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Gen Z, Millennials Plan To Leave Meaningless Jobs

More than 40% of Gen Z adult workers say they have left a job or intend to leave their current job in the future over their concerns regarding climate change. Consulting firm Deloitte conducted its annual study among nearly 23,000 Gen Z adults worldwide as part of its 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Report.

Gen Z and Millennial adults do not see their careers as a means to pay their bills. Instead, they strongly prefer to work in positions that they find meaningful. Climate change, social justice, and environmental sustainability increasingly concern young adult workers. They take issue with occupations that either directly conflict with these concerns or do nothing meaningful to alleviate them.

In both generational cohorts, nearly 7 of 10 respondents said that businesses can have an impact on protecting the environment. That’s not great news for employers who don’t have climate action plans in place or in the works. If the survey respondents act on their employment plans, a large volume of employers could find themselves dealing with chronic staffing shortages among prime age workers.

That leaves an opening for community colleges that pay attention to this trend. Academic programs that support sustainability, address environmental concerns, or reduce the impact of business operations on the environment would interest prime age workers.

Programs in clean energy, clean water, sustainable and urban agriculture, electric vehicle and mass transit support, environmentally sound construction and trades programs, business process efficiency, natural resource conservation, non-profit administration, and other similar areas could attract a large number of Gen Z and Millennial students.

It makes almost too much sense to cater to the interests and desires of these students. Of course, continuing to follow the same path will simply result in emptier classrooms.

Gen Z could fill community college classrooms

Community college administrators are either not getting the message that Gen Z and Millennial workers are sending, or they have no idea how to reach these students and address their needs. If they’re stuck on the notion that community colleges exist to address the needs of employers, the trustees of these institutions have a hard choice to make.

They can either replace the administrators who cannot lead effectively, or they can shut the institution’s doors because keeping them open means long-term, unrecoverable enrollment declines.

If you think a community college should be run like a business, then start looking at students like they’re customers, and give them what they want.

Photo Credit: Visible Hand, via Flickr