UWaterloo’s Work-Learn Institute data finds Gen Z is looking for growth, impact, security, and balance.

Like every generation before them, Gen Z grew up watching their parents’ careers shift and change. Now Gen Z is entering the workforce seeing a very different opportunity landscape than those generations had access to.

The Work-Learn Institute (WxL) at the University of Waterloo aimed to look at the problem from the other side. WxL asked Gen Z what they look for in a company or career path and recently released a full data report on its findings. Speaking with BetaKit, Ross Johnston, Executive Director for the University of Waterloo’s Co-operative Education, shared his perspectives on WxL’s data and how startups can support and cultivate Gen Z talent.

Balance and ambition
According to the data, Gen Z has a clear desire to learn on the job. For example, 78.3 percent said that “professional training and development” was a very important or essential employer attribute. Yet Gen Z workers also want work-life balance, with 83.4 percent saying it was a very important or essential consideration. Job security (78.9 percent), and a competitive salary (75.8 percent) with good benefits like a pension or healthcare (76.1 percent) were also highly-rated desires.


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