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Gen Z’s Biggest Advantage Could Be Their Fluency in AI

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Credit: Photo by RUT MIIT on Unsplash

Generation Z is fast on its way to outnumbering millennials and all other generations in the workforce, and it’s coming in with a big advantage up its sleeve.

As artificial intelligence becomes more and more a part of the business landscape, these workers (born between 1997 and 2012) could be best prepared to use generative AI as part of their day to day duties.

While Gen Z isn’t exactly native to AI (Generation Alpha, their younger siblings might be the first to make claim), the technology is hitting the mainstream world at a time these young adults are most curious to learn new things, which could give them a head start on older workers.

Generation Z, at present makes up about 13% of the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a number that will continue to grow as younger members of this generation graduate and start their adult life. While they might not have been around AI all that time, they’re the first generation to grow up with a smartphone in their hands and to not know a world without tech giants such as Google and, in many cases, Meta.

That exposure to the tech world and its many changes has boosted interest in it – and AI is just the next rung on the ladder for many of these workers. In May, a poll by Pew Research of 10,701 US adults found that 18- to 29-year-olds were more likely to have heard of ChatGPT than other age groups. And among those who answered in the positive and had a job, 18% said they had already used the technology at work.

Compare that to just 8% of workers between 50 and 64.

AI has the potential to shift the balance of power in the workforce as well. A study by Resume Builder in April found nine out of 10 companies are in the midst of searches for employees with ChatGPT experience, with 30% of business leaders hiring workers with ChatGPT experience saying the need is urgent.

“With this expertise not yet widely available in the hiring market, those candidates with ChatGPT and AI skills will be highly sought after from progressive companies. As this tech is still so new, there is a race to bring on employees with this skill in order for the company to stay cutting edge, and it looks like companies are willing to pay to do so,” says Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at Resume Builder.

Although some might dismiss it as a current fad, AI seems certain to be a lasting part of the workplace. Reports that it can save employees nearly 400 hours of working time per year are hard for companies to shrug off, given the productivity potential. Generation Z sees AI as a collaborative tool, as well as one that can offer them job security.

And experts say companies need to be ready to offer them that tool, if they hope to attract and retain the best of the best of the upcoming generation.

“To attract Gen Z, employers must be ready to adopt a speed of evolution that matches the external environment,” says Deloitte. “That means developing robust training and leadership programs, with a real and tangible focus on diversity.”

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience, more than half of which were spent with some of the Internet’s biggest sites, including CNNMoney.com, where he was Director of Content Development, and Yahoo! Finance, where he was managing editor. Today, he writes for dozens of national outlets including Digital Trends, Fortune, and CNBC.com.

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