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No surprises here, but studying anything related to data science continues to be a big draw for members of Generation Z. According to LinkedIn’s latest Workforce Confidence Study, which surveyed nearly 12,000 people across a wide range of age cohorts, data analysis is at the top of the list of new skills that Generation Z wants to learn. Coming a close second is artificial intelligence, which has been going gangbusters ever since the introduction of ChatGPT last November.
Right now, 43% of Generation Z wants to gain new data analysis skills, compared to 39% of all Millennials, and 29% of Generation X. And nearly one in three members of Generation Z (31%) want to learn AI skills. So it’s a safe bet that companies, organizations, and educational institutions offering the opportunity to learn these skills will be a big draw for years to come. Clearly, in the eyes of the youngest generation (typically defined as people born in 1997 or later), data is the future.
Generation Z Knows That Data Is the Future
There are several reasons why data analysis and data science are so hot right now among the youngest members of the workforce. One is that, for the past 15 years, data has been the fuel that powers the global economy. Back in the mid-2000’s, it first started to become popular to say that “data is the new oil,” and it remains even more true today. Data powers every part of the global modern economy: every industry, every sector and every niche.
And members of Generation Z are very aware of this fact, even if they have only spent a limited time in the workforce. That’s because they grew up using social media, and data has been powering social media for years. Data powers the algorithms that determine what you see in your social media feeds. Data powers the advertising that you see on the major social media platforms. Data is the language that members of Generation Z use to communicate with each other. Online popularity can really be distilled down to just a few numbers, such as “likes,” “watch time,” and “subscribers.”
And LinkedIn is well aware of this, too. When asked what other skills they wanted to learn in addition to data science and AI, Generation Z responded resoundingly to the LinkedIn survey: anything to do with the creator economy. They don’t want to learn how to create content, though. They want to learn how to monetize that content. In short, how can they transform their online popularity with data into cold, hard cash?
What comes next?
Clearly, data is the future. If your company is looking to hire young Generation Z workers, find ways to give them opportunities to learn about data science and data analysis. If your brand is looking to attract new consumers and new users, then learn how to speak the language of data. Let online consumers know how they can become your new influencers, and let data tell the story for you.
With the recent introduction of ChatGPT, it’s easy to see how data is going to become even more important, because these new types of generative AI programs are trained on data to create content. Whoever can harness this data, can harness the future.