too much is known yet about Generation Z since they are largely still in school, but experts agree there are some similarities between them and their millennial counterparts. Both generations expect to land a job immediately upon graduation and they expect that job to provide them with financial stability. Additionally, they want to find a job that gives them purpose. There is debate about how realistic those expectations are, but those expectations exist, nonetheless.
Both generations are extremely comfortable with and reliant on digital technology and prefer to communicate via text-based applications rather than face-to-face. This lack of personal communication makes them less adept at navigating many aspects of work life, such as conflict resolution, but more adept at online collaboration and virtual teamwork.
The Differences Between Generations Y and Z
While these two generations are similar, they are different in many ways. Generation Z grew up with the internet at their fingertips, were raised in a post-9/11 world, they are more likely to have had one stay-at-home parent, and they were taught to value diversity of race, class and gender more than any previous generation.
This generation craves stability more than millennials. Whereas Generation Y is known for its job hopping, Generation Z will be looking to find a career “home” when they graduate. These young people value predictability at home, and that value will likely transfer into their preferences in their work life.
While millennials prefer the open floor plans and campuses made famous by Google and Facebook, Generation Z is more likely to prefer a hybrid work environment, where they can work independently and quietly on projects, but come together in vibrant, open spaces to collaborate when necessary. Remember, they prefer to communicate via apps than have a face-to-face conversation.
Gearing Up For Gen Z
Preparing for Generation Z to enter the engineering and technology sectors is important, even though researchers are still learning about their priorities and preferences. But one thing is certain: Employers need to be able to attract and retain young talent in these fields given the ever-expanding skill gap. If your company is looking to attract top young IT and engineering talent, reach out to the expert recruiters at Selectek today. We can connect you with top talent who will help drive your company towards the future.