scorecardGen Z is less interested in working at Big Tech companies right out of college, their job searches show
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Gen Z is less interested in working at Big Tech companies right out of college, their job searches show

Grace Mayer   

Gen Z is less interested in working at Big Tech companies right out of college, their job searches show
Tech2 min read
Tech layoffs and a precarious economy are driving Gen Z to apply to what they see as more stable industries, like retail and finance.    Taiyou Nomachi/Getty Images
  • Upcoming college graduates aren't as interested in Big Tech jobs, a Handshake survey found.
  • They're submitting job applications to retail, finance, and manufacturing industries instead.

Upcoming college graduates are less interested in jobs in Big Tech, a recent Handshake survey found. Instead, students say they're prioritizing stability and well-paying positions by submitting job applications to retail, finance, and manufacturing industries.

Tech layoffs and a precarious economy, concerns about the impacts of new AI technologies, and conflicting opinions over hybrid work arrangements are all front-of-mind issues for this recent class. Amid these changes in the workplace, Gen Z is focusing on stable employment — a main reason the latest graduating class is showing less interest in Big Tech, according to data from Handshake, a college student career site.

For its survey, Handshake polled 954 students from the class of 2023 in March and analyzed search traffic data. The career site found searches from the class of 2023 for Big Tech brands dropped nearly 15% compared to the previous year's class.

Instead, the class of 2023 is searching for companies in retail, finance, and manufacturing. Raytheon, Nike, Toyota, Chevron, Capital One, Bank of America, and NASA were among some of the companies that saw surges in search traffic.

A screenshot from Handshake
Handshake

After noticing the wave of layoffs across the tech industry, this class has shifted their focus to securing positions that provide a sense of stability, Christine Cruzvergara, Handshake's chief education strategy officer, said in a statement to Insider.

The dip in interest in tech brands also signals their "efforts to explore new industries and companies that can offer them solid benefits, secure career paths, and give them the level of stability that they've been craving," Cruzvergara said.

That doesn't mean graduating students are setting aside tech altogether. Nearly 3 out of 4 graduates said they want to develop new tech skills within the next few years. And most of this class already has some experience with tech skills: 85% of these graduates said they have experience in at least one tech skill, like data analysis or information technology.

This contrasts with findings from a ResumeBuilder.com survey from last month, which reported nearly 74% of managers and business leaders think Gen Z is the most challenging group to work with. In that survey, 40% of managers said those challenges stemmed from a lack of technological skills among Gen Z workers.

These skills could help them keep up with the changes in their fields due to generative AI — a topic that was on the mind's of these graduates. Less than half of respondents to the Handshake survey said they were worried about how these generative AI tools would impact their careers, but 60% admitted they expected this tech would impact their fields within the next decade

They also want their jobs to be at least partly in-person — and believe that this in-office face-time would help benefit their careers. Seven out of 10 respondents said they wanted to work in a hybrid work environment, and very few said they wanted to work entirely remote.




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