Call it batch names or class names, labeling generations with a moniker has been around for a long time. It’s also easy to become confused with generation cohorts. How old is a baby boomer? What generation am I part of? Which generation is my grandpa part of? To help you remember, remember that it’s not about a person’s current age or stage in life. When it comes to generational cohorts, it is about your birth year. In this article, we’ll talk about Generation Z.
What is Generation Z?
It may be overwhelming to think that new generations continue to be identified. For a long while, everyone has taken to labeling all young people as being “Millennials.” Also known as Gen Z, Generation Z is the generational cohort right after Millennials. Research says that Generation Z will soon become the largest generation in American history and will make up the largest portion of the consumer population by 2026.
Although different sources may have varying information on the specific age range of Generation Z, many sources say that people who belong to Gen Z are those who were born in 1997 through to 2012. This means that in 2021, they are now between 9 and 24 years old.
How can Generation Z be described?
There are a lot of things that make Generation Z unique. To begin with, this generation is considered the most ethnically diverse in the United States. Compared with millennials, there are significantly more people in Generation Z who were born to parents who are immigrants.
Perhaps what sets Generation Z apart from other generations is that they grew up with so many technological advances already a part of everyday life. While millennials and older generations had to adjust to computers and the internet, those from Generation Z were already born into a technologically advanced society. Internet, smartphones, touchscreen devices, Wi-Fi, they already know these things. Because of this, Generation Z also spends more time online. Compared with previous generations, they spend an average of 3 hours daily being online or connected to a smart device.
Furthermore, another trend that has been observed is the drive and the desire of Generation Z to become financially stable and educated. Perhaps this is due in part that many people from Generation Z grew up with seeing their parents undergo challenges during the Great Recession. Because of this, their attitudes towards saving, avoiding debt, and financial stability have been imprinted on them at a young age.
How are Millennials and Generation Z similar or different?
Millennials and Generation Z have similarities and differences. Some of their similarities are their progressive political views and being knowledgeable of technological advancements. Millennials experienced the advent of the internet and its expansion. Children in Generation Z were already born into a world with the internet. Other similarities are social media presence and interest in personal finance.
Despite these shared characteristics, some other traits and trends distinguish Generation Z from Millennials. Generation Z members are more practical and innovative. Millennials may have experienced renting videos and watching VHS tapes, while Generation Z is more attuned with more digitally advanced platforms like Youtube. Because of this, they want and expect more innovations and creativity. Along with being comfortable with technology, Generation Z members are also more concerned about digital privacy and data privacy. Finally, those from Gen Z have a more entrepreneurial mindset and are frequent multitaskers.
What does this mean for employers?
In 2021, the oldest members of Generation Z are 24 years old. This means that they have just recently graduated from school or have entered the workforce. Because they are still “young workers,” not much can be observed in terms of their behavior in the workplace. However, being more interested in financial stability, employers can expect Generation Z to be motivated by job security and financial incentives. Also, as the most diverse generation, Generation Z would most likely look for organizations that prioritize equality. Finally, Generation Z members are good multitaskers and can apply this skill in the work environment.
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