The verdict is in. Generation Z no longer wants to be referred to as “digital natives.” Just because they’ve only heard rumors of a world before Google doesn’t mean they want to be pigeonholed for their entire existence. Like most generations, they want to break the mold and plot their own destiny, and if recent studies are any indication, they’re veering toward healthcare. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis to be exact. 

While it’s easy to confuse Gen Z with millennials, generation Z is defined as those with birth years roughly between 1995 to 2010. They currently range from those entering high school to those completing undergraduate college. Representing one in five people, Gen Z is now the largest generation in the country, comprising 40% of all US consumers. Most importantly for our economy, Gen Z is estimated to wield $143B in spending power, while influencing another $300B of indirect spending in the US alone. 

In an attempt to understand the effect Gen Z will have on the workforce, we’ve analyzed several studies and reports on what Generation Z wants out of a career. Professional development opportunities, great company culture, and corporate social responsibility initiatives are at the top of their priority list. As far as where they want to work in Memphis, St Jude’s Children’s Hospital takes the number one spot. 

The 2018 National Society of High School Scholars’ career interest survey found that respondent preference has shifted from the tech sector to healthcare. With feedback from more than 16,000 young people across the country, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis came in first as their most desired employer, nationally! “Local hospital” came in third, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta ninth, Health Care Service Corporation tenth, the Mayo Clinic thirteenth, and Atlantic Health Systems twenty-second.

“We are proud to know there is a new generation eager to continue the lifesaving work of St. Jude,” said Dr. James R. Downing, St. Jude president and CEO.

Overall, Gen Z takes a holistic view of health, emphasizing physical fitness, healthy eating, and mental well-being. Recognizing the latter segment, having come up in a world of increased anxiety, 772% of Gen Zers believe managing mental health and stress is their most important health and wellness concern.

“Through the 2018 career interest survey, we see that Generation Z has high expectations of themselves, as well as their employers,” said James W. Lewis, president of the National Society of High School Scholars. “We noticed four distinct themes throughout this survey focused on economic security, STEM, politics, and purpose as well as expectations for their career path. They are digital natives looking for security, purpose, a meaningful career, and work/life balance when trying to find their place.”

Given everything we’ve covered regarding Gen Z’s interests and personal value, we’re not surprised Memphis is such a desirable place for them to seek employment.

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