Generation Z challenges in 2021: lack of resources and financial education, career guidance and emotion management
Lack of financial resources (77 percent) and education in this field (60 percent), lack of motivation (65 percent) and career counseling (59 percent), but also fluctuating emotional states (49 percent) are the main challenges that young people in Romania are facing right now, more than a year after the beginning of the pandemic, the latest national study Insights PulseZ shows.
The “Insights PulseZ” study, in its second edition, was designed and coordinated by the specialists of the national entrepreneurial programs “I want to be an Entrepreneur” (VSFA) and “Insights” – within the Romanian Business Leaders (RBL) organization and conducted by the market research agency IZI date, in July this year, among about 1,200 young people in Romania. The research focused on capturing the states, behaviors, interests and desires of young people in Romania, in the new pandemic context, members of generation Z (those born after 1995, also known as iGeneration, Centannials or “digital natives”), in the last months of this year (July 2021), compared to the 2020 wave (May-June 2020, when the first edition of the study was conducted).
“Through this study we aimed to analyze the behaviors and conditions of young people in Romania, their interests and motivations, in this pandemic context, compared to what 2020 meant for them, so that we can understand their decisions of action and consumption, development plans, as well as the perception of today’s world and the new reality. Generation Z is considered the first generation born in a period on the Internet and new technologies are widely available, these young people being extremely connected to the digital environment and avid consumers of social media – companies, organizations and authorities relate to preferences in the construction of business strategies ”, points out Alin Claudiu Apostu, coordinator of the Insights study and Project Manager within the national programs“ Insights ”and“ I want to be an Entrepreneur ”.
“Those who do not look at Generation Z, who do not model themselves after them, will become maladapted sooner than expected. The future is already happening and is happening fast. The relevance of generation Z is often underestimated because the financial strength of this generation is lower. However, the strength of generation Z is already manifested, through its power of influence on the more mature generations but also through the non-alignment of young people to traditional social structures. Gender Z stands out in all our studies, digital natives are structurally different. Through the study “Insights PulseZ” we set out to understand it in depth, to actively prepare for what is to come “- Silvia Luican, founder of IZI data.
In 2021, Generation Z feels tired, fluctuating emotional states and has financial problems
Almost a year and a half after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, young generation Z in Romania confessed that they feel more tired (50 percent in 2021 vs. 34 percent in 2020), that they face fluctuating emotional states (49 percent in 2021 vs. 37 percent in 2020), but also with moments of uncertainty regarding the period to come, taking into account the current tensions in the personal and professional sphere (32 percent in 2021 vs. 26 percent in 2020).
At the same time, the data show that, in 2021, young people feel more strongly the shortcomings in the Romanian society compared to a year ago. The most important of the shortcomings mentioned by the representatives of generation Z are financial resources (77 percent in 2021 vs. 59 percent in 2020), followed by a considerable distance from the lack of career counseling (59 percent in 2021 vs 47 percent in 2020), and the problem of bureaucracy and lack of digitalization (55 percent in 2021 vs. 32 percent in 2020), but also the lack of moral support from loved ones (50 percent in 2021 vs. 34 percent in 2020) and, last but not least, lack of access to non-formal learning – courses, leadership programs (48 percent in 2021 vs. 37 percent in 2021).
Personal organization, financial education and technology – in the top of development skills
Participants were asked about the skills / areas they need and would like to learn in order to develop. The top of the skills mentioned by them undergoes small changes compared to the one mentioned last year, and the explanation lies in the economic context that Romania has gone through in the last year. Thus, if personal organization (time management, own productivity) remains in first place in the top of preferences (60 percent), in 2021, the need for financial education and investment increases significantly, reaching first place among the needs of young people (60 percent in 2021 vs 51 percent in 2020).
If girls mention to a greater extent the need to learn to better manage their emotions (66 percent girls vs. 40 percent boys), boys more often mention financial education (64 percent boys vs. 56 percent girls), technology (44 percent boys vs 29 percent girls) and teamwork (30 percent boys vs 21 percent girls).
Regarding the professional plans of young people, 1 out of 3 respondents of generation Z states that they plan to work in Romania, and 21 percent of them are thinking of continuing their studies in our country. Only 12 percent of study participants say they want to work abroad and so are those who intend to open a business.
Young people’s preferences for digital consumption and social media platforms
Most of the respondents in the study (43 percent) said that during this period, they spend between 4 and 8 hours a day in front of the screens, followed by almost a third (28 percent) who claim to be in front of the screens between 8 and 12 hours. . There are no differences according to the gender of young people, in terms of time spent in front of screens, but there are more people between 19-21 years who give to the digital environment between 8-12 hours (32 percent vs. 24 percent 16-19 years). Also, there are more young people from urban areas (31 percent) who spend between 8-12 hours surfing the screens compared to those from rural areas (25 percent).
Regarding the social media platforms preferred by Generation Z, Instagram is the main channel used by a third of young people in Romania (33 percent), followed by Facebook (22 percent), Youtube (17 percent), WhatsApp (13 percent) and TikTok (12 percent). Those aged between 16 and 18 use Instagram to a greater extent (47 percent) than other young people in the 19-21 and 22-24 age groups, respectively, mentioning it in the first place in the top of preferences, the mentions decreasing, but gradually with age: Instagram is replaced by Facebook, which ranks first among 22-24 year olds (28 percent).