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Who’s got next?

In a recent blog post, our team examined migration data among millennials moving to or away from the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. The considerable improvement over the past five years was promising, but compared to our peer regions, we had room to improve.

When Make It. MSP. partners first set out to learn more about this age cohort, there was already a lot of information out there about the millennial generation. Partners leveraged this information and connected with thousands more people to make strategic decisions about reaching these and other professionals in the workforce, framing the teams that now make up the bulwark of Make It. MSP. efforts: MSP Tech, BE MSP, and MSP Hello.

However, when it comes to Generation Z, the latest and fastest growing segment of the workplace, less is known. Members of “Gen Z” are just beginning to graduate from college, and researchers have only had the last few years to gather meaningful insights on what they are looking for in their careers, employers, and communities.

So here we are, knowing that Gen Z will inevitably reshape our workplaces, but not knowing how their experiences will influence their perspectives on work and life.

Challenging our own assumptions

When developing the latest edition of our report series, Make It MSP. Insights, we set out in hopes to begin to better understand Gen Z, examine what they are looking for in their first jobs, and what factors are influencing the early career decisions they make. Our findings make up this MSP Campus edition.

As is the case with any research project, it was a priority for our team to bring a keen awareness of our own biases and a commitment to keeping an open mind. Rather than draw our own conclusions from the limited information we did have, we tried to let the data speak for itself. It may surprise you.

For example, it’s common knowledge that many members of Gen Z have grown up on their smartphones. They’re the first generation to have been born in a time with the Internet widely available (even in their pockets) and have since become the most technologically savvy generation in history.

This affinity for, and perhaps dependency on, technology might lead us to believe that when it comes to their careers, Gen Z workers would prefer digital communication over face-to-face. Fair assumption, right?

Maybe not. Make It. MSP.’s early research found that 51% of Gen Z members said they prefer face-to-face communication over digital. Moreover, many Gen Z students and workers acknowledged that having strong social skills will be central to their success in the workforce and are looking to employers to help them further develop networking and interpersonal communication experience.

Recognizing that it’s time we start challenging our own assumptions about Gen Z, similar conversations around diversity, student debt, and mission-driven work are explored in the MSP Campus edition.

A call for open minds

This latest report provides a glimpse into the Gen Z experience, but leaves many questions unanswered. It is Make It. MSP.’s hope that partners will use these early findings to raise questions of your own, inform decisions in your organizations, and provide a foundation for the work we will do in partnership through the Make It. MSP. initiative.

Nevertheless, there is still much to learn. The MSP Campus team of Make It. MSP. is spending this fall connecting with students at home and across the country while they expand their work to reach students, interns, and recent graduates. The more we collaborate, the quicker we will move.

To learn more, we encourage you to download the latest copy of Make It. MSP. Insights: MSP Campus edition.

 

Download the Report