New research by the economic research firm Oxford Economics in collaboration with Snap reveals that despite the challenges younger people now face, Generation Z (people born between 1995 and 2010) is doing better than expected.
Extensive research, conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia, shows that Generation Z will actually benefit from changes in the way we live, work and communicate through COVID-19.
Thorough research has been done
The research examines recent developments such as the strong increase in digital communication, telecommuting, the increase in the use of e-commerce and other online services, and their impact on the labor market. It is expected that by 2030, three quarters of jobs will require advanced digital skills. As the first generation to have grown up with technology from birth, Generation Z – which in the Oxford Economics analysis has outperformed all other age groups in digital skills – will be able to benefit more than any other generation from this growing need for digital skills. In addition to digital competence, Oxford Economics has discovered that there are three characteristics of Generation Z that are likely to be beneficial in the workplace of the future: flexibility, creativity and curiosity.
The job in augmented reality (AR), a market expected to be worth ten times that value by 2023, is a great example of the type of career that requires this combination of technical skills and creativity. Today, AR is mainly used for entertainment, but experts predict that this fast-growing technology will be used in many industries in the coming years – from marketing and education to construction and agriculture – to simplify operations, reduce human error and training. .
Oxford Economics predicts that Generation Z’s share of income in the overall economy will increase from 3% to 20% between 2019 and 2030. Their average salaries have increased by about 250% in the same period. Generation Z income will grow from $ 440 billion today to more than $ 3.5 trillion, which is equivalent to 11% of total household spending in the six economies by 2030.
Educational innovation is essential
This promising image comes with a caveat. If Generation Z is to take full advantage of the transition to a more digital economy, experts say the government, schools and universities need to catch up. Not only does months of interrupted learning time have to be compensated, but a fundamental educational reform is also needed. As with previous recessions, the economic shock that followed COVID-19 is now expected to trigger a new wave of automation, this time mainly affecting higher-education professions. The analysis shows that this means that in the future there will be much greater demand for technical knowledge and so-called “cognitive skills” such as creativity and critical thinking.
To further develop tech talent and augmented reality in all walks of life, Snap has launched a number of global initiatives that have reached more than 10,000 young people so far. For example, Snap Lens Studio workshops are being held in India, France, the United States and Malaysia, where young people are taught all kinds of augmented reality skills.
To ensure we support young people and help them make the most of their unique skills after the pandemic, Oxford Economics is calling for the following steps to be taken by business, government and education:
1. Closing the education gap: The epidemic has seriously disrupted the learning process of young people. This may negatively affect the economic prospects of Generation Z, and it may prevent them from making the most of the opportunities offered by the new digital economy.
In order to catch up, it can be a good idea to update knowledge in small groups, especially for young people from underprivileged families where not all resources are always available for home study.
2. Redesigning Education: Formal education continues to focus on acquiring knowledge rather than developing the skills needed to interpret that knowledge. Today’s global education systems are not doing enough to stimulate creative and flexible thinking, which is exactly what we need for jobs in the next decade.
Education should focus more on learning to solve problems and less on the regular testing of factual knowledge. This will be an effective way to develop these types of skills.
3. Using technology for retraining: The COVID-19 virus has accelerated the transition to a more digital economy, and has permanently changed many industries. Additional training should be available to all groups of society, so that no one is left behind.
Governments should consider how relatively new technologies such as augmented reality can offer them when training workers for jobs that require more digital skills, especially in situations where only limited material resources are available.
4. Lifelong learning: Data from the OECD survey indicate that less than half of adults are involved in learning. But in order to continue to adapt to changes and skills shortages, learning will only become more important to all workers.
To encourage this, companies should not require candidates to obtain their degree as evidence of the training they have undergone, but as evidence of their commitment to learning outside of traditional systems.
[foto: Zyanya BMO on Unsplash]