Every summer brings a new class of college graduates searching for their place in the workforce and this summer has been no different. Companies post positions for hire to LinkedIn, and recent graduates submit their resumes everywhere and anywhere trying to find the right fit. Typically, employers consider each newly graduated class entering the workforce to be similar to the last. However, members of Gen Z who are recent graduates can offer industries, especially the marketing industry, new skills worth noting.
Here are three reasons Gen Z college graduates will stand out.
Gen Z are Digital Natives
As many industries faced the heavy task of adapting to digital throughout the early 2000s, Gen Z learned about the digital age as it developed. Gen Z is considered digital natives and life before computers, iPhones, or even the internet is difficult for many of us to picture. Many of our early educations consisted of computer classes, learning to type, and practicing math skills through internet games. This generation’s digital savviness, however, extends far beyond education.
Social media started by transforming how people share and connect with others. Gen Z flocked to all social platforms, experimenting and familiarizing themselves with every facet. Today, 72% of kids between the ages of 13-17 years old have an Instagram account and similar percentages are present on Snapchat and Facebook. As a result, their preferences impacted which platforms remained popular and which did not last. These statistics show how powerful social media is, and why its’ original intention has since evolved.
Brands have new tools at their disposal thanks to social media trends. They now have the power to further solidify their identity via social media platforms, engage more with their target audience, and hear real-time feedback from their consumers. Gen Zers are strongly positioned to be an asset in assisting with these efforts because they have built their own brand identities through their personal profiles. We understand that posts reflect our beliefs, values, likes, and dislikes and that the same goes for the brands we choose to follow.
Relevant Collegiate Courses
Another reason why Gen Z is better equipped for the marketing industry today is the regular adjustments to collegiate studies. No longer are college students learning about door-to-door selling. College students are educated on the current trends in the marketing industry – such as social media platforms as a brand marketing tool.
But education doesn’t stop at current trends, Gen Z also learns about marketing trends expected to grow in the future. A study done in 2019 showed that more than 60% of companies surveyed are in search of digital advertisers to hire. Colleges are, therefore, tailoring their graduate and undergraduate marketing curriculums to meet the industry need for people experienced with digital marketing. The combination of digital natives along with the tailored curriculums will lessen the learning curve these recent graduates face upon being hired to their first job.
Gen Zers are Quick Learners
Though the learning curve Gen Z members face during their first jobs is in many cases lessened, it’s not diminished completely. Recent graduates will not know every relevant skill or method by their first job’s start date. However, Gen Z being comprised of quick learners is a well-studied and widely accepted characteristic of the group.
Although we will not know everything, growing up during the digital age equipped us to process information more easily. Employers are less likely to have to repeat lessons or information to Gen Z employees. Our college classes provided foundational knowledge that enables us to understand new concepts more thoroughly as we learn them in our initial jobs.
Gen Z still has a lot to learn – there’s no doubt about that. But industry professionals should not underestimate the potential Gen Z possesses. We’re ready to face challenges and contribute our own unique set of experiences to a mission greater than our social media profiles.
Caroline is a marketing intern at RDW and a rising senior who is studying marketing and writing at Providence College She holds a great enthusiasm for sports and loves spending time with her family.