Education
Education

The American population has seen significant changes throughout the new millennium. Millennials have since taken over the labor force, with more than half of the country’s total population belonging to this generation (or younger).

As of July 2019, 50.7% of or 166 million Americans are millennials, Gen Zs or younger. Meanwhile, 162 million belong to Gen X, baby boomers, and the older generations.

Baby boomers who once dominated every industry in the United States have felt the shift in the leadership roles. With the oldest millennial now 39, they are now taking over influential roles in every business, every industry, politics, and government!

What the Workforce Looks Like Today

For years, the term “millennial” has had a negative implication, especially if you ask the older generations. Millennials or Gen Y people are viewed as youthful, free-spirited, liberal, and fame-obsessed, calling them “The Me Me Me Generation. “

Unsurprisingly, older generations feel contentious over millennials and their juniors, Gen Z. They work differently and bring a different outlook in the workplace. When the Gen Y and Gen Z people join the workforce, they expect their employers to provide them a supportive experience that values their education and skills.

Often viewed as overly self-confident and very eager to work and learn, millennials bring their high expectations for themselves in their work. And for some time, this was seen as one of their many weaknesses, but it proved to be their biggest asset.

Gen Zers bring more to the table than their predecessors. Being “digital natives, ” they have little to no memory of a time before smartphones and the Internet, on track to being the most-education generation thus far. The eldest being 18 to 23, Gen Z has more to offer in the workforce. 

The millennial workplace is ripe for various opportunities to cultivate new strategies that could advance the business. Their preference over working in teams and integrating innovation and the most advanced technologies allow them to get work done. Millennials and Gen Zers are primed to do well. With their innate characteristic to engage, their desire to be creative is endless. Engage with them. Let them know that they are seen and valued. That way, you will get to keep the valuable millennial workforce. 

What do they do?

Millennials are not afraid to jump from one job to another to find better pay and career opportunities. Just last year, during the global pandemic, one in every five workers plan to switch jobs. Among all the workers surveyed, 33% belonged to Gen, while 25% were millennials. Contrary to popular belief, job-hopping is not a trend created by millennials and Gen Zers. Generations that came before them shifted from one job to another as they seek better pay and benefits. Today, recruiters no longer view switching jobs as a red flag. It has become common and accepted, and with the threats to our economy, job-hopping has been destigmatized. 

Weighing their employment options and leveraging their skills and education, millennials often land a job in one of the following industries. It is not a surprise that their juniors, the Gen Zers, follow in their footsteps.

First things first: OCCUPATION AND CAREER FACTS

Here are the most in-demand jobs among younger generations, according to Glassdoor:

1. Software engineer


Percent of Millennial Applications: 8 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 19 percent 
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 60,442 jobs
Median salary of open positions: $98,500

2. Data analyst


Percent of Millennial Applications: 3 percent 
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 1 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 7,116 jobs
Median salary of open positions: $65,500

3. Software developer

Percent of Millennial Applications: 1 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 2 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 15,170 jobs
Median salary of open positions: $86,000

4. Data analyst

Percent of Millennial Applications: 3 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 1 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 7,116 jobs
Median salary of open positions: $65,500

5. Project manager

Percent of Millennial Applications: 2 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications:
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 36,741
Median salary of open positions: $79,600

6. Business analyst

Percent of Millennial Applications: 2 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications:
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 17,956
Median salary of open positions: $73,000

7. Engineer

Share of millennial applications:
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 1 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today:    4,819
Median salary of open positions: $84,500

8. Administrative assistant

Percent of Millennial Applications: 2 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications:
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 18,409
Median salary of open positions: $41,900

9. Mechanical Engineer

Share of millennial applications:
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 2 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today:    7,133
Median salary of open positions: $81,000

10. Product manager

Percent of Millennial Applications: 2 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications:
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 15,680
Median salary of open positions: $104,300

11. Data scientist

Percent of Millennial Applications: 3 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications:
Open jobs on Glassdoor today: 8,547
Median salary of open positions: $112,500

12. Financial analyst

Share of millennial applications: 2 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 1 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today:   10,699
Median salary of open positions: $70,000

13. Receptionist

Share of millennial applications:
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 1 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today:    17,613
Median salary of open positions: $33,700

14. Graphic designer

Share of millennial applications: 1 percent
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 1 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today:    3,779
Median salary of open positions: $48,100

15. Sales Associate

Share of millennial applications:
Percent of Gen Z Applications: 2 percent
Open jobs on Glassdoor today:    162,697
Median salary of open positions: $40,700

But, with the eldest Millennial now 39 and Gen Z on the cusp of adulthood, which comes after them? Who are the bright-eyed kids who are still dreaming about what the future holds?

Meet Generation Alpha

Generation Alpha, the children of older Millennials and younger siblings of Gen Z, are today’s preschoolers and kindergarteners. Around the world, about 2.8 million babies are born into the Gen Alpha age cohort each week, with the first ones born in the year 2010. They are the very first generation who are born and will grow up in the 21st century. Also, this age cohort will dominate the 22nd century in record numbers. 

Who is Generation Alpha?

Much like the generation before them, Gen Alpha are also digital natives. With the remarkable advances in technology, they are always “logged on and linked up, ” according to generational researcher Mark McCrindle. It was McCrindle who coined the term “Generation Alpha” in 2005. The term defines the generation born from 2010 to 2024, making up 15 years of the identifiable age cohort. Also, children born into Gen Alpha may produce one of the smallest generations in the United States, based on birthrate. They are mostly the children of millennials who are decidedly having fewer children. However, it is predicted that Gen Alpha will be the most racially diverse generation in the country’s history. Having foreign-born or immigrant parents will bring more representation compared to previous generations.

Gen Alpha is poised to be the best-educated generation. This comes as no surprise as they are the most technologically literate and materially-equipped generation ever to be alive. This is because they have the privilege and access to the most advanced technologies and wealth of knowledge courtesy of the generations before them. 

They are also known as the “Generation Glass,” born starting in 2010 when the iPad was released and when Instagram was launched. Accordingly, as reported by the American Dialect Society, the word of the year was “app.” The omnipresence of technology in the formative years of Gen Alpha will greatly impact how they will perceive life and the world. 

What the Future Holds for Gen Alpha

Gen Alpha will take over soon after their Millennial parents and Gen Z seniors. Today’s children will shape the future in ways that would have been unimaginable in the not-so-distant past. Simple math would tell us that the oldest Alpha is now only ten years old, but they are already making strides in how many businesses are run. Their behaviors, preferences, environment they are in, and attitudes affect the market. Plus, growing up during the most difficult time in modern history, who they will become and what they will do in the future will be influenced by these factors. 

Predictions for Gen Alpha

Alpha is a fitting name for them. Being the first letter of the Greek alphabet, Gen Alpha represents the first generation born in the 21st century. However, along with privileges are the challenges that these children have experienced in their early and formative years. They have seen the effects of the pandemic, recession, their parents transitioning to remote work and them to virtual learning, mental health epidemic, missing school, and technological revolution. Gen Alpha has faced all these during their definitive years and will eventually affect them as they enter the workforce. Come 2050, when Gen Alphas enter their 40’s, they will take these influences and make revolutionary changes in the workforce.

  • Most Educated, Diverse, Self-sufficient Generation, hence, better prepared for big challenges.

From 2010 to 2019, educational attainment in the United States has significantly improved among adults ages 25 to 34. If this trend continues beyond the first nine years of Gen Alpha births, these kids will grow surrounded by highly-educated adults compared to any prior generations. This will most likely influence them to pursue a higher academic career and earn a college degree or higher. With the introduction of smart tools in virtual learning, Alphas will continue to adapt to education. They will think that collecting skills equate to knowledge, which will eventually lead to them being more engaged in their education.

Gen Alpha will positively impact the workforce. We will see more diversity in leadership roles. They think that female and minority leaders are the norms, having seen women and minorities rise to top-level positions.

  • Most Tech-savvy Generation, which means they will thrive in the tech-enabled workplace.

Gen Alpha will not know a world without the need to interact, especially online. Alphas own a mobile phone even before becoming a teenager. But as technology advances at an accelerated pace, Alphas will continue to adapt to these changes. They have access to everything. This accessibility to tools, technology, and even people will give them a serious competitive advantage. Having lived believing that Alexa, Siri, and Google are friends, Alphas will use this advantage to transform the world and thrive in the tech-enabled workplace. 

  • Most Influenced by their liberal Millennial parents that encourage them to be game-changers in their chosen field. 

There is no denying that Gen Alphas will continue to rely heavily on technology and use it to their advantage. This will be beneficial to any work they will choose to join. They will bring innovation, values, and a penchant for societal change to effect change and ultimately improve the world we live in. 

Future of the Alphas

Gen Alpha is an aspirational generation. They have grown up admiring influencers who flaunt their green, sustainable, and eco-friendly lifestyles on social media. Thinking that they can win in life by pursuing their passion for their purpose can also be a driving force for Alphas. Having the newest gadgets or following the latest trends is what drives their innovative spirit.

Will Gen Alpha also say, “When I grow up, I want to become an influencer”?

The first Gen Alphas were born in the same year when Instagram was launched. With easy access to smartphones and the Internet, they can easily go online and view whatever they chance upon various social networking sites. Instagram and YouTube changed how children think and view the world. With their simple design and user-friendly features, kids of any age can use these platforms. Every day, they can see the lavish lifestyle of celebrities, vloggers, YouTubers, models, and social media influencers and eventually wanting to be just like them when they grow up. Imagine your child or your younger sibling dreams of being an online “influencer” someday. 

For a child to want to be a social media influencer is strange, especially to older generations. However, this “dream” seems to be a part of children’s reality. This is a product of the current wave of influences from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and many more. They see being influencers as a real job and want to land with the same career path as the ones they follow online. 

A recent study in the United Kingdom revealed that being a social media influencer ranked second or 17%, and YouTubers came third or 14% among the most popular professions that kids want to pursue. This resulted from a survey conducted among 2,000 parents with at least one child who is between the ages of 11 and 16. This was a shocking revelation to the parents who participated and are generally opposed to this job prospect for their children. While most of them do not know much about social media, more than 50% of the parents were aware that influencers make a lot of money doing what they do. 

Since then, YouTube launched in 2005 and has grown to have 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs). The majority of these views came from children and teenagers who are eagerly watching their favorite YouTube influencers or simply “YouTubers.” At some point, this new breed of celebrities became more popular than Hollywood celebrities. This phenomenon inspired at least 50% of Millennials to consider being a YouTuber as a future job

A survey revealed that four have said that out of 10 millennials, their favorite vloggers understand them better, sometimes even better than their family and friends. Unsurprisingly, a survey of 1,000 kids ages six to seventeen showed that 75% of them want to become YouTubers. This has made being a YouTuber the most coveted job kids want. This data was further reiterated by a study conducted by The Sun, which gathered the following results: 

  • 1 in 3 Millennials and Gen Zers want to become a YouTuber or 34.2%;
  • 1 in 5 Millennials and Gen Zers wants to become a blogger or vlogger or 18.1%;
  • 1 in 6 Millennials and Gen Zers wants to become a pop star (16%) or a movie star (15.7%);
  • 1 in 7 or 9 Millennials and Gen Zers wants to become a doctor or nurse (13.45%), TV Host (12.45%), athlete or teacher (11.9%); and
  • 1 in 15 Millennials and Gen Zers wants to become a lawyer (6.4%).

FORTUNATELY, THIS TREND MIGHT END WITH THE MILLENNIALS AND GEN ZERS.

“What do you want to become when you grow up?” is a question we usually ask kids as early as four years old. Chances are, you have been asked that same question before. Can you still remember your answer?

Some might have enthusiastically answered, “I want to be an astronaut when I grow up!” or a doctor, nurse, dentist, ballerina, police, lawyer, or firefighter. It is safe to assume that parents and teachers who ask this question will be satisfied by these answers. These jobs are considered valuable, noble, and vital professions for society to run. Among many influences, kids get most of their inspiration from the people closest to them, especially their parents. In 10, 15, or 20 years, these children will face the real-life challenges that will force them to choose a profession. Having a job, a business, or any source of income is important so you can support yourself and your family. Allowing kids to explore their options at an early age can help ease the pressure of deciding what jobs they want to do when they grow up.

What Are The 20 Jobs Kids Want?

Everything starts with a dream – your dream job. Kids or Gen Alphas have wide and vivid imaginations. When you ask a kid what their dream job is, they will give you an enthusiastic answer without question. Whether their dreams are achievable or next to impossible, every kid’s dream job or the job kids want to do when they grow up is valid. 

Children do not know the amount of hard work, resources, time, diligence, and perseverance they need to achieve their dream job at an early age. But, this dream will ultimately affect how they move forward with their lives. In a survey conducted by OnePoll for Zety, 2,000 Americans were asked to reminisce their childhood dreams. Although the data revealed that 6 in 10 Americans could not achieve their childhood dream jobs, it also revealed interesting data in how kids choose the jobs they want. 

More often than not, they choose a job that offers thrill, excitement and aligns with their interests.

Based on the survey, here are America’s Top 20 Jobs Kids Want:

1. DOCTOR

2020 Median Pay: Greater than $208,000 per year

There is no denying that the white coat carries its appeal. Being a doctor is one of the most common jobs kids want to do when they grow up. Who can blame them when doctors were the ones who stood there and guided them in their way out in the world.

Doctors are not only noble professionals. They help people get better. They are modern heroes and heroines who keep our sickness at bay. Most importantly, they make sure that we remain healthy and free from sickness from day one.

2. TEACHER

2020 Median Pay: $60,660 per year

The shaper of minds, teachers are the ones who have shaped us to face the real world. Kids see their teachers as someone who can explain things well and make the lessons more interesting. Teachers are also funny, bringing so much personality to the classroom. And, teachers show interest in what kids have to say, making them liked and admired. Without a doubt, teachers make the world better.

3. VETERINARIAN

2020 Median Pay: $99,250 per year; $47.72 per hour

For natural animal lovers, becoming a veterinarian is a dream job. If people have doctors, animals have veterinarians. They make sure that our pets and animals are in peak shape, healthy, and happy. This is the dream job for kids who can naturally connect with animals and pets and keep their humans happy.

4. MUSICIAN

2020 Median Pay: $31.40 per hour

They keep the music alive wherever they go. Musicians sing or play instruments in front of a live audience or through a recording. With extensive training and experience, musicians can expand their reach to everyone who will listen. In their early years, kids who are fond of making music and singing may favor dreaming of becoming a musician when they grow up.

Kids want to become a famous band, sought-after singer, and beloved performer, but not everyone can achieve this goal. Regardless, kids are allowed to dream.

5. ACTOR OR MOVIE STAR

2020 Median Pay: $21.88 per hour

Stories of struggling actors and actresses are common in mainstream media. They are portrayed as someone with the waning drive to move forward with life or unchecked optimism that they will make it one day. But they do. Struggling actors and actresses make it to the movie screen, as well as the TV screen. There may not be opportunities year-round, but they persevere and hold on to their dream.

6. PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE

2020 Median Pay: $50,850 per year

Athletes who compete professionally participate in organized athletic competitions around the world. Becoming a professional athlete remains one of the top jobs kids want to do when they grow up, more so for boys. Playing their favorite sports brings them joy and excitement, and the prospect of playing becoming their job is nothing short of a dream come true.

7. ARTIST

2020 Median Pay: $49,120 per year; $23.62 per hour

For those who have the most colorful, unique, and extraordinary imagination and artistic skills, becoming an artist is the dream. Artists bring meaningful art pieces that add another layer of intrigue to any room or space it happens to be in. They can make extraordinary pieces using various materials and transform them into art. Breathing new life into what seemed like scraps, artists bring more meaning and color to our lives.

8. BUSINESS OWNER

2020 Median Pay: depends on your business or industry

Becoming your boss is a dream, second to none. It is anybody’s dream. There is no other joy than having the freedom to do what you want when you want and still get paid. We all know that kids can be stubborn at times, if not all the time. The thought of not having to answer to anyone is an attractive prospect for them. As they learn and gain more influence from their parents, kids also consider becoming a business owner when they grow up.

9. WRITER

2020 Median Pay: $67,120 per year; $32.27 per hour

Writers immortalize their imagination through their words. Being a writer may appear to be a dream of yesteryear, but it remains to be a dream job even today. Kids who love to read and create stories in their minds have the most potential of becoming a writer and creating a career out of it. There are many opportunities for writers, and kids who want to become one will defy the journey towards achieving this dream.

10. POLICE OFFICER

2020 Median Pay: $67,290 per year; $32.35 per hour

Kids who have strong, firm, and law-abiding personalities will most likely dream of becoming a police officer. Police officers keep the peace and order in society. They are indispensable in modern society. Kids, generally boys, dream of becoming police officers to ensure that bad guys are stopped and kept in jail.

11. FASHION DESIGNER

2020 Median Pay: $75,810 per year; $36.45 per hour

Fashion is a booming industry. Across the globe, fashion shows after fashion shows are held, showcasing various fashion pieces for the world to see. Fashion designers create clothing, footwear, bags, and accessories for the market. Kids who are inclined to play dress-up dream of becoming a fashion designer.

12. ARCHITECT

2020 Median Pay: $82,320 per year; $39.58 per hour

If you are on the beach and see your child fully immersed in building their sandcastle, it might be one of the earliest signs of architectural potential. Architects design various projects, including houses, apartments, buildings, and other structures that satisfy their client’s wants. Kids who dream of becoming an architect also show artistic skills making them multifaceted and very talented.

13. SPY OR SECRET AGENT

2020 Median Pay: $53,320 per year; $25.64 per hour

The thrill of solving cases and seeing pieces of evidence that could lead to a break in a case is what makes being a spy or a secret agent an attractive dream for kids. This is, of course, on top of having the chance to use gadgets and tools to accomplish their mission.

14. CHEF

2020 Median Pay: $53,380 per year; $25.66 per hour

Food is a universal language. Kids who grow up seeing their parents, grandmothers, aunts, and other family members cook great food develop a love for cooking at an early age. Chefs are the chiefs in the kitchen. They can bring up the heat and bring the temperature down whenever needed. Dreaming of becoming a chef will not be easy. You need to have the stomach for the work as it may be highly competitive. Despite its drawbacks, kids who dream of being a chef and running their kitchen someday will probably make the best-scrambled egg one day.

15. SUPERHERO

2020 Median Pay: N/A

Heroes live among us, and kids see them. Becoming a superhero is a perfect answer for any young child. With the abundance of superhero films and TV shows, kids are set to be one. How they will get their power sparks their curiosity and brings more creativity in their lives. So, in case your kid says he or she wants to become a superhero, let them. You never know. They may turn out to be real-life superheroes.

16. GRAPHIC DESIGNER

2020 Median Pay: $53,380 per year; $25.66 per hour

As digital natives, Gen Alphas will excel in the field of graphic design. This path may not be clear for them now, but soon they will discover the countless possibilities of being able to do graphic design. They can create visual concepts that will make words pop, making them clearer and easy to understand.

17. JOURNALIST OR NEWS ANCHOR

2020 Median Pay: $49,300 per year; $23.70 per hour

Today’s truth-tellers will become tomorrow’s truth-seekers. Journalists are strong-willed and tenacious, and kids are perfect for the job. Kids who are comfortable standing in front of the camera while speaking the truth will make the best journalists or reporters.

18. FIREFIGHTER

2020 Median Pay: $52,500 per year; $25.24 per hour

Running towards the danger of fire to save people, animals, and property is a dream that many strive to achieve. Kids who dream of becoming firefighters carry the courage and fearless demeanor that will lead them to reach their goals.

Kids often choose to become a firefighter because it is exciting, but those who will reach this dream are true heroes.

19. MARINE BIOLOGIST

2020 Median Pay: $66,350 per year; $31.90 per hour

The water and what lives within it remains a wonder to all of us, and with a kid’s wild imagination, bodies of water are an ideal playground. For kids who want to become marine biologists enjoy activities involving water and are fascinated by the beauty of marine life. This is an extraordinary dream, and kids deserve to live this dream. Plus, the prospect of travel makes this dream even more attractive.

20. RACE CAR DRIVER

2020 Median Pay:  $40,904 per year; $20 per hour

Speed is exhilarating, and driving a shiny, fast, and stunning machine will attract any kid to dream of becoming a race car driver. Kids who live this dream enjoy playing with toy cars and creating tracks for their Hot Wheels. An exciting future job that will require more fun and less work. 

Like most dreams, kids who what to do these jobs in the future need to put in the work. There is no alternative to hard work. For today’s kids – the Alphas – to achieve their dreams, they need to know that everything starts with yourself. Next, you need to have grit. Grit will take you to any dream you choose, wherever you may be.