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When it comes to Gen Z, the next generation is weighing in on AI, workforce training needs, and other issues impacting their future.

Gen Z students worry about AI, student debt, and careers


The next generation of workers is weighing in on AI, workforce training needs, and other issues impacting their future

Key points:

When it comes to the future, Gen Z students are worried about how AI will form their career opportunities.

More than half of Gen Z youth (59 percent) say they believe AI will have a more negative than positive effect on society in the next 10 years, 55 percent are extremely or very much concerned about AI’s impact on personal privacy, and 62 percent are worried about job displacement, according to the 2024 Career Interest Survey conducted by National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).

The survey offers a look at how 10,072 Gen Z students (born after 1997) view their future education and career prospects.

Nearly half (48 percent) of next-generation workers say the most important quality in an employer is clear communication skills.

Young people want experience. More than nine out of 10 expect to participate in an internship and almost three quarters (70 percent) were interested in certification courses to prepare for what lies ahead.

The majority (63 percent) have concerns about pursuing passions as careers due to not making sufficient income. The top career fields of interest include medicine/health-related (24 percent), healthcare (22 percent), and engineering (18 percent).

Workplace and employer preferences

Fair treatment of all employees continues to rank at the top of all workplace preferences (28 percent rank it first), followed by work life balance (25 percent), and corporate social responsibility (14 percent).

Sixty-seven percent say they expect employers to offer in-person training.

Almost half (41 percent) believe that student loan debt has or will prevent them from pursuing their passions.

Scholarships play a big role in financing college–students picked them as their top contributor to financing higher education.

Sixty-six percent of students say they’ll live at home after college graduation to further be able to pay for student loans.

Health benefits trump time-off and flexible work schedule as their most valued compensation benefits, with 72 percent saying health benefits, 25 percent work-life balance, and 61 percent saying flexible work schedule.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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