What do young people expect from employers?

Young people entering the working phase of their life have high expectations

With their smartphones and hi-tech gadgets, they are determined to secure employment within six months of graduation, demand a better work-life balance than their parents, and want to feel fulfilled in their career.

A study of some 16,000 high achievers in college and high school students in the US carried out by the National Society of High School Scholars – an international academic honour association – shows job expectations are high.

Young people have lived through changing decades and pivotal moments in history, with the results of the study demonstrating these experiences. More than three-quarters see themselves attending graduate school to further their education to enable them to enter the workplace. The young people are very focused on social justice, actively taking part in the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter protests.

Over 80 per cent of the young people indicate that they plan to be either somewhat or very involved in politics over the next few years. Almost all those aged 18 and over who took part say they are planning to vote in the next presidential election.

39 per cent of those polled say they aspire to work in a medicine or healthcare related field, while 20 per cent prefer to take on responsibilities in the sciences. 18 per cent of people want to work in biology or biotechnology, with 17 per cent indicating a desire to enter the business world. 13 per cent would like a job in the education sector, while nine per cent indicate a preference for the legal and government sector.

10 per cent say they have aspirations to work for the government. The most sought-after positions are in the FBI, CIA and Centers for Disease Control. Only seven per cent want to work in the media or entertainment industries. The workplaces making the top ten include St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Google, Amazon, Walt Disney Co, and Apple.

It is not all spend, spend, spend with Gen Z, as more than half of the students surveyed say they plan to begin saving for retirement during their twenties.

Despite the idealism and dreams of these young people to aspire to greatness, the survey warns that employers could struggle to meet the demands.

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