"Why Is Gen-Z Feeling So Good About Life After COVID-19?"

Forbes.com

Posted June 29, 2020 by Mark Perna

College, career and life plans might change, but they’re moving forward. Mark’s article, “Why Is Gen-Z Feeling So Good About Life After COVID-19?,” published at Forbes.com on June 23, 2020.

Generation-Z is hardworking, focused on their goals and immensely practical—not so different from the Boomers before them. And, like the Boomers, they’re coming of age in a time of dramatic national change and upheaval.

So how is the teen segment of this generation coping with the fallout of COVID-19? A new Cassandra survey of 1,000 13–17-year-old respondents aims to uncover this generation’s perspective on college, career and life in a post-pandemic world.

To college, or not to college—that is the question. With 45% believing they need a bachelor’s degree to be successful in life, it’s not surprising that the majority (60%) are not expecting to change their college plans as a result of the pandemic. On the other hand, 24% say their college plans have already changed or are likely to do so.

Gen-Z is already known for their preference for in-person communication and face-to-face meetings. This includes how they take their college courses, with a sizeable minority (43%) saying they would rather wait until they can attend classes in person. However—57% said they’d rather keep moving forward with their college classes on schedule, even if it had to be via remote/online learning.

Career plans

Will new careers be created as a result of COVID-19? Seventy-five percent of respondents said yes. Further, 66% believe their generation will be more likely to work freelance jobs than past generations.

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While they acknowledge the impact of the virus on their education and career outlook, most Gen-Zers believe they can overcome these challenges and live the life they’ve been planning. 45% say their career plans have not been impacted by the pandemic, while 35% say their career plan has changed or will likely change due to the coronavirus.

Generation-Z is hardworking, focused on their goals and immensely practical—not so different from the Boomers before them. Click To Tweet

But the optimism is tempered with a realistic look at America’s struggling economy and workforce. Thirty-four percent of this generation believe they will make less money in their lifetime as a result of COVID-19.

Life plans

Unlike the more optimistic Millennials, Gen-Z are largely realists. “One of the key characteristics of Gen-Z (even before COVID) was their pragmatism, especially when compared to the high optimism and aspirations of Millennials,” says Kathy Sheehan, SVP, Cassandra.

But that isn’t stopping this generation from taking a glass-half-full perspective on life after COVID-19. Only 27% of respondents said it had caused them to lower their expectations of the success they would enjoy in life—leaving 73% who feel that the pandemic will not negatively affect their ultimate success and happiness.

Despite the significant challenges that COVID-19 has created for the economy and workforce, Gen-Z is approaching their future with a positive attitude. They’re young, resilient and determined to make things better—and they’re just what our world needs.

Read at Forbes.com


About The Author
Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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