For years, we’ve been listening about the Generation Y being the most entrepreneurial so far. But is Gen Z about to give Millennials a run for their money?
Who are these newcomers, anyway?
Born between 1994 and 2010, they are a group of university students (who are going to join us in the real world any moment now), high school students and younger folks. What makes them so interesting are rumors going around, speculating how they are about to be the most ambitious generation yet.
They have no intention of settling in a comfy corporate job. Generation Z is known for its independence; they are self-starters, not afraid of taking control of their careers. According to Millennial Branding, 72% of high school students and 64% of college students are eager to start their own business. But what contributed to their adoption of such entrepreneurial mindset?
They are The Internet Generation
Approximately 2.52 billion Gen Zers represent the most tech-savvy, connected, and self-educated group so far. Raised surrounded by electronic devices, iGeneration cannot imagine the world without technology. While Millennials juggle 3 screens, Generation Z uses up to 5 – TV, laptop, desktop, iPod and, of course, Smartphone. As such, almost 80% of them display symptoms of emotional distress when kept away from their electronic devices.
They had access to all resources
Unlike Millennials who have spent their childhood playing in the sand at the playground down the street, Gen Z has been entertained with a multitude of educational apps, from the first moment their motoric developed enough to hold a smartphone. The latest statistics show more than 30% of them report watching lessons online and working with their classmates online. They were exposed to TED talks, they’ve read several blogs from the industry of their liking and have connected with like-minded people in their community. Most are even taking professional courses at Khan Academy, Coursera, or from an Ivy League Institution directly.
Nevertheless, it’s not just about monetizing their skills and knowledge. Teens around the world are taking advantage of a multitude of peer-to-peer networks to find freelance work and connect with potential clients.
Generation Z receives more pressure from their parents….
However, they did not get the hold of the educational apps on their own; it was thanks to their progressive Gen X parents who devoted all their free time to driving their children to additional classes, extracurricular activities and searching for tech camps, rather than taking them to the usual trips to the lake. Around 55% of high school students (and about 57% of college students) admit they feel pressured by their parents to gain professional experience while still in high school.
… as well as the society
Dan Schawbel, the man behind Millennial Branding and NY Times bestselling author, points out that in today’s economy, students have to start thinking about and building their careers in high school. From surviving the college admission process, ensuring you’ve filled out your college application the right way, to getting college internships and, ultimately – full-time jobs. That’s how more than 75% of Gen Zers were inspired to think about turning their hobby into a secure source of income, compared to the 50% of the Millennial generation.
High school and college students have more opportunities now
Nowadays, a number of companies are offering high school internships in order to support local high schools, acquire new ideas and find future college interns. For instance, Innovation Venture Fund offers seed funding to startup companies launched by current NYU students; Columbia University has a summer program for students who are looking to get practical experience in finance, product development and venture planning; Microsoft itself runs 8 to 10 weeks-long summer internship programs for high school students who wish to meet and work with the minds behind Windows.
As a result, these companies are creating opportunities for young, soon-to-be entrepreneurs, helping them become visible to leadership and offering them responsibilities that would stretch their knowledge and skills to complement their entry-level responsibilities.
They are independent and extremely ambitious
Coming of age in the era where self-employment is on the rise and innovative ideas are driven by rapid technological advancements, teens and tweens are feeling highly motivated to embark on a career path on their own. For this reason, many Gen Zers question whether to pay for school at all, or simply invest into their own business. They are digital natives; they are interconnected; their attentions are divided across multiple platforms; thus, they are known for their quick-fix mentality, and instant feeling of fulfillment.
They are still at school, but they should not be so easily disregarded. Slowly, but surely, they are powering their way into the competitive corporate world. Yes, they are known to be less focused than Millennials (by 4 seconds to be exact), but they are at the same time the masters of multitasking. These go-getters are nothing short of exceptional and are focused on one thing: success.