Generation Z—individuals born after 1996—are entering the workforce, bringing an extensive understanding of technology and its potential role in our world with them, according to a report by Dell Technologies. The report surveyed more than 12,000 high school and college students in 17 countries to gain insight into how younger generations look at tech and future jobs, said the Thursday release.
Among those surveyed, 98% reported using technology as a part of their formal education. Some 80% of respondents want to work with cutting-edge technology, and the same percentage believe tech and automation will forge a more equitable work environment, said the release.
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The majority of Gen Zers are confident in their knowledge of tech, as 73% rated their technology literacy as good or excellent; however, they are concerned with having the right soft skills and experience, said the release, with 52% unconfident in their non-tech skills.
Senior professionals have their own concerns, too. As Gen Zers enter the workforce, older generations worry about being outpaced, concerned that digital natives will take most of the leadership roles, said the release. However, 77% of Gen Zers did say they are willing to mentor older coworkers that might be more unfamiliar with technology, added the release.
With five generations now sharing the same workspace, businesses must take notice and find ways to help the diverse age sets feel comfortable, said the release. A cross-functional team, for example, could be a good option, encouraging exchanges of knowledge, according to the release.
Additionally, internships, rotating-programs, and mentorship opportunities could help young professionals feel more comfortable and gain more non-technical experiences. Even reverse mentorship programs, wherein older generations shadow younger hires, could be a good way to bridge knowledge gaps, said the release.
“Ultimately, those organizations that create a workforce in which all generations are supported will thrive in the era of human-machine partnerships,” said Danny Cobb, corporate fellow and vice president of tech strategy at Dell, in the release. “An integrated workforce is an empowered workforce, one that can help their organizations transform and succeed in the digital future.”
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- While 73% of Gen Z workers are confident in their tech skills, 52% are not comfortable in non-tech skills. — Dell, 2018
- In order for five generations of employees to cohesively work together, there must be an exchange of ideas and knowledge. — Dell, 2018