Memo to Bosses: In Choosing Employers, Gen Z Seeks 'Cutting Edge' Tech

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Memo to Bosses: In Choosing Employers, Gen Z Seeks 'Cutting Edge' Tech

Young people considered as part of “Generation Z” want “cutting edge” tech tools at their future workplaces, according to a recent survey from Dell Technologies. The resulting report, titled “Gen Z: The Future Has Arrived,” indicates that a majority of individuals in this demographic—defined as being born between the mid-1990s to mid-2000s—feel that the tech made available by a prospective hirer could emerge as a key “tie breaker” in deciding between two opportunities. In fact, a significant share anticipate working with robots. More than 12,000 global Gen Z respondents took part in the research, which was conducted by Dimensional Research. The following slide show presents survey highlights, with charts provided courtesy of Dell Technologies.

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Future Workers Eager for 'Cutting Edge' Tech

Four of five respondents said they want to work with “cutting-edge” tech in their future careers. Nearly as many are willing to serve as tech mentors to their colleagues.

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IT Tools Emerge as Key Recruitment Factor

Dell Technologies reports that 53 percent of respondents said they consider the type of tech provided by a prospective employer to be an “important” factor in deciding between two otherwise similar jobs. Less than one in 10 feel this is a non-factor.

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Tech Literacy Earns High Marks

Nearly three-quarters of respondents rank their tech literacy level as either “good” or “excellent.” Just over one-half are more confident that they have the tech skills that employers seek compared with their non-tech skills.

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Sense of Purpose—and Altruism—Run High

Forty-six percent of respondents are interested enough in tech to want to be involved in developing it, and two of five would like to use tech to “help others or the environment.” Nearly the same percentage want to ensure tech is used appropriately, such as in a cybersecurity-minded manner.

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Data Protection Efforts Prove Underwhelming

Only 31 percent of respondents feel that they’re “doing everything possible” to protect their data. Nearly two-thirds admit that they either do “some things” to protect data and “hope” it’s enough, or that they’d like to make more of an effort but “don’t know what to do.”

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Robots as Your Cubicle 'Buddy'?

The findings reveal that 56 percent of respondents feel that technology is “changing the world and you have to understand it.” About one-half believe that future jobs will require tech skills because “we’ll be working with robots or other technology.”

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Machines Present No Employment Threat

In elaborating upon their impressions of robots in the workplace, 89 percent of respondents said humans and robots will either work together as an “integrated team” or that humans will use these machines as a tool on an “as needed basis.” Only 11 percent expect machines to replace human workers.

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No BYOD? No Problem!

Surprisingly, bring your own device (BYOD) may not be as popular as perceived among these future professionals, as only 34 percent said they’d like to select and manage their own technology, and install anything needed for work on their own. In contrast, 47 percent said they want their employer to select and manage the best tech for them at work, but allow it to be customizable for their own needs.

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Young People Taking Cautious Approach on Social Media

More than seven of 10 respondents said they are “always” careful about what they post on social media or other public forums, out of consideration for their future employment prospects. Just 5 percent said they “don’t even try” to be careful about this.

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On-Site 'Team' Concepts Embraced

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they actually would prefer to go to a workplace rather than work from home. And 58 percent said they’d favor working as part of a team rather than working independently.

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Forecast 2019: IT Pros Expect Staffing Increases, Higher Salaries

Employer alert: If you don't plan to reward your hardworking IT pros with a larger salary next year—along with opportunities for them to expand their tech skills—they may find another job in 2019.
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