Thursday, March 31, 2011

Generation What? Gen Z and Alpha

Generation Z / Net Generation / Dreamer Generation / Generation I / Generation @ / Generation 9/11 / 21st century generation

Relatively little has been established about this generation

Born: Roughly between the years of 1995-2010

Age: Between 1 and 16 they are the youngest generation, have older parents (late 20s to early 30s) and are being taught by older teachers (40s up). The youngest was born during the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s.

Education: They are the most formally educated generation in history, having started their education early and are projected to stay in education for longer than any other generation.  Despite being in day care facilities, many children have structured after school activities, this has reduced free playtime.  Parents help out more with homework and are becoming more like advisers to this generation. 

These kids know how to multi-task effectively and place value on the speed of their work rather than accuracy. They are the most internet-savvy, technologically literate generation and have only known life WITH mobile phones, pc’s, the internet, and wireless networks.

Influencers:  There major influencers are YouTube, Facebook, My Space, Wikispaces, and User Generated Content.  They are too young to remember the September 11th 2001 attacks other than through the media, but are aware of the threat of terrorism. 

Family:  The parents of Generation Z are working part time or are becoming stay-at-home parents so that their children are raised by them and other family members.  They have been born into older, wealthier families with fewer siblings, more entertainment provided for them rather than creating their own and much more technological options.

Money:  Compared to the previous generation they are much more consumer-oriented.  Financially intelligent they make decisions on how to spend their money based on the latest trends and media mania.  They are the most financially capable generation in history, having as much purchasing power in the home as Gen Y kids.

Values:  Self-directed, individualistic, and media mongrels

Motivation:  They are motivated by instant gratification (we want it and we want it now!), instant connectivity, communication with peers via technology, they are a highly connected generation.  They have had lifelong use of media technologies such as mobile phones, instant messaging, MP3 players, the world wide web resulting in the nickname – digital natives.  These connective devices are now carried in their pockets with the internet available on mobile phones or iPads, making news, communication and homework easier and more adaptable to do anywhere, anytime. This Generation have been born into the mass media and technology revolution and have never known a life without it

Work / School:  Described as a generation that lacks ambition in comparison to previous ones due to their parenting and instant gratification, and further described as impatient and instant minded.   As their attention span is much lower, with a high dependency on technology, as opposed to reading books and other printed material, there have been references by Psychologists of this generation having "Acquired Attention Deficit Disorder".

They are a materialistic generation, that want more and more technology at their fingertips.  In the next  decade they will comprise 10% of our workforce,  and they will be entering the workforce in an era of declining supply i.e. there will be more people exiting the workforce than entering it.  This will result in a skills shortage, with an ageing population and a global demand for labor, Gen Z will have a greater chance of finding work. 

Generation Alpha

Born: 2010 onwards

They will be truly the first millennial generation because they will be the first entirely born into the 21st century (some of the youngest members of Generation Z were born at the tail end of the 20th century).

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