Gen Z is Defining the Future of Work – on Their Own Terms, Reveals Morning Consult & Samsung Survey
50% Aspire to be Entrepreneurs, 21% See AI as Opportunity & 40% Predict AI-Driven Job Disruption
Gen Z is charting a new course for the Future of Work, with a strong emphasis on defining their careers in line with their passions and aspirations. They are entering the workforce in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and are aware of its transformative potential on the job market. Notably, while 21% of Gen Z respondents feel that AI will create more job opportunities for people in their generation, 40% anticipate that AI will lead to job disruption in many traditional industries, according to a new Morning Consult survey, commissioned by Samsung Solve for Tomorrow.
Despite any concerns about disruption, Gen Z’s career aspirations highlight their adaptability and forward-thinking mindset. When asked about the industries they are most drawn to or consider promising for their future careers, respondents consistently focused on sectors known as hubs of innovation and creativity. Entertainment and Media attracted 33% of respondents, closely followed by Technology and Design – both at 30%, and 24% expressed interest in pursuing careers in Health Industries.
At the same time, it is abundantly clear from the survey that Gen Z is driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit, with 50% expressing their desire to become entrepreneurs or start their own business. This unwavering focus on entrepreneurship underscores Gen Z’s innovative mindset, their drive for autonomy, and their eagerness to forge unique paths in the ever-evolving landscape of the future of work.
Recognizing the significance of this shift, Morning Consult and Samsung Solve for Tomorrow conducted a new survey, dubbed “The Rise of Gen Z and the Future of Work,” that polled over 1,000 U.S. students aged 16 to 25, shedding light on how the emerging generation envisions the future of work, their perceptions of skills required for success, the impact of AI on the workplace, and the qualities needed to be a successful entrepreneur. These findings provide valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of the workforce as Gen Z begins to shape the workplace on their own terms.
Ann Woo, Head of Corporate Citizenship for Samsung North America, said, “Gen Z’s drive to be entrepreneurs, to create their own business and path, is a powerful motivation that those in STEM industries need to acknowledge and cultivate when thinking about our own workforce of the future. We’ve seen that creative drive manifested in the STEM projects submitted each year to our annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition – and to help further encourage that maker spirit, we’ve added a Rising Entrepreneurship Award this year to the roster of prizes presented to winning schools.”
Among the other key findings from the survey:
Work 3.0: Gen Z anticipates significant changes in the workplace in the next decade:
- Increased use of advanced technologies (AI, Machine Learning, Robotics, Virtual Reality or Artificial Reality, etc.): 58%
- Growth of remote and flexible work options: 41%
- Emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace: 36%
Ideal Career Paths: Gen Z envisions diverse career paths, with a strong focus on entrepreneurship and creativity:
- Becoming an entrepreneur or starting their own business: 50%
- Working in the creative arts and media: 44%
- Pursuing a career in a STEM-related field: 28%
Entrepreneurial Success Factors: Gen Z believes key attributes are needed to succeed as entrepreneurs:
- Commitment to hard work: 64%
- Knowing the right people (influencers, investors, etc.): 49%
- Perseverance through challenging times: 49%
Career Priorities: Gen Z values a balanced and meaningful work-life experience:
- Work-life balance: 50%
- Career growth and skill development: 50%
- Job stability and security: 47%
Key Skills for Overall Success: Gen Z recognizes the importance of personal growth and adaptability:
- Willingness to learn: 47%
- Creativity: 44%
- Leadership and management abilities: 40%
Preferred Industries by Gender ID: When asked which industries most attract them or are most promising for their future careers, Gen Z respondents overall said Entertainment and Media (33%), Technology (30%), and Design (30%)… BUT:
- The leading response among female and female-identifying respondents was Healthcare (37%) followed by Design and Entertainment (both at 30%).
- Technology is the leading response among male and male-identifying respondents at 43%, followed by Entertainment at 35%.
Emphasizing problem-based learning (PBL), environmental sustainability, and now social impact entrepreneurship, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is an award-winning national competition dedicated to fostering innovation among U.S. public middle and high school students. It challenges them to explore the transformative potential of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in addressing significant issues within their local communities.
In response to Gen Z’s entrepreneurial mindset, a new national “Rising Entrepreneurship Award” worth $25,000 has been introduced. This award emphasizes the competition’s commitment to nurturing solutions that extend beyond the competition, becoming scalable ventures that shape the future workforce. Alongside this, the Sustainability Innovation Award, established in 2021, complements the effort to address environmental concerns. In total, over $2 million* in Samsung technology and classroom supplies will be awarded to STEM educators, advancing the mission of inspiring and equipping the next generation of STEM leaders.
As Gen Z continues to shape the future of work, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow remains committed to supporting their journey. To learn more about the Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition, which is accepting entries now through October 27, 2023, please visit samsung.com/solve.