According to a survey conducted by Handshake, there has been a decrease in interest among soon-to-be college graduates for employment opportunities in the Big Tech sector. Instead, these students are focusing on stability and well-compensated roles, as evidenced by their job applications being submitted primarily to industries such as retail, finance, and manufacturing.
The latest graduating class is facing significant challenges such as tech industry layoffs, economic uncertainty, and apprehensions about the impact of new AI technologies, as well as mixed views on hybrid work models. Given these shifts in the job market, Gen Z is prioritizing stable employment opportunities. In fact, recent data from the career site Handshake indicates that the latest batch of graduates are displaying reduced interest in Big Tech.
Handshake conducted a survey in March which involved 954 students from the Class of 2023, and also analyzed search traffic data. The results of the survey revealed that there was a decrease of around 15% in the number of searches for Big Tech brands by the Class of 2023 compared to the previous year’s class.
The Class of 2023 seems to be more interested in pursuing majors related to retail, finance, and manufacturing instead. This shift is reflected in the increased search traffic for companies such as Raytheon, Nike, Toyota, Chevron, Capital One, Bank of America, and NASA.
According to Christine Cruzvergara, Handshake’s chief education strategy officer, the Class of 2023 is more attracted to companies that provide stable career paths and solid benefits, instead of being drawn towards the volatility surrounding Big Tech, as reported by CNBC Make It. However, this does not mean that they are rejecting technology entirely. In fact, almost 75% of the graduating students expressed a desire to learn new technical skills in the coming years. Furthermore, a significant majority of them (85%) already possess experience in at least one technical skill, such as data analysis or information technology.
This contrasts with the recent findings of a survey conducted by ResumeBuilder.com, in which nearly three-quarters of managers and business leaders consider Gen Z to be the most challenging group to work with. 40% of those managers cited a lack of technical skills among Gen Z workers as a primary cause for this difficulty.
The Class of 2023 recognizes that acquiring new technical skills will help them stay updated with changes in their respective fields, including the impact of generative AI. While less than 50% of respondents to the Handshake survey expressed concern about how generative AI tools would affect their careers, 60% believe that this technology will dominate their fields within the next decade.
In addition, the Class of 2023 values in-person work experience and believes it will benefit their careers. 70% of respondents expressed a desire to work in a blended work environment, while even fewer said they would prefer to work entirely remotely.