The age group known as Generation Z or Gen Z, born around 1996, are the most recent to hit the workforce and are already having a revolution of their own. Their strife is against education debt. Learning from the struggles of the Millennial generation, born in the early 80’s and several years already removed from college. Gen Z thinks of school debt not as a right of passage but instead as a burden to be avoided at all costs.
Millennials considered college debt something to be expected in life, explained co-authors Denise Villa, Ph.D. and CEO of The Center for Generational Kinetics, and Jason Dorsey, President, in The State of Gen Z 2017 paper. Alternatively, more than one in five Gen Z members expressed wanting to steer clear of these personal obligations completely.
To achieve the goal of avoiding college debt, 38 percent of Gen Z plans to work while attending school and 24 percent expect to use personal savings toward the cost of their studies. Book author Whitney Johnson explained in Harvard Business Review that instead of having part-time jobs that were previously available to teens, many Gen Z members become entrepreneurs by selling items online or offering services such as babysitting or musical instrument lessons.
Gen Z is also avoiding debt by giving more weight to the cost of each institution and more often staying at home to attend local college. With these thus far Gen Z is on track to accumulate around 15% less debt than their predecessors.