The American dream tells us that if we do everything right there’s no way we could possibly fail – but Gen Z knows better. Born from 1996, raised during the Great Recession and the student loan crisis, Get Z has learned much during their formative years, particularly on the financial side.
In 2017, the collective student loan debt reached $1.4 trillion amassed by 44 million Americans. Faced with this reality and with an awareness that they won’t be immune to the “need” to take on loans themselves, planning for college starts quite early on, often even before high school. Among Gen Zers, 21% have a savings account before they reach age ten, 76% already earn money through part-time work, and 24% plan to pay for college on their own through their own savings. Understanding from even a young age that there is no one-size-fits-all route to success, the educational status quo is being challenged.
Today, more than one in 20 young college graduates can’t find a job, and one in ten are underemployed. Millennials were forced to turn to side-gigs and freelancing to make ends meet and by 2027, the majority of the US workforce could be freelancers. Gen Z, however, has learned from the mistakes of millennials and instead focuses on working for themselves and only themselves. Among middle and high schoolers today, 41% say they plan on owning their own business one day and 45% say they will invent something that will change the world. Embracing educational alternatives, taking “shortcuts” when necessary, and relying on nobody but themselves, Gen Zers take risks that pay off on the goal of building a stable and financially independent future.
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From learning on the job, to working with mentors, and finally to opening up their own businesses, Gen Zers have their eyes on many prizes – let’s hope we can keep up. Detailed in this infographic is the future of entrepreneurship, what to expect from the rising post-millennial generation Gen Z, and what their progress will mean for the future of business, the economy, and more.
Infographic Source: Online Schools Center