Research

Survey: Gen Zers Motivated by Money to Learn

Male Hand Holding Stack of Cash Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky with Sun Rays

Gen Zers aren't shy about saying money motivates them to learn. According to a survey conducted online for LinkedIn in October among 3,072 adults working full time, the top two reasons these individuals consider learning important is to improve at their jobs (referenced by 62 percent of respondents) and to make more money (59 percent).

Gen Zers are typically categorized as those born between 1996 and 2010. The oldest in this generation are around 22 years old. According to LinkedIn, the country has 61 million Gen Zers; that's larger than Gen X and two-thirds the count of Baby Boomers. By next year, the company noted, the population of Gen Zers will also outnumber Millennials.

A majority of Gen Zers (59 percent) stated that they don't believe their jobs will exist in the same form in 20 years, and more than three-quarters (76 percent) reported feeling that the skills needed today are different from the ones needed in previous generations. The big emphasis for learning among 62 percent of respondents will be on "hard skills" — those that are specific to a given position (such as programming a particular language or knowing the processes for a given industry). Just a third (34 percent) said they also recognize that the more general "soft skills" will always be important.

Most survey participants (58 percent) said they'd like to learn a new skill, but they don't have the time to do so. LinkedIn, which runs LinkedIn Learning, a library of learning videos, concluded that Gen Zers were most likely to turn to "micro-learning" to pick up the skills they lack. This was defined as "small, digestible chunks of time" when people could do learning between other activities (such as watching videos on their devices).

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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