Generation Z and The World of Work
This post was written by Sam Aldred, who spent a week with us on work experience. We asked him to summarise his thoughts on how his friends and peers think about the concept of work and career, his views on how the world of work is changing, and whether the education system is keeping up with the pace of change going on outside it.
The Education System
With new advancements in technology constantly occurring and university becoming an increasingly less popular option amongst the contemporary youth, what is being done by our schools and our parents to educate us on the various ways to succeed in life. Is the world of work changing for good and if so, how are we keeping up?
After being at a privately educated school from the age of 7 until 16, I have learnt that within that specific branch of education you are constantly being forced to comply with this old-fashioned ideology of finishing your A-levels and going straight into a degree. With the private education system of today there is a serious lack of help and support when looking to excel in life via other pathways. I personally believe that if I was to do an apprenticeship or even a degree-apprenticeship when I leave school that it would place me in a position which would give me some edge over typical university goers. I think that despite this, schools lack the support needed due to old views. The private education system seems to have a very close-minded view in relation to change occurring. They are strong believers in what we have done in the past has worked for everyone so we are going to stick with this however this is something that they simply can’t do anymore. If the private education system wants to continue having students that excel in life and get good jobs, they need to realize that this won’t occur without change. Speaking from personal experience, someone looking at other further education options such as a degree apprenticeship would be given significantly less support in comparison to someone going straight to university and getting a degree. I also think that part of the reason for the refusal to change old ways is that up until very recently, companies also held the same views. However as younger people are being placed in charge of recruitment and being put into higher up jobs this is all starting to change. I think that now, within a company, experience and a specific skill set would make a candidate seem better than if they had a degree.
Personally, at my new college I have been given a lot of support when it comes to a future career or further education. There has been a larger focus on different types of education after college such as degree apprenticeships or going straight into work without getting any extra qualifications. Work experience is compulsory- Important as it gives you a chance to get experience in an area you may want to work in or get a degree in soon. More emphasis could be placed on the idea of degree apprenticeships or going straight into work however there is some focus on it.
Money or Happiness?
To the youth of today, happiness and pursuing a career in something you love is becoming increasingly popular. Up until around 10 years ago, work was viewed as a very structured thing. As most parents say, they went to work simply to provide for their family and it didn’t really matter what they did if they were getting payed for it. However, recently as Generation Z is beginning to take over the world of work, job opportunities are appearing in places never seen before. For example, if you like video games you can now pursue a carrier in playing video games and this is something which I find amazing. In our current society there is now a bigger chance than ever to get a career in anything you feel passionate about. For me, this is something that older people such as teachers and parents fail to understand and because of this they seem unable to support careers that aren’t the typical ‘9-5’. As it seems, the pursuit for happiness is overtaking the need for money and it will continue to do so as the years go on.
Technology has been constantly advancing at a fast pace for the last 5 years now. It is becoming more important in day to day life and soon it will begin to take over certain aspects of life. I believe that in 10 years over 30% of jobs will have become automated leaving fewer job opportunities for both young and old people. Despite this being the case, schools are still struggling to advance with the technology. Schools appear to be very stuck in their ways and failure to extend their curriculum so options such as coding are mandatory subjects. I think that society needs to realize that technology is going to continue advancing as the years go on and they need to cater for this.
The week has been extremely insightful and educational and has definitely contributed to my decisions on my next steps after I finish A levels.
My Week at Airwalk
This week at Airwalk, I have been given the chance to gain experience in an area I have never worked in before. From the beginning, I was welcomed into the company and after my induction I immediately began to work.
Throughout my week I have been given a wide variety of tasks and jobs to complete as well as having interviews arranged with high up members of staff for me. I widened my knowledge in every aspect of business from Sales to Talent recruitment and I will continue to do so as I progress through the world of work.
When I first began my week at Airwalk I was unsure as to what exactly the week would entail. I was unsure about whether I wanted to work a 9-5 job in an office as well as if I wanted to work in the city. However, this week has made me realize that although it may appear boring from the outside, the office environment can be both a good working environment and a friendly one. I am now considering an office job as a more viable option when looking for a career later in life whereas before this was at the bottom of my list.
From this experience I hope to be able to take away life skills such as how to act in an interview environment as well as how a normal job works as well really. The week has been extremely insightful and educational and has definitely contributed to my decisions on my next steps after I finish a levels. Thanks to everyone at Airwalk for allowing me to join them for a week and for making it an enjoyable experience as well as educational at the same time!