Gen Z’s Top 10 Personal Goals Show How Pragmatic They Are

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

We asked members of the youngest generation what their current personal goals are today—and their responses reveal where their focus is…

Gen Z is at a pivotal time—preparing to enter adulthood. As we’ve defined them, the first of Gen Z was born in 2001, meaning the oldest members of the generation are now 17-years-old. And, not surprisingly considering their current ages, this generation’s current focus is all about school. For previous generations, that may have meant that their primary concerns were as much about clothing and cliques as college, but Gen Zs have always been a little more practical in their approach to life. While most Millennials remember a time before the Great Recession, 62% of 13-17-year-olds say they don’t, meaning they grew up with a heightened sense of social and cultural anxiety that Millennials didn’t experience. Frugality is top of mind for Gen Zs, and while many Millennials went into college with a sense that everything would work out in the end (only to be met with mounting debt and unpaid internships on the other side), Gen Zs have been raised with a healthy dose of caution.

While this does indicate a lack of confidence in the school-to-career-to-success pipeline may be brewing, it doesn’t mean Gen Zs are forgoing that traditional path. In fact, in our recent survey on life milestones, we asked some of Gen Z (13-17-year-olds) to name the biggest personal goal they are currently working towards,* and their top responses indicate just how focused they are on education and career:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of goals that Gen Z says they’re working on—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Which brands had the most YouTube subscribers in 2018? In media, Warner Bros. topped the list with 6.4 million subscribers, followed by BBC and ESPN. Apple beat out last year’s winner for tech PlayStation, while Red Bull and Ford remained the reigning champs of food and beverage and automotive, respectively. Finally, Nike was first place in the clothing category for the second year running, with 30,000 more subscribers than their closest competitor, Adidas. (Tubefilter)

A “Little League for esports” is fostering future esports stars—and fans for life. Super League Gaming is bringing some much-needed organization to youth competitive gaming, building teams of young Minecraft, League of Legends, and Clash Royal players, helping them train and compete. But the program isn’t just for the next Ninja; just like traditional sports, kids get a sense of community among like-minded friends. (AP News)

Nielsen reports that Millennials actually consume less media than older demos, but more of it is digital. While the average adult consumes over ten hours of content a day, 18-34-year-olds spend less than eight hours with media. And the heaviest smartphone users are 35-49-year-olds, who spend 20 minutes more each day on average with their phones than Millennials. However, the younger demo does spend 44% of their media time with digital devices, more than older demos that spend more time with TV as they age up. (THR)

Vitaminwater is wagering $100,000 that you can’t give up your smartphone for a year. Contestants have to disconnect from internet-enabled devices where “texting is a pleasant experience” for 365 days and post a pic to Twitter or Instagram explaining why they need the digital detox. And when the year’s up, they have to prove it. Considering that 65% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they would be unable to unplug from their smartphones for a week, earning that $100,000 may be harder than they know. (Fortune)

Hard seltzer revenue skyrocketed over 400% over the past 18 months. White Claw leads the way for the category with top-of-the-results organic search (they’re the number one Google result for “hard seltzer”) and a social media presence that focuses on health and wellness-related imagery. Sparkling water is already one of Millennials’ favorite things to drink, and its hard version could rise through the ranks of their top alcoholic beverages. (Gartner)

Quote of the Day: “People call [video game culture] nerdy but I see nerdy as a positive connotation.”—Female, 28, MA

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