Far from just wanting a relaxed work environment where they can dream the day away, Gen Zs mean business.
Our research has uncovered key insights into young people’s values, especially when it comes to their future. Gen Z have identified passion, money and career growth potential as the most important factors when deciding their future.
An 18-year-old told us why the number one factor for Gen Z when making career-path decisions is ‘passion’.
“I think more needs to be done in general to encourage young people to pursue a pathway they are passionate about, rather than doing what they’re capable of and what’s expected of them,” she said.
“I was pushed toward medicine, but I disliked the idea so I settled for pharmacy. I hated it [medicine], and am now doing… [a degree] I really love. I could have skipped all that stress if it was emphasised that I have more options like TAFE and that I should pursue what I’m passionate for.”
While youth have been enthusiastic in identifying the things that matter most to them in their career, a common issue is finding a pathway that ticks all the boxes. It’s important then that students receive quality information on the broad range of options available to them, especially the ones which have the potential to give them genuine satisfaction.
TAFE NSW is one of these, providing quality education to young people that addresses each of career concerns. And it’s something parents and schools should be talking about.
A 23-year-old survey respondent agreed.
“Students in school should be given advice about career pathways based on their passions, not on what their career advisors, school, or peers think is ‘prestigious’, or ‘the right thing to do’,” he said.
Often young people get funnelled into an academic pathway against their interests and talents simply because of their school or parents prioritising university. Some students find it difficult to find a career they’re passionate about in this environment.
TAFE NSW offers certificates, diplomas and bachelor degrees in areas like IT, 3D art and animation, fashion design, community services, commerce, business, interior design and TAFE NSW.
A 16-year-old told us of some of the advantages of TAFE.
“TAFE absolutely should be considered a first-rate option as it provides so many different pathways…” he said.
“It doesn’t require you to study a load of unrelated information, but rather it gives you an opportunity to study the topics and ideas required for you to pursue your desired careers.”
While Gen Z are concerned about the real-world application of the courses they are studying, they can rest assured TAFE NSW has them covered. In fact, data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) reveals 84.2% of TAFE NSW graduates were employed or enrolled in further study after their training which is 11% more than their university counterparts.
A 21-year-old told us why he felt it was important younger students were aware of this.
“Show kids the jobs that can come from specific TAFE/VET courses and how much money they can make and the lifestyle they can live with those qualifications,” he said.
It’s clear that Gen Z puts a huge significance on finding a career that aligns their passions with more practical things like money and personal development. With a rapidly changing career environment and some students finding that university isn’t for them, it’s clear that education providers like TAFE NSW are an effective pathway for these career-conscious young people.
Grab your free copy of our After The ATAR reports for more data and unique insights about Gen Z.