With millennials already well into their careers, Glassdoor released a study that reveals how the next generation – Generation Z – will impact the American workforce. Fresh out of college and looking for the next step in their lives, this age group is bursting on to the job market in a big way.
With the unemployment rate at approximately 4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, older members of Generation Z are entering the workforce at a time where things are skewed in their favor. Employers vie for skilled workers, giving this next group of potential hires ample opportunities to choose from. Glassdoor's latest findings highlight this age group's key concerns and interests as they begin their careers.
According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z comprises youths born between 1997 and 2002, while millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. Gen Z's oldest members, between 18 and 22 years old, are now entering the job market – either straight out of high school or at the tail end of their college careers.
To learn more about Gen Z, Glassdoor analyzed job applications filed on the site between Oct. 1, 2018, and Jan. 11, 2019. During the process, it noted the potential employers, the locations and the types of jobs that both Gen Z and millennials were seeking in the U.S.
To further add context, Glassdoor utilized its database of company reviews to learn how Gen Z employees rate their working conditions at companies with more than 30 reviews left by that age group between Jan. 1, 2015, and Jan. 11, 2019. The pros and cons of each job listed by Gen Z and millennial employees during that time were collected and the most common two-word phrases used by these two groups were identified. The locations and expected salaries for each position were also considered.
When it comes to the types of jobs Gen Z applicants wanted, the tech industry reigned supreme – which should come as no surprise, since Generation Z has only known a world with publicly available internet. Seven out of the top 10 companies are in this industry, and include IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Oracle. With these preferences, Gen Z was strikingly like their millennial counterparts.
Gen Z applicants were significantly less interested in non-tech companies. The only three non-tech companies to make the top 10 for Gen Z were Deloitte, an accounting company; NBCUniversal, a media conglomerate; and Lockheed Martin, an aerospace and defense corporation.
Young workers who managed to make their way into Gen Z's most sought-after companies also rated those companies highly on Glassdoor. According to the company's findings, Apple, Google and Microsoft each scored a 4.6 out of 5 approval rating from this demographic. Other highly rated companies include Facebook and Morgan Stanley.
Unsurprisingly, tech positions were among the most desired in the Gen Z group. According to Glassdoor's data, about 19 percent of the applications that this group filled out on the company's website were for software engineer careers, which has more than 60,000 openings and a median salary of $98,500. Other highly skilled positions sought by Gen Z'ers include software developer and mechanical engineer.
Other high-paying jobs in Gen Z's sights are business analyst, with a median salary of $73,000; investment banking analyst, with a median salary of $80,800; and financial analyst, with a median salary of $70,000.
Location, location, location
When entering the workforce, it's common for newcomers to seek employment in one of the country's larger metropolitan areas. Cities like New York, Washington, DC, and Seattle tend to attract the interest of many entry-level employees.
To understand where members of Generation Z wanted to work, Glassdoor investigated job application data on their website to see how their interests compare to the previous generation.
From 2015 to 2019, the top three metropolitan areas that saw the most interest from Generation Z workers were New York (9 percent), Los Angeles (6 percent) and San Francisco (5 percent). Millennials were even more interested in these three cities, at 13 percent, 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
What separates the two generations, according to Glassdoor, is the fact that Gen Z applicants were "less concentrated in the bigger metros compared to millennials." While the millennials' top 10 list included the likes of Miami and Phoenix, Gen Z workers were interested in jobs located in Champaign, Illinois, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
What Gen Z values in a job
When rating a job on Glassdoor, users generally share their personal experiences anonymously. The process of leaving a review on the site also requires the employee to consider what the company is doing well and what could be improved.
Glassdoor's data reports that Gen Z workers value a good work environment with flexible hours and good pay. According to the company's findings, the phrases "easy job," "employee discount" and "free food" are among the phrases they use that do not show up in the same data set for millennials. For the older group of workers, a good work environment, great co-workers and great benefits rank among the top three biggest "pros" at a highly-ranked position.
What makes a job "bad" in the eyes of Gen Z and millennial workers? For starters, Gen Z dislikes "long hours," "low pay" and "minimum wage." And while the first two are the same for millennials, "upper management" is also a major complaint in their reviews.