Gen Z is the newest generation to be named. They were born between 1996 and 2015. They are currently between 5 to 24 years old. In essence, they are the youngest people on the planet today. Gen Zs are also called the iGeneration, Post-millenials or Homeland Generation.
In the Philippines, about 52 percent of the population as of 2018 belong to the Gen Z generation. They are technology natives who spend nearly their entire lives immersed in technologies that are crucial to living and learning. Their tech know-how has been further reinforced with mandatory online learning due to the pandemic.
Middle class Titas like me are currently rearing Gen Zs who are either adolescents or young adults. In my case, I have a 20-year-old in college and another 17-year-old in Grade 12.
Intrigued by what drives Gen Zs, I asked the friends of my youngest son as to their aspirations in life. Thanks to Gab, Khloey, Fernando, Diego, Luis and Gene who shared their life goals for this column.
Gen Zs know what to do in life.
Khloey and Fernando will all take up medicine, each one already has a specialty in mind. Gab wants be a medical researcher, Khloey wants to pursue Biomedical while Fernando dreams of becoming a general surgeon. Diego commits to become a mechanical engineer, Luis an architect, and Gene wants to specialize in Chemistry and, as early as now, plans to take up a master’s degree in chemistry.
At my home front, my two Gen Zs are determined to take up medicine. A field that not one of my family members in the past three immediate generations chose as a career. When asked what motivates them to go into the field of healthcare, my eldest said he wants to treat my 83-year-old mother who has cancer. On the other hand, my youngest believes he can find a cure for cancer.
Gen Zs have it all planned.
Unlike me and my colleagues when we were 17, our idea of the next five years was just to finish college and find a job. Gen Zs are a different generation altogether.
Khloey said that in five years, he already has a job and already applying for a UK citizenship. He wants to work abroad to save money for his own house. Gab and Fernando said that they would still be in medical internship at that time. Diego said he would make sure he has a job in five years, the same with Gene but he wants to settle in another country. Only Luis wants to setup his own business and wants to earn his first million within five years from starting his own company.
Gen Zs are set to become rich.
The way I see these middle class Gen Zs, they will cross the income bracket and become the new rich.
They all have an idea of investments. All of them said that as soon as they join the labor force, they will invest in mutual funds. Others will buy stocks in pharmaceuticals or other blue-chip companies. Some said they want to buy real estate knowing that the cost of land appreciates over time.
What is next on Gen Z’s financial horizon: Learning about personal finance. This generation has a strong appetite for financial education. All of the middle class Gen Zs that I interviewed have their own savings accounts.
Gen Zs are in control even during this pandemic.
After the Spanish flu in 1918 to 1920, this is the first young generation to experience a total lockdown at home. But having been born in a hyper-connected world with the smartphone as their preferred method of communication, Gen Zs are surviving the pandemic with ease.
They have already established a routine of studying, playing online and just relaxing at home. They spend hours chatting with friends online. All of them have found new learnings: baking, doing graphic design, painting, among others. In my case, I have never heard of my boys complain of not being able to go out. They are contented at home.
Looking inside-out, Gen Zs will work with a purpose in life but know how to make money. They are open to opportunities and are not afraid to experience new things even outside of the country. They are middle class now but are set to become rich in the future.