Gen Z optimistic about future, EY survey finds

Register now

While Millennials are often the most discussed generation in accounting today, Generation Z, right behind them, are already beginning to take over internships and jobs. And according to new data from EY, they have a lot to look forward to.

Approximately two-thirds (63%) of over 1,600 Gen Z interns surveyed at the firm's 21st annual International Intern Leadership Conference reported to feel confident that they will be both financially better off and happier at their jobs than their parents were. Technology/automation and a firm culture of inclusiveness were cited as primary factors contributing to Gen Z's bright outlook.

“As Gen Z enters the workforce for the first time, it is encouraging to see how optimistic they are about their career prospects, as well as the impact that technology will have on the way they work,” stated Larry Nash, EY U.S. recruiting leader. “Our survey findings re-affirm what we already know - this generation is driven, passionate and open-minded. They also place a strong emphasis on flexibility and opportunities for growth. At EY we are always identifying new ways to support students, incoming graduates and our younger workforce. Just like Gen Z, we are optimistic about the future, as we continue to evolve alongside them and adapt to disruption and the changing global workplace.”

Other finding from the Gen Z survey included:

  • 76% of respondents believe that new technologies will change the way they work. 66% believe new tech will add to their productivity and 52% believe new tech will add more value to their work. A scant 17% of those polled believe new technology will limit their number of prospective jobs.
  • 84% consider working with people from different backgrounds to be a skill that differentiates them from older job candidates.
  • 84% list career growth as their top factor when considering an employer, dwarfing other factors such as salary (1%), maternity/paternity benefits (16%), and working abroad (24%). 50% also cited work flexibility as an important factor.
  • 67% of Gen Z respondents would prefer to have a millennial manager over Gen X or Baby Boomer. A majority of African American interns (71%) and Hispanic interns (65%) noted that they would prefer a millennial manager compared to white interns (45%).
  • 66% consider job satisfaction and financial stability to be equal goals.
  • Of those who believe they'll be better off than their parents, employers listening to staff needs (31%), workplace flexibility (27%), and a belief that employers were aware of Gen Z willing to switch jobs if they're not happy (16%) were cited as main reasons.

For more on the International Intern Leadership Conference, head to EY's site here.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Workplace culture EY Building a Better Firm