Reaching Gen Z: New realities for recruitment, retention by 2020
Today’s teenagers will be the nation’s first to grow up with social technology as a full part of their physical and social development.
Social media will shape ideas about self-esteem and product loyalty — and institutions will need to embrace it to reach incoming students.
- The Washington Post reports industries are scrambling to prepare for a culture that will potentially wield $3 trillion in buying power for greater access to technology, convenience and social capital.
Higher education will be among the biggest industries impacted by the emergence of Generation Z, and colleges and universities will have to rethink strategies about recruitment to attract today's teens to campus. Finding an authentic voice on trending social media platforms and speaking a language students find authentic and genuinely concerned with their long-term success will become key to attracting the next generation of students.
In addition to social media, other aspects of the digital and online strategy will become increasingly more important. Online or distance learning programs, now largely marketed to continuing learners, military veterans and professionals seeking career advancement, will be a priority for students with fluid ideas about career options and affordability.
Definitions of diversity will be changing as well. As tensions about racial equity and representation on college campuses nationwide begin to simmer, Generation Z will enter college with high expectations of tolerance for gender, ethnicity and class — and they will be happy to take their money and loyalty elsewhere if these expectations aren’t quickly met.