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Generation Z has higher career ambitions than millennials 

A ranking of the world’s most attractive employers found that Generation Z university students in Switzerland – those born in the mid-1990s to the early-2000s – are more ambitious and less preoccupied with work-life balance than millennials – people born from the early 1980s to mid-1990s.

While Google is the top choice for students studying economics or IT fields, aspiring engineers aspire to work at the engineering conglomerate ABB and those in the natural sciences view pharmaceutical giants Novartis followed by Roche as top choices, Keystone-SDA reported on Wednesday.

From October 2018 to March 2019, global talent research firm Universum collected the views of nearly 12,500 students on their career goals as well as on the companies they consider ideal employers. 


A generational category encompassing people born from early 1980s to mid-1990s. Also referred to as Generation Y.  


There is no consensus on the start or end dates of this generation but this demographic category typically refers to people born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s who had access to Internet technology at a young age. 

The study revealed a clear ambition gap between Generation Z and millennials. More than half of Generation Z economics students report that their main career goal is to reach a management position (51%, versus millennials 45%). 

For millennials, work-life balance remains the priority, unchanged since 2018 (Generation Z: 42%, millennials: 53%). More than a third (39%) of millennial students in economics would also like a workplace that actively promotes work-life balance, while a smaller portion of Generation Z students (27%) attached importance to working in this type of environment.  

Generation Z is also more concerned with getting a healthy paycheck. When asked what the most important consideration in a future job was for them, a high salary was the top professional priority for Generation Z economic students (53%), compared to 45% for millennials surveyed. The inter-generational contrast was similar for students in other fields.  

The younger generation’s attitudes toward the labour market are believed to be shaped by the realization that resources are limited and the insidious fear that rapid technological progress will hinder access to employment, notes Keystone-SDA. By 2025, four generations will be working together in the full-time labour market. The study suggests that different generational views on priorities could create difficulties especially as Generation X finds themselves in management positions in teams that include Generation Z and millennials.