What's going down in 2021? Read to find out.
2020 was such a heap of chaos that one could barely stand to think about what may happen in 2021. Nevertheless, as a leading voice of my generation, I will give my 2021 predictions from a Gen Z perspective.
1. More Gen Z-ers Will Pick Up AI and Data Science Skills
In 2020, traditional industries were decimated right underneath our noses. As new graduates that have been despserately seeking jobs, Gen Z has experienced a frontline slap in the face of how different the jobs market is today versus just a few years ago. In other words, college grads who entered University in 2017 would have never expected to graduate in 2021 with zero job prospects. Liberal arts majors have been especially hard hit. I believe that the high uncertainty in the market has finally awakened Gen Z to the importance of acquiring AI skills. Job security has an entirely different meaning today. With digitalization restructuring every sector imaginable, AI and Data Science skills have now become the rule rather than the expection. Whether we want to or not, the necessity to earn an income and stay afloat in this high-paced digital world will force my generation to adopt new digital skills in order to survive and thrive.
2. The Value of College Education Will Depreciate
Now that all of Gen Z is attending “Zoom University” online, not to mention that one can easily find all resources and information pertaining to any subject with a simple Google Search, means that we have come to realize that a college education isn’t what it used to be. Take Harvard, for example. Harvard may have been able to slap a $50,000 price tag on its fully online 2020 Fall Semester, and get away with it. But is this a truly sustainable business model? Will they be able to get away with this semester over semester? I believe not. With all colleges forced online, the playing field has been leveled. People used to attend high institutions for reasons of prestige and status. Now, the Ivy’s have been stripped from this reality. Due to the Pandemic, Gen Z has been quick to realize how simple it is to teach oneself online, and do so in a way that is faster, customized, and far more cost efficient than paying an Ivy League or frankly any college tens of thousands of dollars to do the same. You tell me: would you rather learn Python on YouTube from experts for free? Or take out a $50,000 loan to do the same?
3. Gen Z Will Emphasize Sustainability In The Marketplace
Gen Z is the most sustainability driven generation yet. First, some stats to substantiate this claim:
Sixty-two percent of Generation Z survey participants prefer to buy from sustainable brands (Source: FIRSTINSIGHT)
Generation Z is also the most willing to pay more for sustainable products (73 percent)
Generation Z (72 percent) and Millennials (70 percent) are the most likely to make purchase decisions based on values and principles that are personal, social, and environmental. (Source: FIRSTINSIGHT)
When asked why they shop sustainable brands, respondents rank quality higher than environmental concerns across every generation. Seventy-eight percent of Generation Z rate it as important. (Source: FIRSTINSIGHT)
73 percent of those it surveyed would pay more for sustainable items, with the majority of that chunk willing to pay a 10 percent price premium. (Source: Adage)
As the purchasing power of Gen Z increases over time, enterprises will be forced to innovate ways to become sustainable retailers, or face death. If there’s anything that 2020 taught us, it’s that resilience is key. If retail wants to stay alive and service a younger demographic, sustainability has to become a priority.
These are just a few of my predictions for 2021 based on Gen Z. A very Happy New year, and let’s see where 2021 takes us.