What are the Most Desirable Career Paths Among Gen Z?

Generation Z, which describes the generation of young people born after 1997, makes up the upcoming workforce. These individuals, who are graduating high school, going into college, and starting their careers, will have a major influence on desirable career paths and job market trends. In fact, this generation includes about 90 million individuals, all who are being shaped by the current economic, social, and political climate.

So what are the most desirable career paths among Gen Z? NSHSS recently conducted and published its 2020 Career Interest Survey to shed some light on this generation’s ambitions. The survey, conducted from March 17 to April 7, considers responses from over 14,000 high school and college-aged individuals of every ethnicity.

According to this survey, as a result of current events like the health situation and recent racial reckoning in the United States, as well as past economic downturns, certain values motivate Generation Z’s career plans.

For instance, careers that Gen Z seek offer some economic stability, a chance to grow in a personalized way, work-life balance, focus on solving world problems, and an alignment with social justice.

Generation Z’s Career Values

Generation Z’s career values directly result from the world Generation Z has grown up within, a world in which economic certainty seems out of reach, social issues are at the forefront of the social psyche, and the crisis has forever changed the way citizens of the world look at healthcare and social interaction.

Social Responsibility

Since Generation Z has seen and been part of the issues facing society today, including racial and gender inequality, global warming, and poverty, these individuals seek careers with companies that focus on social responsibility and giving back.

They pay attention to the diversity of leadership teams, equal pay between equally qualified men and women, and a company’s carbon footprint. These factors could even play a major role in whether or not a member of Generation Z pursues a career opportunity with a certain company.

Seeking Solutions

Generation Z is also seeking paths toward solving the world’s problems. They are drawn to careers that will allow them to take an active role in global problem solving, after having seen so many major problems threaten their own futures and endanger citizens all over the world.


Perhaps predictably, Generation Z is also drawn to STEM-related careers. This generation is the first that has grown up entirely online, utilizing advanced technology from birth. So, this generation understands the importance of technology as a tool for solving future problems and is generally quite talented at handling technology.

This also accounts for the fact that so many members of Gen Z are looking toward the medical field after having experienced this situationl

Hands-On Job Training

The majority of respondents to the survey also suggested that they are more interested in on-the-job training. Fewer students than in previous years’ surveys indicated an interest in post-graduate education. Instead, more students are looking for training while at work and getting hands-on experience as they grow into their field.

Top Industries of Choice for Gen Z

  1. Medicine/Health-Related

  2. Sciences

  3. Biology/Biotechnology

  4. Business/Corporate

  5. Arts

The top 5 industries of choice for Gen Z seem to respond directly to current issues like the health situation and global warming. In fact, 37% of respondents noted their interest in medicine and other health-related fields, with only 17% of respondents interested in the next three industry choices and 14% interested in a career in the arts.

Top Employers Gen Z Wants to Work For

  1. Local Hospital

  2. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

  3. Mayo Clinic

  4. Walt Disney Company

  5. Google

The top employers Gen Z wants to work for also reflects the desire of this generation to make a difference in the medical field.

The first three choices of employers relate to the medical field, while the fourth and fifth choices relate to students interested in getting involved in business and potentially the arts.

Importantly, students from Gen Z are looking to get involved with companies they deem to be socially responsible, offer opportunities for growth, and provide some element of work-life balance.


So, if you are a member of Generation Z looking for these types of opportunities, you are not alone. Also, your interest in specific fields and values related to your career make sense based on the time in which you’ve lived.

Embrace your values based on the experiences you’ve had, and find the right career for you! Employers will be taking note of your interests and desires as well, which should bode well for a future with employers focusing on making the world a better place.

Author Bio

Chris Everett is a content writer and marketing specialist for the NSHSS, an academic honor society committed to supporting young academics on their journey to college and beyond as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. Follow NSHSS on Twitter or Facebook for more news and tips like these.

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